A variety of drivers
A basic tool of a control system is communication through drivers and
reliably. The variety of communication options and how easily or
complicated the communication functions are is indicative of the abilities of
the control system
‟s manufacturer and determines how efficiently and
productively the system can be used.
Figure 1: Communication through drivers and interfaces is essential for a control
COPA-DATA places great value on these basic proficiencies and has
communication options since the first version. To achieve this, each
connection is manufactured in-house
regardless of whether it is IEC
own driver specialists in the COPA-DATA labs are occupied solely in
relevant standards. This avoids unnecessary deviations of using third-party
providers, purchased libraries or superfluous interfaces and thus provides
the customer with perfect and efficient communication protocols.
With zenon, users receive drivers developed in-house that conform to
standards. With over 300 connection options, virtually all types of hardware
can be connected. This expertise guarantees that the product is always up-
to-date and enables us to react quickly to new developments. COPA-DATA
was the first supplier to provide its customers with a fully developed IEC
There is a separate zenon version for use in the energy industry, the zenon
Energy Edition. Support for safety-
related issues such as “Select before
Operate” or “File Transfer” ensures that switching is carried out safely and
that data cannot be lost.
A single control system for all environments
One advantage of zenon EE (Energy Edition) is that it also uses the drivers
from the zenon Standard Edition. That means that all drivers that were
primarily developed for industry are also available to the zenon EE. What
advantages would this have for your company?
zenon EE is a software solution for a wide range of possible applications.
Even devices that only work with an industry protocol and do not work with
an energy-specific protocol can be connected without any problem. For
example, protective devices that only communicate through Profibus DP
can be easily connected to zenon EE. The universal nature of zenon also
proves its value with the requirements of low voltage distribution facilities:
Every substation and every power station has low voltage distribution
facilities that manage the energy supply for its own requirements. The
switch positions are only very rarely provided by means of IEC or DNP
protocols. The control system must understand protocols such as Profibus
DP or Modbus to do this. Regulators or PLCs for auxiliary equipment use
mainly proprietary or industrial interfaces such as Profibus FMS.
Thanks to its diversity of drivers and wide range of communication
utility operations as the single control system. Many utility operations or
public services control and monitor not only electricity with their control
system, but also control and monitor other services such as water,
telecommunications, cable TV or traffic. zenon EE can connect to these
many different types of devices without any problems.
Figure 3: Perfect for utility operations and public services: zenon Energy Edition
routers and switches in telecommunication networking equipment can be
monitored. To control traffic lights, the Brodersen System 2000, for
example, is used; whilst different telecommunication protocols are used for
monitoring drinking water facilities. Therefore, only one single SCADA/HMI
system is necessary with zenon EE, which also provides all necessary
whatever the service.
Direct drivers offer many advantages; however zenon also supports all
current standards, which can be used as the control system
communication‟s „lowest common denominator‟. For example virtually every
device can be connected with OPC 2.0. With OPC UA Client, the user
additionally also has safe communication. zenon EE offers both variants.
Communication using Modbus protocol is also very popular and
widespread. zenon provides not only the well-known Modbus driver (serial
and TCP), but also Modbus Plus and Modbus RTU. As an extra for
substation control technology, zenon EE also features a special Modbus
Energy driver. This connects to devices (such as those from Areva), which
also send a time stamp with the Modbus telegram. The time stamp is
adopted in zenon and processed further.
Over 300 communication protocols cover virtually all connection
requirements in the industrial and energy field. However, should a driver be
missing, this is not a problem for you or the COPA-DATA developers. With
their extensive experience in driver development, any desired driver can be
quickly developed and integrated into zenon to meet your specific
For simple driver implementation, COPA-DATA also use straton. The soft
PLC integrated in zenon EE makes direct access to serial interfaces or
network interfaces possible. Using PLC function modules, simple ASCII
protocols or binary protocols can also be implemented as PLC code.
Naturally, your own interface application developments can also be
developed using VBA or .NET, which then send data direct to zenon
With zenon EE, you can connect to the most varied machines and devices
simply and directly. Data is transferred reliably and directly into the control
system and is available there for further processing, both as online data
and as historical data. Open interfaces also allow the development of your
own expansions. You can find out more about zenon and COPA-DATA at
or by sending an email to
© 2009 COPA-DATA GmbH
Distribution and/or reproduction of this document or parts thereof in any form is permitted
solely with the written permission of the COPA-DATA company. The technical data
contained herein have been provided solely for informational purposes and are not legally