Effectiveness of OPC for systems integration in the process control information architecture

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Title: Effectiveness of OPC for systems integration in the process control information architecture
Author: Zachariah, Philips
Abstract: A Process is defined as the progression to some particular end or objective through a logical and orderly sequence of events. Various devices (e.g., actuators, limit switches, motors, sensors, etc.) play a significant role in making sure that the process attains its objective (e.g., maintaining the furnace temperature within an acceptable limit). To do these things effectively, manufacturers need to access data from the plant floor or devices and integrate those into their control applications, which maybe one of the "off the shelf tools such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control System (DCS), or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). A number of vendors have devised their own Data Acquisition Networks or Process Control Architectures (e.g., PROFIBUS, DEVICENET, INTERBUS, ETHERNET I/P, etc.) that claim to be open to or interoperable with a number of third party devices or products that make process data available to the Process or Business Management level. In reality this is far from what it is claimed to be. Due to the problem of interoperability, a manufacturer is forced to be bound, either with the solutions provided by a single vendor or with the writing of a driver for each hardware device that is accessed by a process application. Today's manufacturers are looking for advanced distributed object technologies that allow for seamless exchange of information across plant networks as a means of integrating the "islands of automation" that exist in their manufacturing operations. OLE for Process Control (OPC) works to significantly reduce the time, cost, and effort required in writing custom interfaces for hundreds of different intelligent devices and networks in use today. The objective of this thesis is to explore the OLE for Process Control (OPC) technology in depth by highlighting its need in industry and by using the OPC technology in an application in which data from a process controlled by Siemens Simatic S7 PLC are shared with a client application running in LabVTEW6i.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/14674
Date: 2002-05-01

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