Enabling an Industrial IoT Revolution
Fig 2: Everything integrated in a seamless integrated engineering tool and user interface for OT to IT application development.
- Extensive features for convenient project engineering and commissioning of automation applications, such as data monitoring, scanning for application errors (debugging), and changing the application during operation (online change).
- Optional add-on modules for methodical application development: UML, version management, static code analysis, profiling, and test automation Configuration and commissioning of the most important industrial fieldbus systems or manufacturer-specific I/O systems.
- Seamless integration of optional add-on components for project engineering: Visualization, motion control / CNC / robotics, safety modules.
- Installation, maintenance and training required only for a single user interface: minimization of engineering effort.
Seamless CODESYS Integration with Cloud connectivity capabilities
In order to be able to read and write CODESYS variables in WebAccess, CODESYS use a PLC Handler API for seamless integration with WebAccess. CODESYS variables can be imported into WebAccess/SCADA project manager, which provides a Codesysxml.exe that will create a XML file, including all CODESYS variables. WebAccess will import this XML file to create tags and finally provide this data into visualization.
The CODESYS RTE and CODESYS Gateway software must be installed on the SCADA node. The WebAccess Project node can be on the same platform with the SCADA node. The driver uses the GatewayV3 mode and IP Address = 127.0.0.1 to communicate with a CODESYS soft PLC. In this case the User only needs to create a project, add a SCADA node, import CODESYS variables and then download to run the project. An unlimited number of SCADA Nodes can be connected to a Project node. For redundancy purposes multiple SCADA Nodes can be connected to a single CODESYS device to ensure a consistent data communication from the controller device to the private or public Cloud.
The Issue of Big Data processing
IoT platforms produce an increasing amount of raw data from sensors, actuators and other intelligent OT devices and controllers. The majority of Industrial IoT devices are connected at the edge of the network, which is the place where OT and IT physically converge. To reduce the communication bandwidth requirements, the data that OT devices generate must be mined and to be distillated what is useful to the enterprise and then forwarded to cloud computing systems for big-data analysis.
Most of today’s OT assets, like individual sensors and devices, have neither the ability nor the computing power required to process and filter the data collected. More intelligent OT assets, like PLCs, are designed for single-task automation functions and have not been designed to share the results of manufacturing data with other systems. For this reason, current IoT applications do require edge computing devices that act as data gateway between OT assets and the IT cloud, based on the MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) protocol.
To eliminate additional investments for the edge computing devices, WISE-PaaS provides an efficient and selective data transfers to the cloud. Data coming from the Codesys controller device can simply defined at the OT level by an integrated Operator interface in the CODESYS controller. This feature provides an easy and simple way to prepare useful and pre-selected IO data or controller variables (tags) from the CODESYS environment into the cloud, without additional development efforts.
- Supporting various distributed wireless and wired data acquisition networks for sensor or controller data collection.
- Real time HTML5 based dashboards Displays for local data visualization capabilities.
- Direct real-time data acquisition of the soft PLC controllers to a cloud level without the requirements for additional edge computing devices.
- Easy and simple way for selecting sensor data and controller variables for enterprise big data analyses.
- Expansion of existing systems in the field as an IoT gateway.
- Wide range of selected HW platforms from sensor connectivity to industrial grade edge computing devices and industrial grade high performance servers from a single supplier source.
- High level of data security, due to integrated TLS encryption capabilities.
By eliminating the gap between OT and IT and by offering a full product range of solution ready platforms of hardware and engineering software for industrial IOT applications, Advantech is enabling IT/OT System Integrators to implement fast and easy IoT & Industry 4.0 solutions. Industrial manufacturing companies are embracing smart technologies and the connected world, which are changing the face of the modern factory more dramatically than ever before. It’s only now that IT and OT departments have the cloud infrastructure and the communications networks in place to really make a lot of this integration happen.
About the Authors: Dipl. Ing. Paul Diepstraten: Industrial IOT Product Sales Director and Daniel Lu Sun, MBA, B.Eng, Product Sales manager IOT Sense and BDM for Energy & Environment of Advantech Europe BV