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OPC UA enables fast, reliable communication for power supplies

The picture shows the Sitop PSU8600 power supply system from Siemens.

Integrating the OPC UA server in the power supply firmware has opened up the whole scope of possibilities offered by power supply parameterization and diagnostics through the OPC UA client, for example the ability to instantaneously send alarm messages and receive a direct response from a program or application. As a platform-independent communication standard from the control level to the cloud, OPC UA is a key building block on the road to digitalized production.
An efficient power supply is a fundamental requirement for the operation of any plant. Complex production processes can only be reliably maintained if the power supply to the automation system is both consistent and of the required quality. With the Sitop PSU8600, for the first time a power supply system is capable of integration into a network, allowing advance warning in the event of impending critical states and ultimately resulting in improved plant availability. The modular system can be extended to as many as 20 individually adjustable outputs, such as the tripping current in case of overload, voltages ranging between 5 V and 28 V, or program-controlled activation and deactivation. The facility for diagnosis of the voltage and current values at every output in real time enables transparency of aspects such power supply energy flows. Buffer modules can be used as a system extension to protect against power failures for up to a few minutes.
The uninterruptible power supply UPS1600 with Ethernet/Profinet interface is suitable for buffering in case of power failures lasting a number of hours. It can be configured using different energy storage systems (lead, pure lead, lithium iron phosphate). OPC UA can be used for instance to parameterize the buffering time and the threshold value for buffer operation, or to evaluate diagnostic information such as battery charge levels or remaining buffer time. Sitop power supplies can be used for applications ranging from the automotive, food and pharmaceutical industry through the oil and gas industry to plant engineering and special-purpose machine building for production, building and process automation.
Today there are over 4,200 suppliers who have used more than 35,000 different platform-independent products in over 17 million applications. The open communication standard OPC UA was launched by the OPC Foundation to ensure the better use of these resources. The mission of the industrial consortium is to establish data transmission standards and pave the way for more secure, reliable interoperability in industrial automation. To support this mission, the OPC Foundation creates and maintains specifications, ensures compliance with these specifications and collaborates with industry-leading standards organizations.

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Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at
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David Petry

Siemens AG

Schuhstr. 60
91052 Erlangen

+49 (9131) 7-26616