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Thread: OPC Client configuration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    27.10.2011
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    Verona
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    29

    Ausrufezeichen OPC Client configuration

    Dear support,
    I'm a new Zenon user, and I hope this is the right place to write. I've started using Zenon for importing some Wit RTU with an OPC Driver.
    I've noticed that OPC is a bit hard to configure, but I've got a problem that you may solve.
    I've read a lot of white paper everywhere, but the best was from Matrikon website: these helps me to configure dcom on my server (it's a Windows 2008 R2 x64 Server).
    With my PC (a Windows XP 32bit machine) it all works, with the Matrikon I can browser the server and look for OPC alias and even with zenon I can browse it.
    The real problem come now. Last week our IT Service change my machine to a new Windows 7 x64 machine. The problem is that from an old PC with Matrikon I can still connect to te server and browse for alias, but with my new machine no. I've tested a Window 7 x86 machine and I can still connect and see variables on the server. It seem that the x64 for the client give some problems.
    Do you have some advice for overcoming this problem?
    Thank you for any help and best regards
    Luca

  2. #2
    Join Date
    27.10.2011
    Location
    Verona
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hello there,
    I've made some steps forward. The first problem was the antivirus. It's not clear why the same antivirus (it's a corporate av) on XP doesn't block communication, and on windows 7 machine it does.
    But after disabling this antivirus now I can browse variables and import in the project.

    I need to make a clarification: on the same server there are 2 opc server, a Matrikon OPC Server for Simulation and the server I need to talk to.

    When I start the runtime (obviusly I've created 2 driver, one for matrikon server and one for my opc server), Matrikon variables go online and change their values immediatly, while variables on my server doesn't.
    If on the same PC where the runtime is running (or in one other PC), I open Matrikon Explorer, and I connect to my OPC Server, as soon as variables are displayed on matrikon (after the Add Tags procedure) I see variables changing even in Zenon. Then I can turn off Matrikon Explorer and Zenon still works.

    Does anyone have experience on this?
    Thanks and best regards
    Luca

  3. #3

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi Luca,

    Did you install the OPC core components from the "Additional Software" folder on the DVD? This is one thing you could check.

    Just to make sure, the zenon editor / runtime are on the same PC as the OPC server, right?

    Is there perhaps a direct driver in zenon to the PLC you are trying to communicate to, instead of using OPC?

    Or does the manufacturer offer an OPC UA server, which in general is much less fussy, so you can use the zenon OPC UA client instead?

    When you start the zenon runtime, when the matrikon opc client is not yet running, does the OPC server start automatically?

    Best regards,
    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    27.10.2011
    Location
    Verona
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi Mark,
    thanks for your answer. I'll reply on your question step by step.

    Did you install the OPC core components from the "Additional Software" folder on the DVD? This is one thing you could check.
    I've installed Matrikon Explorer which configure DCOM and have the Core components, but later I've also downloaded the core component X64 setup from the OPC Foundation site.

    Just to make sure, the zenon editor / runtime are on the same PC as the OPC server, right?
    This is not possibile because with a redundant architecture if something happen to the master Zenon the slave cannot comunicate with the OPC, so I've a machine with the OPC Server which is configured using a document found always on the OPC Foundation download section

    Is there perhaps a direct driver in zenon to the PLC you are trying to communicate to, instead of using OPC?
    No there isn't. The PLC (it's better to call it RTU) is from WIT France (this is their website maybe you've already heard them http://www.wit.fr/en/index.aspx)

    Or does the manufacturer offer an OPC UA server, which in general is much less fussy, so you can use the zenon OPC UA client instead?
    Even in this case the answer is no. They sell a Driver which communicate with the field RTU and convert signals in OPC Alias

    When you start the zenon runtime, when the matrikon opc client is not yet running, does the OPC server start automatically?
    No, but I've got the OPC Server already running in a user session.

    After these I've made another little step but I don't understand where is the real problem. This is the situation:
    1) Server is running and communicating with a RTU
    2) I start Zenon runtime and variabile are invalid (red square in the numeric visualizator)
    3) If i wathc in the monitor of the OPC Server I see that the aliases are created and they're put in good state (from the out of order state)
    4) If i open matrikon on a PC (as told it's not rilevant where matrikon is installed) I see in the monitor of the Server that he begin to send value via opc and it still send to refresh variabile in pages.
    It seem that the Matrikon client make some "interrogation" that Zenon driver doesn't, and this interrogation make communication starts
    Thanks again
    Luca

  5. #5

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi Luca,

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply.

    First off, unfortunately OPC DA over DCOM is not officially supported by either our OPC client driver or our OPC DA server. DCOM configuration can open up potential security vulnerabilities and also connection issues can lead to a deadlock where one or both systems need to be restarted. It should work, however we do not recommend it and unfortunately cannot give you any official support.

    Have you tried with the OPC DA core components from the "additional folder" on the zenon 7 DVD? While the setup is the previous version (3.00.1.02), this is the setup that has been tested (with local communication).

    Regarding the WIT RTU, I had a look at the website and in one document it says that e@sy is compatible with the modbus protocol. If this is true for your controller, I would strongly suggest you use modbus (a standard protocol for which zenon has different drivers) instead of trying to get the OPC server to work over DCOM.

