B&R is constantly expanding the range of OPC UA functions in its development environment, Automation Studio. With the introduction of new drivers, it has become easier than ever before for B&R controllers to interface with OPC UA servers.
- Less programming
- Vendor-independent communication
- Integration of devices from 3rd-party manufacturers
All B&R controllers can be operated as an OPC UA server and OPC UA client. It used to be necessary to program the connection between a B&R controller and another OPC UA server using PLCopen client function blocks. All that programming work is now a thing of the past.
B&R has implemented an I/O driver in the real-time Automation Runtime operating system that makes it possible to integrate any OPC UA server whatsoever into the controller configuration. The application developer simply adds "OPC UA Any Device" to the Ethernet interface in either the Physical View or System Designer component of Automation Studio. Process variables are then assigned to the nodes in the I/O mapping, configuring the driver and ensuring the transfer of data via OPC UA.
The I/O driver uses the write, subscription and monitored item services employed by OPC UA. This covers the majority of OPC UA communication tasks with other devices. Only more in-depth functions such as calling methods have to be programmed. The OPC UA bus controller from B&R can also be easily interfaced with B&R controllers using the new I/O driver.