What is OPC UA?
Maple Systems is proud to announce support for OPC UA to enable a simple and effective solution for users requiring communication between on-site machines and upper layer management / SCADA systems. This proven technology is easy to implement and well supported by SCADA and enterprise management software. The OPC UA feature allows users to leverage our extensive library of protocol drivers to connect new or existing equipment to a secure, reliable management network.
OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is the next generation of OPC, featuring cross-platform interoperability, high security, and proven reliability. Developed by the OPC Foundation, it is a machine to machine communication protocol for the industrial automation industry and retains all the core functions of OPC, effectively reducing the cost of system integration and allowing for data transfer between the onsite machines and upper layer management systems while still being firewall friendly.
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In this architecture, our cMT Smart HMIs are not just for operating machines and collecting/managing data, but also play a key role in the IIoT as a communication gateway. The upper management layer can use OPC UA clients from vendors such as Kepware, InduSoft, Inductive Automation, Wonderware, etc., to connect with a cMT HMI, Gateway, or Server configured as an OPC UA server, through it allowing access to more than 300 brands of PLC and controllers.

OPC UA is a communication protocol supported by many SCADA, MES, and ERP software providers. OPC UA uses a Client/Server architecture. This protocol has built-in security with signed and encrypted data transfer using state-of-the-art encryption algorithms. Data is organized into objects, making it easy to access and quickly understand what the data represents, and how to use it.
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In the following example of an OPC Unified Architecture, we are running Indusoft Web Studio as our SCADA software on a Maple System Industrial Panel PC. The Panel PC is the OPC UA client and is used to access data in the OPC UA Server, running on a supported cMT device, to receive data updates from any of the PLCs connected to the cMT HMI. No additional Web Studio drivers required.

In this environment, the cMT series with a built-in OPC UA server plays a key role as a communication gateway allowing OPC UA clients to access HMI or PLC data by subscribing to tags to receive real-time updates.
This new architecture ensures seamless device integration in any application to provide a standard communication interface, as it integrates real time data from different devices.
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OPC UA Features:
  • Cross-Platform: OPC UA uses standard TCP/IP to communicate, enabling OPC UA clients to operate on Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android operating systems.
  • High Security: OPC UA uses certificates to authenticate clients and encryption to protect the connection. This ensures that your data is protected and maintains confidentiality and integrity.
  • High Reliability: OPC UA uses configurable timeout settings, error checking, and allows for automatic recovery from communication failures.
  • Tag Structure: OPC UA transmits all available tags on connection which can be clearly displayed and browsed, freeing you from memorizing addresses.
  • Subscribe Mechanism: OPC UA clients can subscribe to tag addresses to receive real-time updates from the cMT OPC UA server when data on the factory machine changes.
The cMT HMI series can be configured as an OPC UA server. The OPC UA server feature is included in the cMT Gateways, cMT Touch Screen HMIs, and the cMT-SVR-OPCUA model, and is available as an add-on option for existing cMT-SVR installations. Advanced HMIs can act as an OPC UA Client, but do not support OPC UA Server functionality. OPC UA licenses are purchased through Maple Systems.
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ModelsOPC UA license included with unitPurchase of OPC UA License required for activation
Implementing OPC UA frees engineering resources to do the more important work of running your company. With real-time updates, information can be easily and securely exchanged between diverse platforms to allow seamless integration of those platforms without costly and time-consuming software development
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Licensing a cMT-SVR/cMT-FHD
To use the OPC UA Server feature on cMT-SVR-100/102/200/202, and cMT-FHD models, you must purchase a license for each device. This is a one-time purchase that is valid for the life of the product.

Note: cMT3000 and cMT-Gateway products do not require an additional license. The cMT-SVR-OPCUA comes with the license already installed.

To purchase the license, please contact Maple Systems sales support at 425-745-3229 or email us at sales@maplesystems.com.

After you have purchased an OPC UA license, you will receive a document from Maple Systems that contains the license serial number and activation code. You must download this information to the target cMT device using EBPro, in order to activate the license. This download only needs to happen once.

Steps to activate OPC UA Server license on a cMT-SVR or cMT-FHD:
  1. Get the document you received from Maple Systems which contains the license serial number and activation code.
    Product Name: cMT-SVR
    License Serial: OPCAxxxxxx
    Activation code: 1234-1234-1234-1234
  2. Retrieve the Hardware key from the cMT device. To do this, connect your cMT-SVR or cMT-FHD to your local Ethernet network and start your web browser.
  3. Type http:/// into the URL address bar. Note: The default IP address for the LAN2 port is The LAN1 port defaults to DHCP. For more information on how to configure your cMT device, please consult the cMT Quick Start Guide (P/N 10101026).
  4. The Hardware key is located on the EasyAccess 2.0 page: OPC UA Server Setup Overview 15 OPC UA Server Setup Overview 15
  5. Go to https://account.ihmi.net/opcua/activate.php to activate:
  6. Type in the Hardware Key and the Activation Code. Then click the Activate button.
  7. A confirmation window displays with the information above listed. If the information is accurate, click the Yes, activate button. Note: Once this step is completed, the activation cannot be undone.
  8. The cMT-SVR or cMT-FHD identified by the hardware key is now activated. But to use the OPC UA feature on the cMT device, we must download the “opcua.lic” license file to the cMT device. Click the Download License Key button to save the “opcua.lic” file to your computer. Note: The license key is non-transferrable and valid only for the cMT device with the same hardware key.
  9. Your browser may block your download because of a new pop-up window. If so, follow the browser’s instruction to allow ‘account.ihmi.net’ to show pop-ups so that you can download the file. For example, if using Google Chrome, simply click the icon on the right of the URL address bar, and then click the blue link from the dialog.
  10. You can now transfer the downloaded opcua.lic license file to the cMT device using EBPro.
    1. Start EBPro and open your cMT project.
    2. Click Tools->Download to display the Download window.
    3. Check the Use OPC UA license option and link to the opcua.lic file you downloaded:
    4. Click the Download button.
You are now able to enjoy the features of OPC UA Server on your cMT-SVR or cMT-FHD. The license file only needs to be downloaded to the unit once before use, unless you reset your unit to factory defaults.

If you lose your opcua.lic file, you can go back to the activation website page (https://account.ihmi.net/opcua/activate.php), enter the hardware key and activation code, and redownload the license key again.

For more information on how to implement OPC UA on a Maple cMT model, refer to the OPC-UA Set-up Overview.