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Configuring & Using OPCLink with the RSLinx OPC Server Under Windows NT 4.0

Before you continue, make sure you have the following:

Wonderware OPCLink version 7.2.0.8

Rockwell Software RSLinx OEM release minimum, version 2.10.176 (release 2.10.118 with service pack 2b applied - this is highly recommended for ControlLogix use)

Note It is recommended that you use the most current versions that are available for both programs since this Note is based on results obtained with them. If a previous version of OPCLink was installed, be sure to remove it using the Add/Remove program in the Windows NT Control Panel and then delete the OPCLink folder (normally located in Program Files\FactorySuite\IOServer). This will remove old configuration files that may not be compatible between versions of OPCLink.

This assumes that you have properly configured your Allen-Bradley Processor(s) communications. If you run into issues concerning the RSLinx software, contact Rockwell Software’s Technical Support (http://support.software.rockwell.com/)

Rockwell Software RSLinx Program--DDE/OPC Setup and Configuration

1. Start the RSLinx program. Verify that the configured drivers are running and that they recognize the devices connected to it. If it is correctly configured, the driver should have a status of "Running," as shown in Figure 1, and the attached/detected PLC icon should be displayed, as shown in Figure 2.

F IGURE 1. D RIVER C ONFIGURATION

FIGURE 1. DRIVER CONFIGURATION

F IGURE 2. I CON T HAT S HOWS THE PLC IS A TTACHED /D

FIGURE 2. ICON THAT SHOWS THE PLC IS ATTACHED/DETECTED

2. On the RSLinx menu bar, click DDE/OPC. Scroll down to Topic Configuration and click on it. The DDE/OPC Topic Configuration dialog box should appear (Figure 3).

F IGURE 3. T HE DDE/OPC T OPIC C ONFIGURATION D IALOG B OX 3.

FIGURE 3. THE DDE/OPC TOPIC CONFIGURATION DIALOG BOX

3. Click on New and enter a meaningful Topic name. With the Topic name highlighted, find the PLC that you wish to communicate with under the Data Source tab. In this example, we are going to communicate with the ControlLogix processor (1756-L1, CL5550) attached to the 1756_TCP-1, Ethernet driver. The RSLinx software will auto-configure the DDE/OPC topic with the detected configuration and settings.

4. Click on Apply and the following acknowledgement should appear (Figure 4). Click Yes.

configuration and settings. 4. Click on Apply and the following acknowledgement should appear (Figure 4). Click

FIGURE 4. CONFIGURATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

5. Verify that the DDE/OPC Topic Configuration is correct. To do this, examine the entries under the Data Collection and Advanced Communication tabs (Figures 5 and 6).

In the Data Collection tab, check the Processor Type and the Optimize Poke Packets.

Note The Optimize Poke Packets checkbox is enabled for selection when the defined Processor type is of the PLC 5 or SLC 500 family. When checked, this will better optimize the pokes, especially with a FastDDE-aware program such as the OPClink.

especially with a FastDDE-aware program such as the OPClink. F IGURE 5. T HE D ATA

FIGURE 5. THE DATA COLLECTION TAB

In the Advanced Communications tab, check the Communication Driver and the Processor Configuration.

Note Processor Configuration entries will vary depending on the Communication Driver and its attached device attributes.

the Communication Driver and its attached device attributes. F IGURE 6. T HE A DVANCED C

FIGURE 6. THE ADVANCED CONFIGURATION TAB

6. Click Done when you are finished.

Wonderware OPCLink Program--Topic Configuration

1. Start the OPCLink program. On the Menu Bar, select Configure/Topic Definition. The following dialog box should appear (Figure 7).

F I G U R E 7. T OPIC D EFINITION D IALOG B OX

FIGURE 7. TOPIC DEFINITION DIALOG BOX

2. Enter a meaningful name in the Topic Name entry box. Leave the Node Name entry box blank if the OPCLink resides on the same PC as the RSLinx OPC server.

Note If the OPC Server is remote on another node, it is recommended that you have the OPCLink reside on that node.

3. In the OPC Server Name, select the RSLinx OPC Server in the drop down listbox.

4. Since the RSLinx program does not support the Browse function, a manual entry must be made in the OPC Path. In this case, the path is the DDE/OPC Topic defined in the RSLinx program encased by the " [ ] " characters. So in our example, we have configured the topic "opc5550" in RSLinx and therefore the path would be "[opc5550]".

Note More information regarding this can be found in the Rockwell Technical Support Library on their website. Search for Technote ID A1019, "Using RSLinx with an OPC client that does not support "Access Path" ".

5. Use the following defaults for the items below the OPC Path. This Tech Note only briefly covers these items. For more information and advanced usage of these items, see the online Help in the server.

o Update Interval – Normally set to 1000 msec. Stagger these values when using two or more topics.

o

Enable Access to Update Interval – Leave unchecked.

o

Poke Asynchronously – Checked by default.

o

Refresh After Poke – Leave unchecked.

o

Poke Mode – In Transition mode by default.

o

Lifecheck Settings – Leave unchecked.

6. Click OK to close. On the initial configuration or for new files, you will be prompted for a file name and a directory to save the file. This will be the configuration file that OPCLink uses to store topic configurations and settings. Click Save after you enter the information.

Configuring WWClient to Check OPC Communications

1. Make sure that RSLinx and OPCLink programs have been started. Then, start the WWClient utility by selecting Start/Programs/Wonderware FactorySuite/Common.

2. On the menu bar, click Connect. Enter the data required for connecting to the OPCLink (Figure 8):

o

Node – Leave blank or enter "localhost" if the OPCLink resides in the same computer as the RSLinx OPC server. Otherwise, type in the remote node name.

o

Application – Enter OPCLink.

o

Topic - Enter the topic configured in the OPCLink.

o

Connection Type – Select DDE or Suitelink (IOT).

3. Click on the Connect button. A successful initial OPC connection yields a display on both WW Client and the OPCLink (Figure 8). Click on Done to close the Connect dialog box.

FIGURE 8. CONFIGURING THE OPC LINK CONNECTION

4. Next, on the WWClient menu bar, click on Item. The Item dialog box should appear, showing a selection in the Connections display box (figure 9).

FIGURE 9. THE ITEM DIALOG BOX

5. In the Item section, enter a valid item name for the processor type. For this example, we will use a "native" file type created from within the ControlLogix processor. The item name must be preceded by one of the following prefixes, depending on its data type:

o

i - for integer values

o

d – for discrete values

o

r – for real/floating values

o

m – for messages/string values

Note "Native" file types refer to the Allen Bradley User Defined/Pre Defined Tags created using the RSLogix 5000 programming software. See the program’s online help or contact Rockwell Software Technical Support for more information on creating these file types.

Also, not all item names may be accessible in their respective data types. This is most apparent in the earlier version of RSLinx with the Discrete data types (i.e. I, O, and B files). Try using the "I" prefix when accessing these data types should you have problems. One other note, the "dot" (.) separator may not work in all cases. Should this happen, use the "forward slash" (/) as the bit separator.

6. Select the data type, which is Integer in our example, in the drop down listbox and click the AdviseEx button. A successful DDE/Suitelink connection will yield another entry in the WWClient showing the item name and its current value posted to the immediate right.

Other successful connections will be displayed on the OPCLink window (0 value under Errors) and in the RSLinx program (under Active DDE/OPC Topic/Items List). Figure 10 below displays this as well as connections to other processor types (PLC 5 and SLC 500).

FIGURE 10. SUCCESSFUL CONNECTIONS IN THE OPC WINDOW