OPC Router Plug-Ins
The central Industry 4.0 platform enables data exchange in your networked production processes to be automated and optimised. The OPC Router connects systems vertically and horizontally, from sensors and controls to ERP and the cloud, from printers and scales to MES, SCADA or LIMS. Find the solution for your connectivity project from the multitude of plug-ins.
The OPC Router enables you to optimise and digitalise your production processes. Data is automatically exchanged by integrating systems such as OPC UA, SAP, SQL, MQTT, REST, SOAP, Excel, labellers and so on. The acquisition of process data gives you a continuous overview of your production.
- The latest middleware with standard interfaces for data exchange
- Various connection types using powerful plugins
- Visualisation of all data transfers
Graphic configuration, exemplary monitoring and extreme reliability mean that the OPC router paves the way for your Industry 4.0 projects.
Connections between and to the various systems are implemented using plugins. The OPC router server licence applies for as many data points and connections as required. For special requirements the OPC router can be designed with a modular format. Only plugins that you would like to apply for your use case have to be licensed.
Realise projects for automation and data exchange step by step without programming to modernise your production processes.
Lots of connection options, freely combinable for your project.
OPC Router Base System – Main Functions.
The Base System of the OPC Router already offers many helpful functions to create transfers within the OPC Router. Furthermore, use of calculations, notes, variables and constants is possible. Data transfers can be executed or prompted. Additionally, various trigger configurations are contained.
Simply connect your systems to MQTT
The MQTT protocol (What is MQTT?) is a widely used protocol in the IoT (Internet of Things). MQTT works according to the publisher/subscriber principle and operates via a central broker. This means that senders and recipients have no direct connection, but the data sources report their data via a publish and all recipients interested in certain messages (identified by the “topic”) receive the data because they have registered as subscribers.
In the industrial environment there are many sensors as publishers and superimposed systems as subscribers. In contrast to OPC UA, the data content of messages remains unspecified and is specified by the publisher. In OPC UA, on the other hand, the structures of the communicated data are predefined.
With the OPC Router as MQTT subscriber you can use data from MQTT Publisher and pass it on to any system via the other plug-ins (OPC UA, SAP, SQL Databases, Email, REST, etc.). As a MQTT publisher the OPC Router can send data from non-MQTT-enabled sources to a broker to provide any MQTT subscriber with data.
Connecting and providing RESTful Web Services
With the REST protocol different systems can be connected to the REST interface. It works on pure web technologies and on the basis of stateless logic for querying and editing data in systems. It is used in many modern application platforms that allow access and data exchange for external systems via the REST interface.
The OPC Router is able to access and query REST WebServices. Thus almost any system can be connected with REST API and allows to retrieve data from these systems or to transfer data. Via the REST Trigger the OPC Router can also provide REST functions for calling and thus enables the creation of an own REST API for any system which is connected with the available plug-ins.
Provide variables via OPC UA with the OPC UA Server in the OPC Router
OPC UA is the standard-communication-protocol in Industry 4.0. The protocol is used to provide data from various systems and devices (OPC UA Server) and on the other hand connected and processed by many systems (OPC UA Clients). Classically, the OPC Router has always been an OPC Client with the OPC UA Client Plug-in. Data from automation-systems and devices is retrieved via OPC UA and exchanged with other systems. Due to the widespread use of the OPC UA Standard, the number of OPC UA Clients is increasing and with it the requirement for the OPC Router to provide the processed data from the connected systems as a server via OPC UA.
This task is fulfilled by the OPC UA Server Plug-in. The Plug-in makes the internal variables of the OPC Router available to clients for reading and writing via OPC UA. Since the variables can be used in any OPC Router connections with any third party system, the variables can be used for data exchange between OPC Clients and connected systems of the OPC Router. Data points can be defined individually in the OPC UA Server Plug-in. Using these data points it is possible for OPC Clients to monitor the operation of the OPC Router. Performance and status data of other Plug-ins and connections can also be made available to the OPC UA Server Plug-in.
The IoT platform ThingWorx from PTC is one of the leading in the market. With the concept of the digital twin, ThingWorx is the core piece for the virtual mapping of devices, machines, sensors, etc.. In a digital model, all properties are made available digitally. The applications range from visualization and analytics to augmented reality.
