OPC Africa is a member-driven, user-orientated organisation that aims to drive the adoption and understanding of OLE for Process Technology (OPC) in Africa, with primary focus on South Africa.
OPC technology is managed and promoted by the OPC Foundation, a non-profit, member-driven organisation based in the USA, with sub-committees previously limited to Europe, Japan and China. The OPC Foundation provides a wealth of information, tutorials and workshops to its members to develop understanding of and confidence in OPC. Geographically, this has meant these benefits were difficult for African members to realise. As a result, African members have frequently not been able to justify OPC Foundation membership, although there are numerous users and developers of OPC interfaces, especially in South Africa. In turn, scepticism of and detraction from OPC in the region is prevalent due to:
- Limited understanding of OPC by end-users and implementers. Lack of training and knowledge to deal with network/OS security issues.
- Poor first-hand experiences, which are often not unjustified, due to the lack of developer compliance to the OPC interface standards.
These problems are largely remedied through:
- User/Implementer and Developer training
- Product compliance certification and interoperability testing.
All the benefits and services available overseas to end-users and developers are now accessible locally through OPC Africa and the OPC Competence Centre.