Support of OPC standard in EcosimPro

Antonio Rivero. EcosimPro Applications Team

OPC (OLE for Process Control) is a communications standard developed jointly by large industrial groups of industrial software, instrumentation and control via the OPC Foundation consortium.

Thanks to its client-server architecture based on Microsoft’s OLE, COM and DCOM technologies, OPC lets different hardware and software be connected easily and without “fighting” with each device driver.

The final aim of OPC is to build systems with servers (usually data-generating hardware) and clients (software to control and monitor the data generated).

opc_1Fig. 1: OPC Communications Network

EcosimPro uses the standard OPC in its simulations by means of a new software tool called “OPC Toolbox” that integrates in the normal environment as a new plug-in. The main features of this new tool are:

  • Producing OPC servers based on DECK simulations: this is a “wizard” type assistant for using DECK previously generated by EcosimPro as OPC servers

On each screen of the wizard, the user can set up general characteristics of the simulation, such as: public variables, initializations, simulation times, type of execution vs time (real time), etc.

opc_2    opc_3
Wizard to generate an OPC sever based on a DECK

The end result of the process is a new OPC server capable of running a simulation autonomously and independently from the EcosimPro environment.

opc_4Steps for generating an OPC server based on a DECK

  • Generating communications clients between two servers: This is another wizard for building a communications client between two OPC servers

On each screen in the wizard, the user can: configure which servers to connect, which variables to communicate, what types of communication to send, etc.

opc_5    opc_6
Wizard to generate an OPC client that connects two servers

The end result is an OPC client that can exchange data between two servers.

opc_7Communication client generated with EcosimPro to connect two OPC servers

With its new “OPC toolbox” plug-in, EcosimPro’s capabilities for use in simulations are myriad, with it being the platform on which are based products such as:

  • Complete training simulators
  • Testing systems
  • Direct simulations with real data read directly at the plant
  • Software for control and monitoring (SCADAs, HMI systems, etc.)
  • Specific user needs

For more information contact with Antonio Rivero (