With the ThingWorx® Plug-in, OPC Router can connect the properties and methods of the digital twins (Things) via the open connection API and transfer or retrieve data. Through this connection, all systems connected via the OPC Router Plug-in can be supplied with data from ThingWorx systems or the data from the systems can be transferred to ThingWorx to complete the digital twins.
Graphically connect ERP/SOAP Web Services
A web service enables communication between system on the basis of the web protocols HTTP and HTTPS. Upon connection, data is exchanged and functions are called. Each and every web service has its own unique address (URL) and is described by its very own descriptive data file (WSDL).
With the OPC Router you can link your systems graphically to any WSDL ERP/SOAP Web Service and realize read and write data exchange.
Telegram Bot Programming
With the Telegram Bot connection, the OPC Router enables the “Telegram” messenger to be linked to the industrial process (see Video). Authenticated users of the bot can receive messages, i.e. alarms, production messages, operating states, (push notifications), but can also actively trigger actions via the Telegram Bot. Application-specific queries and activities can be configured in the OPC Router, which are then called up from the smartphone via authenticated remote access.
You can easily create a convenient remote access to your production system and give the users the possibility for quick reactions in exceptional situations and easy access to production data.
Email notification via SMTP
The graphical designer allows you to project your own email alerting according to application-specific requirements (see example).
Automate file transfer and network processing
Protocols are available in the network that can be used for secure and authenticated data transfer. With the Network File Access plug-in of the OPC Router, file handling and network-wide file transfer can be implemented. The plug-in supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SMB (Server Message Block) protocols. Files can be exchanged between file servers in any network via FTP if they offer a corresponding FTP server service. The SMB protocol is mainly found on Microsoft Windows systems and implements the classic drive sharing. The Network File Access Plug-in reads, writes, deletes and moves files. The OPC Router and its basic components also process or generate data. Transfer objects are available for data structured as JSON, XML and CSV. The file contents can be obtained from or transferred to the many OPC Router plug-ins as required.
With the Network File Access plug-in, systems are easily coupled via their native interfaces.
Heidenhain CNC control connection
The communication protocol is used to retrieve the data points of CNC machines hierarchically and select them for setting up data transfer connections. The data points of the control can be read and written.
Easy integration of Zebra/ZPL printers
Zebra printers are used in many industrial labelling applications. Zebra printers are supplied with printing information via the ZPL (Zebra Programming Language). ZPL is also implemented by many other labeling systems. With the OPC Router, these printers can easily be supplied with data from various systems. The connection is made via this plug-in and the data transfers are configured via the graphical configuration.
Easy data supply for Domino printers
Domino is one of the leading identification technology manufacturers, which is used across various industries. The OPC Router is able to connect all printer of following series: A-Series, A-Series+, as well as printers with the CODENET protocol.
The connection to the many different plug-ins of the OPC Router is done graphically by Drag&Drop. Label printing can thus be supplied with data from various systems and existing media breaks can be eliminated. The electronic transmission of the correct print data at the right time saves time by avoiding manual activities and money by avoiding wrongly labelled goods due to input errors.
Videojet Inkjet connector
Videojet has been supplying reliable marking systems for many years. This also includes the inkjet printer product line.
The printers are used in industrial packaging systems for efficient coding and labeling of products. The smooth and reliable setup of the printer before production is important for efficient marking. Too long set-up times due to manual processes cost valuable time. Incorrect print data due to errors during manual set-up cause expensive rejects due to incorrectly labelled products.
By connecting the Videojet inkjet printers via OPC Router, automatic setup of the printers at production start is possible. Data can be obtained automatically from various source systems (SQL database, SAP, SPS via OPC, etc.) and transferred directly to the printer without loss of time and 100% valid.
The supported printers are Videojet 1510, Videojet 1530, Videojet 1610, Videojet 1620, Videojet 1630, Videojet 1710.
Wolke Thermal InkJet Printers.
Wolke printing systems print with ink and at very high resolutions. Printing products are used in industrial applications for product labeling. The printers are integrated into industrial plans and can be addressed from inside the company’s network architecture. The printing setup allows various layouts that can be called upon before printing. Besides the possibility of manual data entry into pre-configured fields, it is also possible to retrieve data via the OPC Router through the available network connection.
Generic TCP/IP Printers
RFID via AutoID Standard
Oracle DB Client
The Oracle database is a top-performing database for manifold business applications. Via OPC Router a native connection can be established by using the respective Oracle client driver and TNS.