    There seem to be also other protocols that are supported, for which there also is a zenon driver (M-Bus, SNMP, Ethernet/IP)

    -> this is the document I looked at: e@sy brochure


    in zenon, have you tried stopping the driver and restarting the driver, using the "driver commands" function?

    Or have you tried re-opening the screen (variable is not used anywhere else, e.g. no alarm or not in an archive, and the option "keep update list in memory" in the driver configuration is inactive)

    What error messages are logged by the OPC client driver in the diagnosis server? - > Use the diagnosis viewer to view the saved log files from previous sessions.

    Perhaps you find some information here that can help you further!

    Best regards
    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    Verona
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    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hello Mark,
    thank you again for your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    First off, unfortunately OPC DA over DCOM is not officially supported by either our OPC client driver or our OPC DA server. DCOM configuration can open up potential security vulnerabilities and also connection issues can lead to a deadlock where one or both systems need to be restarted. It should work, however we do not recommend it and unfortunately cannot give you any official support.
    I know that OPC DA is not easy to configure, in fact the first time i tried to configure both server I've gived up. After some days I decided to create a new server and reinstalling the OPC Server from the beginning and that was the first step for makeing this works!


    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    Have you tried with the OPC DA core components from the "additional folder" on the zenon 7 DVD? While the setup is the previous version (3.00.1.02), this is the setup that has been tested (with local communication).
    No, I haven't tested that. I need to try it, thanks for the tips, maybe it will be a thing I'll try in the next days


    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    Regarding the WIT RTU, I had a look at the website and in one document it says that e@sy is compatible with the modbus protocol. If this is true for your controller, I would strongly suggest you use modbus (a standard protocol for which zenon has different drivers) instead of trying to get the OPC server to work over DCOM.
    You're right, e@sy RTU works with modbus, there is only a problem: modbus is not optimized for GPRS or UMTS connection so it make a lot of traffic and this is a problem because mobile carrier don't give us a flat traffic sim, so sadly I must say that this is not a solution (we've already tried other PLC with modbus but results was cathastrophic).

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    There seem to be also other protocols that are supported, for which there also is a zenon driver (M-Bus, SNMP, Ethernet/IP)
    We should test these driver, and look for one with time tag. The WOP driver (the one developed by wit) give you timetag and other useful information.

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    -> this is the document I looked at: e@sy brochure
    That's the right device

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    in zenon, have you tried stopping the driver and restarting the driver, using the "driver commands" function?
    When I stop the driver variables goes in "Out of Order" status then again in "Good" status, but the communication still don't begin

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    Or have you tried re-opening the screen (variable is not used anywhere else, e.g. no alarm or not in an archive, and the option "keep update list in memory" in the driver configuration is inactive)
    Like I've told you before when variables are not interrogated by Zenon the OPC Server put these variabiles "Out of Order" and when coming back in the page the driver simply set the "Good" and idle.

    Quote Originally Posted by markclemens View Post
    What error messages are logged by the OPC client driver in the diagnosis server? - > Use the diagnosis viewer to view the saved log files from previous sessions.
    This might be useful, I've tried to use the DiagVieweer like Roberto (De Eccher) teached me, but I'm a new user and I still need more experience for using that tool


    Finally we've found a workaround that seem works. We've created a script on the OPC Server. The Opc server detects when clients are connected and how many variables are updated from him. If I enter a page with zenon the connection is already at 1 and the updated variables are 0, so with these conditions we've forced a push all for the variables and after that the normal OPC communication works correctly.
    Even with this solution, in every case, I want to test your suggestion (try to install the OPC DA Core components or look for an alternative communication driver).

    If you want, after these tests I leave a feedback in this post.
    For now thank you for the help and all your suggestion.
    Luca

  7. #7

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi Luca,

    Thank you for your reply. A feedback is always very welcome It may help someone else with the same or similar issue.

    In regard to the other drivers, SNMP while having a larger communication overhead, offers both polling and spontaneous communication. I could not find any defails but when the e@sy can be an SNMP agent and supports traps, the zenon SNMP driver could read an initial value once, and then use SNMP traps (spontaneous messages) for value changes.

    best regards,
    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    27.10.2011
    Location
    Verona
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hello Mark,
    thank you again for your reply!
    As you say SNMP should be a possible solution, I must test it. And if I've got to set a value? does zenon support the value send of value to a SNMP agent?
    I've got one question for you then. Which SNMP version does Zenon officialy support? I've heard that it supports only V1. And if I've got a V2C device? is there any way to connect with it?
    Thanks again
    Luca

  9. #9

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi Luca,

    In the latest version of the SNMP driver (6.51 / 7.00), both SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c traps are supported, as well as GET, and GETNEXT (GETBULK from SNMPv2c is not used by the driver). The zenon SNMP driver also supports writing values to an agent. (SET)

    Traps are supported, however informs (traps with a response required) are not.


    Although perhaps not relevant, through the zenon process gateway, the zenon runtime can also act itself as an SNMP agent.

    I hope this helps!
    Regards,
    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    27.10.2011
    Location
    Verona
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: OPC Client configuration

    Hi there Mark,
    I'm testing the SNMP, but I've got some problems, when I've defined the driver and the node I go to Offline Mib List, i Click browse but nothing appear. I've started even the diagviewer but I see only this



    Where can I find a detailed log?
    Thanks again

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