OPC UA is an open and royalty free set of standards designed as a universal communications protocol. While there are numerous communication solutions available, OPC UA has several advantages:
- A state of art security model (see OPC 10000-2).
- A fault tolerant communication protocol.
- An information modelling framework that allows application developers to represent their data in a way that makes sense to them. OPC UA has a broad scope which delivers for economies of scale for application developers. This means that a larger number of high quality applications at a reasonable cost are available. When combined with powerful semantic models such as ISA-95, OPC UA makes it easier for end users to access data via generic commercial application.
The OPC UA model is scalable from small devices to ERP systems. OPC UA devices process information locally and then provide that data in a consistent format to any application requesting data - ERP, MES, PMS, Maintenance Systems, HMI, Smartphone or a standard Browser, for examples. For a more complete overview see OPC 10000-1.