The GEF Intellution OPC Client should
recover when an OPC server it connects to is turned off or
there is a connection issue.
2004 the most
current OPC Client 'IO Driver' is:
Dated approximately February 9,
GEF Intellution software is required for proper operation and
maintenance of the software.
There is a read me
file for the OPC Client driver that is included at the end of
The highlights of
the read me file include;
The OPC Client
should be stopped before importing, reloading, or generating a
If you shut down
iFIX before shutting down the OPC Client Power Tool, you will
not be able to restart iFIX. Shut down the OPC Client Power
Tool before restarting iFIX.
see section D1).
observations, tricks and tips:
- Remember to look
at the Configuration of the OPC Client
Menu OPTIONS, DEFAULT PATH, and Advanced tabs.
- The default path
should be set to the 'pdb' folder (if this is used with GEF
configuration file should be NODE.OPC (see read me file),
where node = node
configured as per
SCU. Also stop SAC on start.
- If you are
initially doing database development in iFix, you can leave
the Advanced Tab-
Autocreate 'ON', but generally this should be turned 'OFF',
data items in the
tree can appear with no real connection to an OPC server.
- ALWAYS try to
optimize the poll configurations (if possible) for the data
OPC driver is
different than other GEF Intellution IO drivers, but you can
groups, and ensure
that the OPC feature for asynchronous communication is used
(upgrading - do
not forget to un-install previous version)
- If you have
UPGRADED from a previous version of the OPC Client Driver
recommended NOT to
use the original configuration file, but PRIOR to upgrading
configuration (as CSV), and USE THIS CSV file to 'import'
into the new
- Some customers
have noticed that EXPORTING and IMPORTING in the same
version can clear up issues if 'corruption' is suspected.
- If the
configuration or application is really suspected to be
corrupt then the following
steps may be
indicating he can not connect to his OPC configuration
1. Shut fix down
2. Delete opc*.*
from fix root dir.
3. Delate *.opc
from pdb dir.
(reinstall) the opc client**
- During the
install process there may be a prompt regarding install
server or client? =
server also. The 'client' is the OPC client the 'server' is
that it is a server
to GEF Intellution
(and also OPC clients).
DCOM is a most
difficult issue to address in the world of OPC. That is when
the OPC Client is on a DIFFERENT machine than the OPC server.
The low maintenance, easy to solve method is to use new OPC
technology from a variety of suppliers called 'OPC Tunnels'
or 'OPC bridges'. This is a piece of software that resides
BOTH on the local PC of the OPC client, and on the remote OPC
Server. These two pieces of software talk to each other, and
the OPC client thinks it is talking to a local OPC server,
though it is not.
solution involves standard http, (xml) and SOAP protocols to
send data across, so DCOM is not an issue. There are several
vendors in Europe and
America for this
solution. CB Automation can help in the appropriate selection.
To tackle DCOM
there are many documents and applications available to help.
Trouble is there are many documents required. DCOM takes into
account security settings of users and applications on both
respective PCs, and sometimes if one property is changed (new
security policy from IT and 'head office' automatically sent
to all PCs) it can take hours to determine where the issue
originates. The basic application for Windows NT etc is called
Also there are
parts of the server software that may need to be installed on
the client side for the 'data name space' to be recognized.
This would be documented with the OPC server. Some terms for
this may be called 'opc proxy stubs'.
There is GEF
Intellution KB article I020061 that is one source.OPC, DCOM,
and Security White Paper
have to be configured correctly, and if the OPC Client, maybe
iFix, and the OPC Server on the other computer are started as
'Services' this adds another layer to the maintenance of the
To start the OPC
Client Driver manually, use the green arrow in the toolbar.
Select the Statistics button to verify communications. Bad
data quality is usually the result of an incorrect Item ID
syntax of if the particular item is not available. To verify
general connectivity to the server, check the statistics at
the server level in the OPC Client configuration tree to
verify that the server is running.
