IEN Europe: MatrikonOPC is owned by Honeywell, but operates as a separate entity. What kind of support does your company offer to Honeywell's products?
Mr. Kominek: Our staff are specialized in connectivity and have a deep understanding of the Honeywell portfolio connectivity, as well as many other vendors. Being part of Honeywell allows us to leverage specialists of specific Honeywell products for more complex or advanced solutions.
IEN Europe: What are the main challenges MatrikonOPC usually deal with when it comes to connectivity and communication within industrial networks?
Mr. Kominek: One of the biggest challenges in the industry is aging equipment in the field. It is very difficult to be able to maintain and keep this older equipment up and running while trying to meet today's standards of interconnectivity. Because there are so many different devices within a single facility, it can be a challenge to ensure they are able to communicate with each other. OPC makes this possible through a standard layer of communication.
IEN Europe: Can you give us more details about the OPC technology standard?
Mr. Kominek: OPC is used to answer one of the automation industry's biggest challenges - how to communicate between devices, controllers, and/or applications without getting caught up in the usual custom driver-based connectivity problems. It has been around since the late 90s and is now the de facto standard for interconnectivity in the industrial sector. OPC was previously based on the Microsoft COM/DCOM technology, but now OPC Unified Architecture (UA) has been introduced the benefits of OPC extend to any device that has a microchip.
IEN Europe: What does the MatrikonOPC training program consist of? How do you arrange it?
Mr. Kominek: The MatrikonOPC training program consists of many different levels. We will go through a very high level overview of the technology and how everything works, to a much deeper dive and hands on implementation of systems in the higher level courses. It is a great program for both the high level manager all the way down to the field engineer. These training courses are available around the world and availability can be found online, while onsite training is also available.
For more details, visit www.matrikonopc.com/training/index.aspx.