This lesson is part of the Tags in Ignition course. You can browse the rest of the lessons below.


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Creating OPC Tags


OPC Tags are the main tool you'll use to interact with device data in Ignition. Learn how OPC Tags are created in this lesson.

Video recorded using: Ignition 8.1


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[00:00] In this lesson we will talk about adding OPC tags through browsing or manually creating them. We've installed Ignition, created some device connections, and now we want to start interacting with some of the data points inside those devices. The Tag Browser here will show all of our available Ignition tags, but we need to create some first. The easiest way to create them is using the Tag Creator. You can open the Tag Creator by clicking on the plus icon in the upper left corner of the Tag Browser, and then selecting browse devices. When you do this you can see the Tag Creator shows up and it's got two sections here. One for the connected devices on the left, which will show all of your connected OPC Servers and allows you to browse into those Servers into any devices that you connected to. On the right you can see a list of all of your existing tags. To add tags, we'll go over to our Ignition OPC UA Server, expand this out, expand into the devices, and then you can see we have all the different devices set up with any tags inside of them. You can even expand all the way down to individual tags. Now, there aren't any values here because we aren't asking for the tag data yet. This is just a tree of all the browsable tags. Now you can add tags to Ignition by dragging tags from the Connected Devices section over to our Tag Provider on the right. Or, you can select them and hit the little icon in the center. I'll take the entire Sim device folder and drag it over, and you can see now it'll show up in the Tag Provider with all of the folders and all the tags inside of it. Once we have all these tags here, I can hit Apply down at the bottom or Okay. Now we can expand the folder in the Tag Browser and we can see all of our live values. These tag values are being fetched in one second rate which is the default for Ignition. We'll talk more about tag group rates in other videos. Now dragging an entire device into Ignition is a bad idea if you don't need all of the tags. Having thousands of tags that are unused will cause additional overhead for your network and devices that isn't necessary. This also means you'll have all the extra tags here in your Tag Browser, which can be cumbersome to work with. Instead, you should only have the tags that you need in your project to keep the workload light. We recommend creating folders and organizing your tags in an easy to understand structure. You can easily add folders to our tag structure in the Tag Browser or in the Tag Creator. For example, if I expand out my Dairy device and look in the Refrigeration folder, you can see that we have a few Towers here. If these are the only tags that we need from this device, then I can simply go to the plus icon in the upper right and click on new folder. I can give this folder a name, something like Towers, and click okay, and then you can see we have a new Towers folder. Now I can select both of my Towers and drag them into this new Towers folder. And you can see they'll show up in the Provider here. Now when I hit Okay or Reply at the bottom you can see that our Towers folder will show up in the Tag Browser, and now we have live values. Now the Connected Device History will show all of your connected devices but not all of the devices support tag browsing. Some Drivers won't and some devices won't. For example, Ignitions ModBus and Siemens Drivers don't support browsing. For those we'll have to manually add tags. Now you can manually add tags in the Tag Browser or in the Tag Creator and it works in the same way. All we have to do is click on the plus icon in the upper right and then click on this new standard tag. Now you can see it adds a tag here, and to modify this blank tag I can double click it or select the little edit icon on the right and then fill in whatever values I want. I'm going to start with a name, I'll call this tag Temp, I'll change my values source to be an OPC type. And then you can see when I select that we now have an OPC Server and an OPC Item Path. For my Server, I'll select the Ignition OPC UA Server, and then for my Item Path all I have to do is type in the path to that particular tag. Now every device type is different and you'll have to know what the Item Path is for your particular device. And there's lots of information in our user manual for all of Ignitions Drivers. Ignition's OPC UA Server requires us to start with a device name in square brackets. So, I'll type in ModBus, with those square brackets. Now because this is a ModBus device I want to read one of the holding registers, but my holding registers are available in Unit 1. So my OPC Item Path should look like something, should look something like this. 1.HR1 will give us Holding Register 1 from Unit 1. Now I can just click commit at the bottom, and then apply, and then you'll see our new temperature tag and we have a live value.

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