There is a server
log available to help look at the history of the OPC
communications. This is accessed by way of the 'event window'
This is a separate window, so look for this apart from the OPC
In order for the
IO Driver (OPC Client) to have a chance to obtain data from
the OPC server(s) it is talking to it is recommended to put
a delay on WSACTASK (upon iFix startup). This is documented in
the iFix help ebooks. WSACTASK.EXE D45, for
example for a 45 second delay. In some applications I have
seen this as high as 120.
If the OPC server
is suspected as being corrupt please check with that vendor.
Sometimes 're-registering' the server will solve a problem,
sometimes you may have to un-install and re-install (follow
Generally - also
review with the OPC server vendor on the most recent version
of the OPC server, to see if updates may address other issues.
iFix has its own alarming system and sends 'messages' and
notifications to the alarm locations. Only process alarms are
sent to the Operator Interface, but messages from the OPC
client can appear in other destinations. This may be helpful
in determination of issues. If an automated warning is
required, then a 'heartbeat' concept may be implemented
monitor an OPC data item and if there is no data, or the data
'flat lines' for a certain period of time.
Here is the README
File for the OPC Client Driver from GE Fanuc Intellution:
OPC Client Version 7.33 Release Notes 09/24/03
C. Known Issues
Starting the OPC Client
The OPC Client
driver requires the following software:
* Windows 2000
with Service Pack 2 or greater, Windows XP,
Windows NT 4.0
with Service Pack 5 or greater, or Windows Server 2003.
* The OPC Client
should be stopped before importing, reloading, or
* 7.x drivers no
longer use the Period field in Mission Control.
* The OPC Client
has an Overruns field in the Power Tool at the
group, and item statistics level. You
can use this field
as a troubleshooting tool to assist in
presence of overruns do not necessarily
problem. Any of the following conditions can cause
saturation on your network.
delays in the PLC.
message queues in the process hardware.
Please refer to
the OPC Client Help for more information on
overruns. You can
find information on overruns by displaying
statistics in the Power Tool, selecting the Overruns
pressing the F1 key.
* Do not install
or uninstall a new version of the OPC Client
while an old
version is running. Always stop and exit the driver
or uninstalling new version of the OPC Client.
C. KNOWN ISSUES
The OPC Client
driver has the following known issues:
* Analog Register
and Digital Register blocks in iFIX databases do not
exception-based processing. In addition, the OPC Client does
not support using
the Text block with exception-based processing.
* The OPC Client
does not support exception-based processing for
that reference items configured as data arrays.
* Do not overlap
data arrays when using RS-Linx v2.3 or greater. If you do
modification of arrays element may change elements
that you do not
intend to overwrite. Consequently, we recommend if
you require data
arrays to overlap, use RS-Linx v2.2.
* If you shut down
iFIX before shutting down the OPC Client Power Tool,
you will not be
able to restart iFIX. Shut down the OPC Client
Power Tool before
Only use the OPC
Client server window for troubleshooting.
When you are not
debugging a problem, disable all debug messages and
close the server
window. Leaving debug messages enabled or leaving
the OPC Client
server window open degrades driver performance.
If you experience
difficulty installing the OPC Client, refer to
sections for information on how to resolve the
STARTING THE OPC CLIENT
When you install
the OPC Client, the installation program creates
configuration file called nodename.OPC. FIX uses this
file when you
automatically start the server. If you subsequently
change the name of
your SCADA server after installing the OPC
server, FIX cannot
automatically start the server because the name
of the node does
not match the name of the configuration file. To
rename the configuration file to match the name of
your SCADA server.
For example, if you change the name of the
SCADA server from
SCADA1 to SCADA9, rename the configuration file
from SCADA1.OPC to
You must use the
latest Intellution Licensing software to avoid problems with
key checking when the OPC Client launches an Intellution OPC
Server. The Intellution Licensing software is available from
Fanuc support web
site at http://iglobalcare.gefanucautomation.com.