The combination of OPC UA Client and Server interfaces, in addition to all other KEPServerEX interfaces enable it to be a "standards-based" tunneling solution for reliably and securely linking remote systems, according to Roy Kok, Kepware vice president, sales and marketing. Tunneling solutions are a replacement for Microsoft DCOM communications in distributed OPC DA applications. More importantly for the automation industry, the security inherent to OPC UA, in terms of data encryption and authentication makes it an excellent choice for real-time data sharing in automation related real-time business-to-business (B2B) applications. B2B has typically been handled on a non-real-time transactional basis with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or with custom developments when real-time connectivity was required. Now, Kepware offers a standards-based and cost effective off-the-shelf solution.
This release also delivers a significant new Alarm and Event Condition option, the ability to monitor variables and configure conditions with which to trigger Alarm or Event messaging. The Alarm and Event Condition option works in conjunction with the KEPServerEX OPC AE interface.
Further enhancements include additional CID (Custom Interface Driver - OPC Toolkit) sample code in C#, an updated Allen Bradley ControlLogix Driver - now supports 1024 Programs and multi-byte Strings, Mettler Toledo - scale controls, IDEC Driver - expanded ranges for MicroSmart and Open models, and Modbus Ethernet - Global settings changes at runtime.
"KEPServerEX enhancements are released on a quarterly schedule," explained Tony Paine, President of Kepware Technologies. "Each release is packed with major new technology and value for our customers. We are not just a driver company any more. Our goal is interoperability--through standards and with popular native interfaces."
"Kepware, through its OEM partnerships, channels and direct efforts, is a major driver of OPC adoption in the world," added Thomas Burke, President of the OPC Foundation. "Their new support for OPC UA, and the positioning for Real-time B2B for Automation is very creative and exactly what we need at a time when all communications are moving toward standards. For example, the world has a focus on the SmartGrid. That is real-time B2B for automation. Data needs to be exchanged between customers and suppliers in real-time and securely, and OPC UA technology, through players like Kepware, will solve real world problems with of-the-shelf, cost effective solutions."
Website downloads will be available on February 11th .
Other Kepware news includes the company's selection by Schneider Electric to underlie APC's Infrastuxure Management Software portfolio, enabling data center managers and IT executives the ability to take a holistic view of data center physical infrastructure service quality, end-to-end energy use, facilitate short- and long-term planning, and properly forecast costs. In addition, Kepware announced that Predator Software, a provider of CNC-to-enterprise manufacturing automation solutions, has selected the company for its device interoperability needs.