Connecting Systems with OPC

The OPCClassic Library allows you to connect your simulation models to the real world using Open Platform Communication (OPC). Here, we will connect a process plant model and a real-world Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) in SystemModeler to allow them to communicate with each other through OPC.

Accessing Production Data

With the OPCClassic Library in SystemModeler, it is possible to link your simulation models to the real world by connecting to OPC servers.
In this case, the OPCClassic library is used to test a new design of a PLC before it is connected to the real process plant. A model of the process plant has been created in SystemModeler, and the PLC can communicate with the model through the OPC interface.
The PLC is used to control a particular piece of machinery in the process plant. To do so, the PLC needs to access data produced by that machinery.
Data from the process plant model is written from SystemModeler to the OPC server, and is then read by the external PLC. The PLC computes a control signal that is written back to the server, from where the process plant in SystemModeler can access it. Check out the video below to see how well the PLC manages to control plant behavior.
Simulate the model in real time and plot the production rate of the machinery and the reference signal. From the plot, we can see that the PLC can control the machinery reasonably well, but might need some additional tuning to decrease the initial oscillations.

Exchanging Data with OPCClassic

When modeling with OPCClassic, you have control over how data should be read from or written to the server. It is possible to choose from a variety of settings, such as sampling rate, when sampling should start, how often the server should update, and if you want to sample regularly or irregularly.
The output from the plant is sampled regularly every 0.2 seconds, and then written to the server.
This example shows how to use OPCClassic and SystemModeler to verify the design of a process plant PLC. Using the same principles, it is also possible to do state estimation, data monitoring, data analysis, simulate test benches, and more.

Increase connectivity with OPC

Use OPCClassic to let your models access live data from the real world by connecting to OPC servers.