OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a machine-to-machine communication protocol for industrial automation developed by the OPC Foundation and released in 2006. OPC-UA is based on a client server communication method and is focused on communicating with all industrial equipment and systems in an environment to better facilitate both data collection and control. OPC-UA is notable for a wide range of reasons, chief among them being that it is freely available and deployable under the GPL 2.0 license. It is also cross-platform, meaning that it is not inherently tied to any one operating system or programming language. APIs are available in several programming languages both as a commercial SDK and open source stacks. The open source stacks include language support for C, C#, C++, JavaScript, GoLang, Python, Java, and Rust.

Learn more about OPC-UA and how it works:

Why use the OPC-UA Telegraf Plugin?

The OPC-UA Telegraf plugin helps you gather metrics from client devices using the OPC-UA protocol. Most industrial settings will have equipment from a number of manufacturers that will also have support for protocols other than OPC-UA. These metrics are important because they help provide valuable insight into the health and status of key equipment so that you can make more informed decisions regarding topics like preventive maintenance. This can not only make sure that mission- critical assets are available when they need to be, but it can also lower the total cost of ownership of these assets as well.

Another key benefit is that it can reduce the cost of building connectors commonly used in manufacturing:

  • Industrial Automation
  • Building Automation
  • Embedded Devices
  • Energy Management (Smart Grid)
  • Manufacturing Enterprise Management
  • M2M

One advantage of using Telegraf is that it supports many of the protocols used in the industrial IoT use case. Using this OPC-UA Telegraf Plugin allows you to avoid paying excessive fees to build collectors to gather information into your traditional historian solution. In addition, building new Telegraf plugins is straightforward and can be done alone or with the help of the community.

How to monitor your industrial systems using the OPC-UA Telegraf Plugin

If your endpoints utilize the OPC-UA protocol, you can easily configure this OPC-UA Telegraf Plugin to gather any and all of the metrics from those endpoints. Configuration options include:

  • Metric name
  • OPC UA Endpoint URL
  • Maximum time allowed to establish a connect to the endpoint
  • Maximum time allowed for a request over the established connection
  • Security policy
  • Security mode
  • Path to certificate
  • Path to private key
  • Authentication Method
  • Node ID configuration
  • Name - field name to use in the output
  • Namespace - OPC UA namespace of the node (integer value 0 thru 3)
  • Identifier_type - OPC UA ID type (s=string, i=numeric, g=guid, b=opaque)
  • Identifier - OPC UA ID (tag as shown in opcua browser)
  • Tags - extra tags to be added to the output metric (optional)

Key OPC-UA metrics to monitor

The metrics that you collect from your endpoints using the OPC-UA Telegraf plugin will vary from device to device. They can include metrics like:

  • Instrument readings (flow rate, valve position, temperature)
  • Performance monitoring (units/hour, machine utilization vs. capacity, scheduled vs. unscheduled outages)
  • Environmental readings (weather, atmospheric conditions, groundwater contamination)
  • Production status (machine up/down, downtime reason tracking)

For more information, please check out the documentation.

Project URL   Documentation

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