Easy data transfer to InfluxDB
With its plug-ins, the OPC Router has connections to various industrial infrastructure systems and thus has access to their data. With the InfluxDB plug-in it is possible now to transfer this data directly to the Influx database and make it available to BigData and analysis applications. Data sources are connected to InfluxDB as usual in a graphical configuration of Drag&Drop.
Connect MongoDB and Industry 4.0
MongoDB database is one of the most used NoSQL databases. The document-oriented database is very well suited for distributed use and the processing of large quantities of JSON documents. With the MongoDB Plug-in of OPC Router it is very easy to connect the infrastructure of industry 4.0 with the MongoDB. OPC Router masters the handling of replicated MongoDB infrastructures. Using various OPC Router plug-ins, data from other systems can be transferred to MongoDB and data from MongoDB can also be made accessible to the systems.
ODBC – Open Database Connectivity
MySQL Database Server
SAP HANA® Database Connection
The procedure for connecting external applications to SAP HANA® is very similar to other relational databases. With the SAP HANA® plug-in of the OPC router, connections to the HANA database can be configured graphically. With its plug-in, the OPC Router can write data to the database, change data, read from it and call procedures in SAP HANA®. These options, in combination with the other available plug-ins, make it easy to quickly integrate us into the SAP HANA® infrastructure.
The Euromap 77 standard describes the interface between injection molding machines Spritzgussmaschinen und systems above, such as MES, ERP, QM, etc. Euromap 77 is a relatively young standard, which has established a common interface for injection molding machines for all injection molding machines manufacturers. Euromap 77 supercedes the Euromap 63 and is based on OPC UA, which is one of the most widely used Industry 4.0 protocolls.
The Euromap 63 standard is the predecessor to Euromap 77 and defines the data exchange with injection moulding machines via files. With its Euromap 63 plug-in, the OPC Router implements the file handling to the injection molding machine defined in the standard. The Euromap plug-in writes the so-called request files and accepts response files. Processed files are archived. The plug-in of the OPC Router guides the user through the predefined transfer mechanisms.
The plug-in is particularly suitable for the implementation of special Euromap 63 applications, such as recipe and parameter transfers, for which the respective data is specially designed. For the retrieval of standardized Euromap 63 data points, the Euromap 63 driver of the Kepware OPC Server is a good alternative, since the corresponding files are already defined here (previously available for ENGEL, FANUC, Krauss Maffai, Cincinnati Milacron, Sumitomo Demag, TOYO).
XPath – XML Query Language.
The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an important standard for communicating structured data across the internet. For this reason, XML is also used both for value or parameter entry and output in IT-connected and internet-ready production systems around the world. The XML Path Language – in short XPATH – allows easy XML data access for the OPC Router. The XPath plug-in allows easy extraction of desired information, which is then passed on to other customer-specified destinations in other connected systems.
JPath – JSON Query Language
JPath is designed for server responses containing JSON. JPath and works on the same principle as XPath function, and allows easy access to data contained in JSON data packages, thus enabling the OPC Router to extract and provide the desired information whenever and whereever needed.
Charm EZ Reader – Inhibitor Screening Test
In order to control production and manage raw materials well, analytical data is very important. Processes need to be closely aligned to provide the most efficient and best production procedures. This includes permissions and rights management. The Inhibitor Screening Test by Charm is an intelligent testing and screening device that is network-ready.
The OPC Router with the Charm EZ System plug-in serves as a central receiving point for analyses. A handshaking procedure ensures that all analyses are buffered and transmitted from the devices to the OPC Router so that no analyses get lost. The OPC Router receives analyses from any number of Charm EZ readers and transmits the results to databases or other systems (see Plug-ins). With OPC Router, is a fast and automatic reaction to antibiotic or mycotoxin contamination in raw materials possible.
Scripting with .NET / C#
No system can cater for each and every need. This is why a certain degree of flexibility is always needed. The Script plug-in offers additional flexibility because it allows you to define transfer objects and triggers for use with the OPC Router yourself. You are permitted to use basic functions of the OPC Router directly in the script. You can also connect external .NET assemblies, if this is important for your project.
SQLite is a program library in the public domain, which contains a relational database system. SQLite supports a wide range of SQL voice commands for the SQL92-standard. SQLite is an embedded SQL database engine that provides direct data access.
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