The Engineering Manager for an API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) plant in Europe needed to connect new control applications through several OPC server stations to an existing SCADA network. The plant was already running a large DCS with PLC-based control systems connected by OPC servers to distributed SCADA workstations acting as OPC clients. But there were a couple of challenges:
Each SCADA system had to access data from all of the new OPC server stations. They needed a way to aggregate that data into a single common data set.
The OPC servers and SCADA systems were on different computers, separated by a company firewall. He found the complexities of configuring DCOM and Windows security permissions made it extremely difficult to connect the OPC servers and clients.
The solution was to install the Cogent DataHub on the OPC server station computers and on the SCADA computers, so that the systems could communicate through the firewalls. The Datahub on each of the OPC server stations collected data from the new controls systems. The DataHub on each of the SCADA computers was able to make secure connections through the firewalls to read this data from the OPC server stations. Now thousands of data points from the new controls systems can be accessed from each of the original SCADA systems. And because the DataHub connections are bi-directional, the SCADA systems can send back control commands to the new plant controls systems.