In the case of the OPC UA Foundation tests, there is a specific process that you must follow:
- Complete your internal testing and validate that your device performs as you expect it to perform. You should have completed both your functional and stress testing before submitting it for an OPC UA certification test.
- Use the online to register for your test.
- Receive the notice from the foundation regarding your test date and ship your device to the test site. You may wish to accompany your device but that is not required.
- Wait for the test to be conducted.
- Receive the list of errors, or, if you pass all tests, receive the Certification statement that your device is certified.
- You will also receive an x.509 certificate that can be stored in your device and made available to Client devices that request it.
OPC UA in Review
OPC UA is an architecture that systematizes how to model data, model systems, model machines and model entire plants. You can model anything in OPC UA. OPC UA is a systems architecture that promotes interoperability between all types and manner of systems in various kinds of applications.
It is a technology that allows users to customize how data is organized and how information about that data is reported. Notifications on user-selected events can be made on criteria chosen by the user, including by-exception. It is a scalable technology that can be deployed on small embedded devices and larger Servers. It functions as well in an IT database application as on a recipe management system, on a factory floor, or a maintenance application in a Building Automation System.
It is a technology that provides layers of security that include authorization, authentication, and auditing. The security level can be chosen at runtime and tailored to the needs of the application or plant environment.
This isn’t to say that OPC UA is “better” than EtherNet/IP, ProfiNet IO or Modbus TCP. For moving IO data around a machine, these protocols provide the right combination of transports, functionality, and simplicity that enable machine control with a networked I/O. They are very good technologies for the machine control level of the automation hierarchy.
In the end, OPC UA increases productivity, enhances quality, and lowers costs by providing not only more data, but also information, and the right kind of information to the production, maintenance, and IT systems that need that information when they need it. That’s the stuff that EtherNet/IP ProfiNet IO, Modbus TCP and all the rest just can’t do.
Did You Know?
John S. Rinaldi, the founder of Real Time Automation, has written numerous books on industrial automation, including
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