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Old August 22nd, 2004, 09:11 AM   #1
Prince
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OPC Server for Siemens and Ethernet

I am working in a site with 8 PLCs Siemens S7 connected to each other through the Ethernet. for our new project I want to install an OPC server to grab the data from the PLCs and write an HMI software for the whole system. as I am a novice in this new job I am wondering if anybody can introduce suppliers for the OPC server software. I checked the products with Matrikon company but they do not support Ethernet communication for Siemens. Have anybody used another type ? Does the Siemens company support an OPC server software itself ?
For me it would be better if I can install a SQL server beside this software and work with SQL ...

thanks for the help
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Old August 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM   #2
S7Guy
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Check out Kepware.com. They have a server that does exactly what you want. It's simple to use, and you should have it working in no time.

There are many other OPC Servers as well, and I'm sure they will also do the job. Just do a google search.

I'm also experimenting a bit with UDP (doesn't require any additional software at all), but it requires modifictaion of the PLC software. The advantage of the OPC Server is that it is completely passive and nothing needs to be done on the PLC side.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 04:39 AM   #3
JesperMP
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1. Siemens DO have OPC servers. But they are more cumbersome to setup. Kepware is probably the best solution for you.

2. Sounds like you need some OPC middleware to make the connection between the OPC server and your SQL database. Matrikon, Kepware, and many others have this.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 05:12 AM   #4
rdrast
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I have been using TopServer, from software toolbox for Siemens/Ethernet, and have found it excellent.

http://www.toolboxopc.com/

Actually, I'm liking TopServer more and more, as it lets me run a bunch of different DDE/OPC drivers in one application, and it has very good diagnostics.

The licensing is a bit cumbersome, but better by far than Siemens Simatic-Net, and you can run it to try it out for free. Just have to deal with a two hour timeout period. Download it and give it a shot.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 08:27 AM   #5
Prince
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Thnx for the Help Pals , Learnt a lot
But I've heard about some new words it made me somhow mixed up :

What I taught :
I would need the OPC server then I can install a SQL server and then installing the SQL client on the HMI side I can write the software based on the SQL.with e.g. VB

New things :
I must install a middleware to establish communication between the OPC and SQL.

My Questions :
1 - Can you explain more about this middleware software ?
2 - When It is neccessary to install an OPC server ? What are the benefits ? (comparing to use of Wincc)

Thank u very much for the help
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 08:51 AM   #6
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In the old days there were specific and proprietary drivers for each application and for each PLC and each Protocol.
Today we use an OPC server for each PLC/Protocol, and each application must then be an OPC client.

WIN CC has its own internal proprietary drivers, but can also use OPC. If using OPC, WIN CC is then a "client" to the OPC "server".
Any other application that can be an OPC client can also access the same OPC server as WIN CC can, and at the same time.

The SQL database "server" and "client" is not the same as the OPC "server" and "client".
There are many possible configurations, here is an example:

PLC
.
.(ethernet)
.
PC with:
. S7 ethernet OPC server
. OPC client/SQL client middleware
. SQL server
. SQL database
.
.
Another PC with:
. SQL client
. SQL application
.
.
Yet another PC with:
. SQL client
. SQL application
.
. etc.

The above is just an example. It would have been possible to put the SQL database server on another PC than the one with the OPC server.

The middleware is some application that fetches and retrieves the data from the OPC server in a reliable and easy to setup manner.
There is a chance that you dont need the middleware. I say this because most MS apps (Excel, Access) can retrieve data directly from the OPC server by means of the topics that are setup on the OPC server. That said, I believe it will take more effort to do so, and that it will be a bad idea for the more demanding application.

edit: here's an example:
http://www.matrikon.com/drivers/Deta...NameListID=199
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Last edited by JesperMP; August 23rd, 2004 at 09:00 AM.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 02:45 PM   #7
DesertDog
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Native TCP

If you are writing your own HMI software & have CP-343 cards have you considered using Native TCP and reading/writing the PLC data directly with Windows COM & Sockets?
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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:50 AM   #8
Fritz_frederix
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Hello,

I've been in the same situation with almost the same problem. I also needed to extract data from S7 PLC's which were in a ethernet network.

I used WinCC ver6.0 and a CP1613 communicationcard in the PC, in the PLC I used a CP443-1 for the ethernet communication.

Then with WinCC I wrote some code in VBS to connect to our SQLServer. You also can use the SQLServer of WinCC. Siemens has switched from Sybase in WinCC ver 5.2 to Microsoft SQLServer in WinCC ver 6.0.

U could also make use of an OPC server which could be used togheter with WinCC but I chose for the easy (and more expensive) way.

I have written a small manual for building the WinCC => CP443-1 communication.

Rudi
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Old August 24th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #9
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Hello,

I ones replied to a question on another forum, there could be some interesting information on it for you just take a look.

Rudi
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