OPC Server redundancy for external clients

Hello community!

I am analysing the possibility to use Ignition as OPC server for our thirs party MES. So basically, the MES would sit on top of Ignition.

1- Is it a good idea? Does someone use Ignition as OPC Server like this? I mean as an OPC gateway for production software.

2- If our Ignition gateway is redundant, how will the redundancy works for the client side (the MES)?

Thanks.

Well, Ignition itself uses its own OPC server in production…

But if you’re asking if anybody uses just Ignition OPC UA server and nothing else, as say an alternative to Kepware, I’d venture it’s not very common.

The client would need to be programmed to fail over to the backup server when its connection to OPC UA server on the master failed.

Wow very fast answer. I really like this forum that give us a direct access to Ignition’s developpers.

Thank you very much.

I’d like to have more comments from other users if possible.

I always seem to be the exception to the rule. :laughing:

We’re a ‘hub-and-spoke’ architecture here, with most of the spokes being strictly OPC. At the beginning, I needed to connect some legacy software to it until I could port those applications over to Ignition.

It was actually more complicated to get users to stop using the legacy software. :wink:

My spokes aren’t redundant, but Kevin is right in that your MES software will need to have a failover option.

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We use ignition as a bridge to our MES, we currently dont have the redundancy installed, but we are working toward getting it in place.

We also use kepware for some of our legacy equipment, but kepware is connected to Ignition.

By “spoke”, you mean other OPC clients that connect to the Ignition’s OPC server. Am I right?

Can you comment a little more about the performance and reliability?

All comment will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Do you have a 24/7 facility? Can you comment more about the performance and reliability?
Thanks.

Yes we have a 24/7 factory, we haven’t had any performance issue, we have around 20 assembly lines that rely on communication, on each assembly line we have a bunch of stations (quantity varies per line some lines have 15ish test stations, others have 60ish stations) each station requests permissions to test units, gets recipes and then stores results at the end of the test from/to our MES.

At some point all of them were running from a single Ignition server, but due to architectural changes we decided to split into different servers per product families, now the servers arent stressed at all.

We are looking into redundancy to be able to do PM to servers, like patches and updates required by our IT deparment, also ensure that if one of the servers dies we have another one ready to kick in.

  • Starting out, the legacy applications were, for intents, another hub that connected to the OPC spokes.
  • The second phase was to move the legacy app to point to the Ignition hub, to make it another spoke.
  • The third phase was to port the legacy app over to ignition, and remove that spoke altogether.
  • The final phase, since everything is now on an Ignition platform, was to move from OPC to the Gatway Networking. The OPC performance had always been good, but using the gateway network is even better.

We’re a relatively low tag count, about 10,000 or so.