The open-source data visualization tool Grafana has a rich set of features to visualize data in dashboards with different widgets. This includes history trend graphs, gauges, tables, and custom images with properties bound to data that can be read from various data sources. However, it does not include a ready to use data source plugin that connects to industrial process control data sources such as PLCs. This confidential plant uses different PLCs, but it is not possible to access their data from Grafana.
ogamma Visual Logger for OPC from One-Way Automation is designed to solve this problem by connecting to OPC UA Servers while storing collected data in different time-series databases, including InfluxDB (which is currently being used by the Company.) Thereafter, Grafana reads historized data using existing data source plugins. ogamma also acts as a REST backend for existing plugin SimpleJson, with the ability to read data values directly from OPC UA Servers without intermediately storing the data in a time-series database.
Using this approach, PLC data via OPC UA interface can now be accessed in Grafana. To visualize the status of pallets, a custom graphical image is created using draw.io. Using the FlowCharting plug-in, the image is rendered in Grafana with properties like a box color, which is bound to values coming from OPC UA Servers via SimpleJson plugin and ogamma Visual Logger for OPC.