POWERLINK Information Model

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Ethernet POWERLINK is a patent-free and manufacturer-independent communication system for hard real-time. Key benefits of this protocol include standardized device description files that make status information, parameter configurations, device characteristics and other relevant data available in transparent form on the network. Ethernet POWERLINK uses the same concepts as CANopen for object dictionaries, device descriptions and communication mechanisms.

The OPC UA POWERLINK Companion Specification was created by a joint working group of the OPC Foundation and the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG). It defines an OPC UA Information Model to represent the models from Ethernet POWERLINK. The OPC UA server functionality can represent one or more instances of POWERLINK object dictionaries. Therefore the server could for instance be implemented on a POWERLINK device to represent its local object dictionary, or it could be implemented as a gateway representing the object dictionaries of multiple POWERLINK devices.

Powerlink Capabilities

POWERLINK Communication Profile

URN:          https://opcfoundation.org/wiki/index.php/POWERLINK_Information_Model#POWERLINK_Communication_Profile


The OPC UA Information Model to represent the POWERLINK object dictionary is based on the concepts defined by the specification “OPC UA Part 100 / OPC UA for Devices”. It defines objects of the EPSG DS 301 and EPSG DS 302 standards for access by OPC UA clients. The specification also provides the scheme to expose any vendor- or profile-specific object dictionary in a standardized fashion.

Usage Considerations

  • Diagnostics and monitoring of POWERLINK devices by OPC UA clients
  • Reading/Writing of POWERLINK configuration
  • Access to process data by standard OPC UA mechanisms

POWERLINK Direct Access

URN:          https://opcfoundation.org/wiki/index.phpPOWERLINK_Information_Model#POWERLINK_Direct_Access


The feature “Direct Access” allows a client to access POWERLINK objects directly without the need to browse the OPC UA Information Model. This feature is based on the POWERLINK specific addressing information (Index / SubIndex) and enables access to all POWERLINK objects, also to objects which are not exposed by the Information Model.

Usage Considerations

  • Generic access to POWERLINK objects through implementations which are not aware of the vendor- or profile-specific objects
  • Reduced overhead when accessing objects using OPC UA subscriptions