Real-Time Control with OPC Toolbox

This example shows how to implement an online model predictive controller application using the OPC client supplied with the OPC Toolbox™.

The example uses the Matrikon™ Simulation OPC server to simulate the behavior of an industrial process on Windows® operating system.

Download the Matrikon™ OPC Simulation Server from ""

Download and install the server and set it running either as a service or as an application.

This example needs OPC Toolbox™.

if ~mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    disp('The example needs OPC Toolbox(TM).')
The example needs OPC Toolbox(TM).

Establish a Connection to the OPC Server

Use OPC Toolbox commands to connect to the Matrikon OPC Simulation Server.

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    % Clear any existing opc connections.
    % Flush the callback persistent variables.
    clear mpcopcPlantStep;
    clear mpcopcMPCStep;
        h = opcda('localhost','Matrikon.OPC.Simulation.1');
    catch ME
        disp('The Matrikon(TM) OPC Simulation Server must be running on the local machine.')

Set up the Plant OPC I/O

In practice the plant would be a physical process, and the OPC tags which define its I/O would already have been created on the OPC server. However, since in this case a simulation OPC server is being used, the plant behavior must be simulated. This is achieved by defining tags for the plant manipulated and measured variables and creating a callback (mpcopcPlantStep) to simulate plant response to changes in the manipulated variables. Two OPC groups are required, one to represent the two manipulated variables to be read by the plant simulator and another to write back the two measured plant outputs storing the results of the plant simulation.

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    % Build an opc group for 2 plant inputs and initialize them to zero.
    plant_read = addgroup(h,'plant_read');
    imv1 = additem(plant_read,'Bucket Brigade.Real8', 'double');
    imv2 = additem(plant_read,'Bucket Brigade.Real4', 'double');
    % Build an opc group for plant outputs.
    plant_write = addgroup(h,'plant_write');
    opv1 = additem(plant_write,'Bucket Brigade.Time', 'double');
    opv2 = additem(plant_write,'Bucket Brigade.Money', 'double');
    plant_write.WriteAsyncFcn = []; % Suppress command line display.

Specify the MPC Controller Which Will Control the Simulated Plant

Create plant model.

plant_model = ss([-.2 -.1; 0 -.05],eye(2,2),eye(2,2),zeros(2,2));
disc_plant_model = c2d(plant_model,1);
% We assume no model mismatch, a control horizon 6 samples and
% prediction horizon 20 samples.
mpcobj = mpc(disc_plant_model,1,20,6);
mpcobj.weights.ManipulatedVariablesRate = [1 1];
% Build an internal MPC object structure so that the MPC object
% is not rebuilt each callback execution.
state = mpcstate(mpcobj);
y1 = mpcmove(mpcobj,state,[1;1]',[1 1]');
-->The "Weights.ManipulatedVariables" property of "mpc" object is empty. Assuming default 0.00000.
-->The "Weights.ManipulatedVariablesRate" property of "mpc" object is empty. Assuming default 0.10000.
-->The "Weights.OutputVariables" property of "mpc" object is empty. Assuming default 1.00000.
-->Assuming output disturbance added to measured output channel #1 is integrated white noise.
-->Assuming output disturbance added to measured output channel #2 is integrated white noise.
-->The "Model.Noise" property of the "mpc" object is empty. Assuming white noise on each measured output channel.

Build the OPC I/O for the MPC Controller

Build two OPC groups, one to read the two measured plant outputs and the other to write back the two manipulated variables.

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    % Build an opc group for MPC inputs.
    mpc_read = addgroup(h,'mpc_read');
    impcpv1 = additem(mpc_read,'Bucket Brigade.Time', 'double');
    impcpv2 = additem(mpc_read,'Bucket Brigade.Money', 'double');
    impcref1 = additem(mpc_read,'Bucket Brigade.Int2', 'double');
    impcref2 = additem(mpc_read,'Bucket Brigade.Int4', 'double');
    % Build an opc group for mpc outputs.
    mpc_write = addgroup(h,'mpc_write');
    additem(mpc_write,'Bucket Brigade.Real8', 'double');
    additem(mpc_write,'Bucket Brigade.Real4', 'double');
    % Suppress command line display.
    mpc_write.WriteAsyncFcn = [];

Build OPC Groups to Trigger Execution of the Plant Simulator & Controller

Build two opc groups based on the same external opc timer to trigger execution of both plant simulation and MPC execution when the contents of the OPC time tag changes.

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    gtime = addgroup(h,'time');
    time_tag = additem(gtime,'Triangle Waves.Real8');
    gtime.UpdateRate = 1;
    gtime.DataChangeFcn = {@mpcopcPlantStep plant_read plant_write disc_plant_model};
    gmpctime = addgroup(h,'mpctime');
    additem(gmpctime,'Triangle Waves.Real8');
    gmpctime.UpdateRate = 1;
    gmpctime.DataChangeFcn = {@mpcopcMPCStep mpc_read mpc_write mpcobj};

Log Data from the Plant Measured Outputs

Log the plant measured outputs from tags 'Bucket Brigade.Money' and 'Bucket Brigade.Money'.

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    mpc_read.RecordsToAcquire = 40;
    while mpc_read.RecordsAcquired < mpc_read.RecordsToAcquire
       fprintf('Logging data: Record %d / %d',mpc_read.RecordsAcquired,mpc_read.RecordsToAcquire)

Extract and Plot the Logged Data

if mpcchecktoolboxinstalled('opc')
    [itemID, value, quality, timeStamp, eventTime] = getdata(mpc_read,'double');
    title('Measured Outputs Logged from Tags Bucket Brigade.Time,Bucket Brigade.Money')
    xlabel('Time (secs)');