Integration of Sensors, Controllers and Instruments Using a Novel OPC Architecture
CitationGonzález, I., Calderón, A. J., Barragán, A. J., & Andújar, J. M. (2017). Integration of Sensors, Controllers and Instruments Using a Novel OPC Architecture. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 17(7), 1512. http://doi.org/10.3390/s17071512
AbstractThe interconnection between sensors, controllers and instruments through a communication network plays a vital role in the performance and effectiveness of a control system. Since its inception in the 90s, the Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control (OPC) protocol has provided open connectivity for monitoring and automation systems. It has been widely used in several environments such as industrial facilities, building and energy automation, engineering education and many others. This paper presents a novel OPC-based architecture to implement automation systems devoted to R&D and educational activities. The proposal is a novel conceptual framework, structured into four functional layers where the diverse components are categorized aiming to foster the systematic design and implementation of automation systems involving OPC communication. Due to the benefits of OPC, the proposed architecture provides features like open connectivity, reliability, scalability, and flexibility. Furthermore, four successful experimental applications of such an architecture, developed at the University of Extremadura (UEX), are reported. These cases are a proof of concept of the ability of this architecture to support interoperability for different domains. Namely, the automation of energy systems like a smart microgrid and photobioreactor facilities, the implementation of a network-accessible industrial laboratory and the development of an educational hardware-in-the-loop platform are described. All cases include a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to automate and control the plant behavior, which exchanges operative data (measurements and signals) with a multiplicity of sensors, instruments and supervisory systems under the structure of the novel OPC architecture. Finally, the main conclusions and open research directions are highlighted.
Projectinfo:eu-repo/grantAgreement/Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness DPI2015-71320-REDT