5 Use cases ToC Previous Next

Table 11 lists possible use cases of interest for OPC UA Clients. Typically, the use case implementation consists of data retrieval with OPC UA, utilisation of OPC UA standard mechanisms like subscriptions and downstream data processing on the client site.

The use cases are supported by OPC UA Servers running directly on the device or by proxy Servers offering OPC UA access for devices discovered with PROFINET services (according to the Edge gateway use case in [OPC PN], chapter 5.2.2).

Table 11 – Use Cases and related Companion Specification contributions

Use Case Description Companion Specification Contribution
Visualize energy data in the system Users would like to visualize the measured energy data from all connected measuring instruments in a uniform and standardized way. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Analyze energy data Users would like to analyse the system from an energy point of view to calculate potential energy savings and energy efficiency measures. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Report energy data The representations of the energy usage data and, if necessary, the energy efficiency measures defined by (or agreed with) the user are provided in static report form (paper, PDF, website, etc.) over predefined reporting periods. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Control of storage behavior A storage is used to modify the power demand of a production company to reduce the overall energy costs. This can be done by different means such as avoid peak loads or modify the load curve according to changing energy prices or support the grid stability (e.g. in a demand response program). Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Control of load management The load management system evaluates the information from the production plant and determines together with other influencing factors, e.g. production planning, sensible measures to adjust the power consumption or the energy source. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing Standby Management functions.
Avoid load peaks Disable processes that are not relevant to production (e.g. ancillary processes, buffered production steps) to avoid load peaks. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing Standby Management functions.
Safe energy during production breaks Disable processes, devices, or units during idle time (planned and unplanned breaks) to save energy required in stand-by mode. Providing Standby Management functions.
Use flexibilities for production processes The delivery costs for energy at a production site should be reduced. There is also an optimized suggestion for energy management measures for the following day. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing Standby Management functions.
Demonstrate the emission footprint Include energy usage values as a “footprint” in external communication with the market to compare emissions with competitors or comply with local guidelines and laws. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing Standby Management functions.
Increase competitiveness through energy savings Saving energy should create a significant (cost) advantage compared with other sites or competitors. This can be done by comparing the key figures directly (e.g. key industry figures, site benchmarking). Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing Standby Management functions.
Data collection for power quality To ensure the safe operation and follow requirements of utility companies and network operators it is needed to monitor parameters associated with the power quality of a grid. Typically, this concerns topics such as reactive power or stability of grid frequency. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Derive production quality data from energy data Users would like to derive conclusions about the quality of the products produced or the individual process steps from the energy usage data obtained. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Detect critical unit statuses to support condition monitoring Energy usage data is used to provide information about maintenance measures, e.g. higher levels of energy usage can be traced back to increased wear or a defect in a machine or unit. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Contextual information about energy consumption The user wants to set energy data in relation to times, location information and product and production-related information. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing references to application functions.
Additional information about energy management Users would like to get ancillary information about measurement. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Providing references to application functions.
Forecast of energy consumption The user would like to get a forecast of energy consumption based on started or scheduled processes with known energy consumption. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Measurement of non-electrical forms of energy To make energy consumption of plants completely transparent you also need information about other forms of energy in addition to electrical energy (e.g. compressed air, steam…) Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data.
Data packets to optimize communication Aggregate data locally over a certain period, which will later be transferred in a block. Cyclically recorded data are only evaluated by the user at a later point in time. Provided by standard OPC UA mechanisms.
Aggregation to user measurement value groups Selection of a compilation of measured values by user during configuration that are transmitted together. Providing Energy Measurement Objects referencing measurement values containing raw energy data with predefined EnergyProfile Interfaces.
Time-synchronization of several devices To ensure a high quality of measurement data it is required to provide a common time base for production systems. Provided by standard OPC UA mechanisms.

Previous Next