MatrikonOPC is one of the first vendors to have its product go through the OPC certification process. Certification for the company’s Matrikon OPC Universal Connectivity Server is expected to wrap up soon. The company shares its experience on the certification process.
“It was obvious they [Arizona test lab technicians] were experienced working with the specification and knew what was required to perform the testing,” said Sean Leonard, VP OPC Products.
Leonard said the test process was smooth throughout. “The pre-testing phase helped identify and resolve some fine points on the interpretation of the specification early on, before testing even started. This made pre-testing a valuable part of the process”, he said.
Once Universal Connectivity Server passed the pre-testing stage, MatrikonOPC shipped it to the Arizona lab for testing and certification, where it underwent the full suite of testing. Leonard described a very hands-on approach whereby the OPC Foundation’s engineering staff worked very closely with the MatrikonOPC product development team throughout the testing and certification process.
“Setting up the test is a rigorous process, so it was nice to work with folks who understood what was going on - it made testing easy,” Leonard said.
The value of certification for suppliers
For MatrikonOPC, the value of certification was crystal clear from the beginning. “Our business is OPC, and our value is delivering universal connectivity and maximum interoperability,” said Leonard.
“The first step is compliance, but compliance by itself is not enough. To truly deliver on the promise of interoperability it is necessary to get a respected third party to actually verify that the OPC products perform as expected. Having a central body like the OPC Foundation running its tests against all vendors’ products provides a common interoperability baseline that each vendor can be measured against.” said Leonard.
“The OPC Foundation has done a fabulous job providing the industry with a mechanism for verifying product connectivity and interoperability,” Leonard added. The testing and certification process “sends a strong message to the people who get value from the vendor’s products—the end users. That message is: certification assures interoperability.”