How KEPServerEX Version 6.1 Advances Connectivity & IIoT Interoperability

Posted by Jeff Bates

I am excited to announce the release of KEPServerEX® Version 6.1! This release builds on the usability and performance enhancements of Version 6, while strengthening the industrial connectivity platform’s core functionalities and enabling further device connectivity across the plant floor. 

Version 6.1 includes new OPC UA Client driver enhancements, additional Configuration API capabilities, streamlined ThingWorx® and KEPServerEX integration, and two new solutions: a Siemens Plus Suite that incorporates Siemens-approved OPC UA functionality and a new driver supporting CODESYS Version 2.3 connectivity. These enhancements were designed to help bridge the gap between Operations and IT, for seamless enterprise-wide operational intelligence and optimized Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity. 

Last November’s KEPServerEX Version 6 release focused on updates and enhancements to meet your evolving industrial connectivity needs—across an enterprise-wide integrated connectivity layer or for a single standalone server. With Version 6.1, we’ve built upon Version 6 features—strengthening the core functionalities of our IIoT-friendly and enterprise-ready solution.

OPC UA Client Driver Updates

The OPC UA Client driver for KEPServerEX now supports complex data types and the OPC UA Nano profile, enabling top-tier and chip-based OPC UA server communications. These updates provide users full access to devices with embedded OPC UA servers, such as Siemens S7-1500 PLCs and next generation B&R devices, as well as devices that run the OPC UA Nano profile.

New Siemens Plus Suite 

The Siemens Plus Suite conveniently bundles all of Kepware’s Siemens drivers with the newly updated OPC UA Client driver. OPC UA is the only Siemens-approved method for third-party communication to S7-1500 PLCs, and Kepware’s OPC UA Client driver provides Siemens customers full access to their data—including structures and User Defined Types (UDTs).

The Siemens Plus Suite provides users with the world-class connectivity features and tools of KEPServerEX while retaining the Siemens S7-1500’s performance and security—as well as the built-in security mechanisms and industry standardization inherent to OPC UA.

Configuration API Updates

The REST-based Configuration API released in KEPServerEX Version 6 enables users to remotely apply programmatic changes to the KEPServerEX configuration via third-party client applications.

The Configuration API now supports the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, enabling users to remotely Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) configuration objects. The Configuration API has also been enhanced to support access to the Event Log, enabling users to remotely diagnose server connections for troubleshooting or informational purposes without the KEPServerEX configuration client.

New CODESYS Ethernet Driver

The new CODESYS Ethernet driver for KEPServerEX provides seamless connectivity to devices running CODESYS Version 2.3, to provide MES, SCADA, HMI systems, and other data collection and analysis tools access to real-time industrial data. Features of this new driver include:

  • Real-time data access to devices running CODESYS V2.3 (read/write connectivity)
  • Automatic tag generation directly from the device
  • Support for arrays and strings
  • Support for Symbolic Addressing
  • Ability to diagnose any issues with connectivity based on seamless integration with the CODESYS API
  • German localization

This driver is the first step towards full connectivity to all versions of the CODESYS Control Runtime engine. Connectivity to devices running CODESYS Version 3 is in development for future releases. For more information, or to take part in market evaluation for this upcoming functionality, please visit our Version 3 Support for the CODESYS Ethernet Driver Market Evaluation page.

Mitsubishi Ethernet Driver and Omron NJ Ethernet Driver Updates

Users can now modify read block sizes and group writes together within the Mitsubishi Ethernet driver for KEPServerEX, enabling faster read and write operations. The driver also now fully supports L and QnA Series devices. The Omron NJ Ethernet for KEPServerEX now includes faster read performance and support for NX Series devices. 

Enhanced ThingWorx® and KEPServerEX Integration

IIoT- or smart manufacturing-enabled enterprises can now seamlessly map tags within KEPServerEX to properties on Things within the ThingWorx IoT Platform. These enhancements enable users to quickly and easily find and utilize the specific data they need, when they need it.

With Version 6.1, ThingWorx and KEPServerEX users can now:

  • View and manage all instances of KEPServerEX connected to the ThingWorx platform.
  • Browse all channels, devices, tag groups, and advanced plug-ins within KEPServerEX.
  • Select tags of interest and create a new Thing with those tags as properties. These tags can be immediately bound and start streaming data to ThingWorx at a configurable rate.
  • View which Things are bound to tags within a given instance of KEPServerEX.

Learn More

To learn more about all the features, enhancements, and updates to KEPServerEX Version 6.1, please watch the "KEPServerEX Version 6.1 Release Webinar" today. Download a free trial of Version 6.1 to explore the updates for yourself, and please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Watch the V6.1 Release Webinar