Modernizing Kepware’s OPC UA Tunnel: Why We’re Excited About Our New UA Gateway

Written by: Thomas Gaudet
7/24/2023

Read Time: 5 min

The latest version of our leading industrial connectivity software is now available!

As we transition through another release cycle, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on another successful year for Kepware. World-class industrial connectivity enabling digital thread, the launch of Kepware+ (our first hybrid-SaaS offering), and a strong focus on core product architecture designed for secure, standardized, and seamless integration of industrial systems are just a few of the reasons why Kepware continues to lead in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) and smart manufacturing space.

With each release, our goal is to continuously expand our capabilities and provide important new features for both our long-standing customers and those who are just starting their digital transformation journey. What’s most exciting for our team? Those features are designed to unlock valuable business solutions that can scale with our customers’ needs.

The new and updated features in Kepware’s summer release will help you take advantage of more robust, secure and efficient OPC communication when connecting PLCs on the factory floor to OT and IT applications across the enterprise.

OPC UA Gateway & Kepware+

For enterprises that need to bridge the gap between different OPC UA servers, the new OPC UA Gateway facilitates streamlined data flow, enabling namespace aggregation, federation and securing of structured data throughout the enterprise, exclusively configured via Kepware+. With the UA gateway, users can visualize server namespaces in a much more streamlined way. Federated browsing ensures security and, what used to take dozens of clicks can now be accomplished with only a few. Kepware’s UA Gateway provides a level of enhanced security for industrial operations with improved encryption technologies. Combined with Kepware+, managing security and federated data access just got easier.

  • Modernized capabilities for OPC UA data integrated with Kepware Server and configured by Kepware+
  • OPC UA tunneling to enable security focused use-cases across OT networks
  • Many-to-many architecture for OPC UA devices, servers and client applications
  • Namespace aggregation of downstream servers and devices
  • Federated “browse” through access to OPC UA data types
  • Supports “on-the-fly” changes to configuration while maintaining connectivity with downstream devices or servers

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Siemens S7 Plus Ethernet Driver

Secure access to password or certificate-protected Siemens PLCs via the Siemens S7 Plus Ethernet Driver. With the latest enhancements users can connect to S7-1200 and S7-1500 devices while leveraging the most up-to-date device security.

  • Access to password and/or certificate-protected devices (S7-1200, S7-1500)
  • Support for devices programmed with TIA Portal v16 through v18
  • Support for a variety of data types, including array read/write and ATG for targeted types

Universal Device Driver

Performance enhancements to reduce requests to the device, improve throughput from a device, process tags faster, or obtain similar data at the same time check out our enhancements to Kepware’s scriptable driver, Universal Device Driver.

  • Support for bulk tags which allows multiple tags to be provided together
  • Overall enhanced performance for transaction requests
  • Sample Profile Library designed by Kepware Solution Engineers
  • Quick-start instructions and sample code are included with the driver

Additional Driver Updates

  • Security updates and enhancements to vital areas of the server including third party components like OpenSSL
  • Configuration API can be enabled during installation by administrators to reduce steps in key workflows including connecting to Kepware+
  • Support for expanded logic to publishing behavior for MQTT and REST Agents inside the IOT Gateway to enable only sending updates when tag data has changed
  • Torque Tool addressing now supports MID140, enabling execution of dynamic job requests
  • Fanuc Focas support for cnc_rdprogdir3 which enables writing Program Numbers to delineate and monitor part changeovers

This release makes Kepware better than ever, with exciting improvements to the tools you use every day, and a future roadmap that will enable best-in-class industrial connectivity for your enterprise.

For further details, please visit our What’s New page.

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Tags: Kepware Product Update Connected Devices SaaS Industrial Connectivity

About the Author

Thomas Gaudet

As the Director of Product Management for the Kepware business at PTC, Tom brings seven years of engineering experience to his position. With the goal of expanding Kepware functionality to support enterprise organizations, he uses a pragmatic approach to fully understanding market initiatives and requirements. Tom is passionate about technology and learning how organizations collect, manage, and store data, and the implications it has on business. He enjoys sharing ideas and working with customers across a variety of industry verticals to find innovative solutions for their challenges.