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OPC UA PubSub and Industrial Controller Redundancy


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation


Industrial controllers constitute the core of numerous automation solutions. Continuous control system operation is crucial in certain sectors, where hardware duplication serves as a strategy to mitigate the risk of unexpected operational halts due to hardware failures. Standby controller redundancy is a commonly adopted strategy for process automation. This approach involves an active primary controller managing the process while a passive backup is on standby, ready to resume control should the primary fail. Typically, redundant controllers are paired with redundant networks and devices to eliminate any single points of failure. The process automation domain is on the brink of a paradigm shift towards greater interconnectivity and interoperability. OPC UA is emerging as the standard that will facilitate this shift, with OPC UA PubSub as the communication standard for cyclic real-time data exchange. Our work investigates standby redundancy using OPC UA PubSub, analyzing a system with redundant controllers and devices in publisher-subscriber roles. The analysis reveals that failovers are not subscriber-transparent without synchronized publisher states. We discuss solutions and experimentally validate an internal stack state synchronization alternative.


author = {Bjarne Johansson and Olof Holmgren and Martin Dahl and H{\aa}kan Forsberg and Thomas Nolte and Alessandro Papadopoulos},
title = {OPC UA PubSub and Industrial Controller Redundancy},
month = {September},
year = {2024},
booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation},
url = {}