Full connectivity on the shopfloor
07/15/2021 by Christoph Voigt, Lead Marketing | IIoT
The digitization of machines and production lines always begins with the provision of production data. You need to enable your plants and check how the data can be transmitted. Our new cooperation with Cybus can help here.
Which production data are you interested in and which are already available?
The first step and the key to more transparency, understanding and more efficient plant operation, is an overview of the data or data streams that are relevant for you and your production process. This will enable you to proceed in a structured manner if you want to gather this data in an IIoT platform, and use the data specifically to optimize your processes.
So first think about what data you need and from which sources they come. This could be, for example:
- Machine and operating data as well as control commands
- Quality data from measuring and testing devices
- Environmental data such as air temperature in factory buildings
- Peripheral data
- Data from ERP, MES or PDA, e.g. on orders and batches
Now you can estimate which of these data are already available digitally and which cannot yet be retrieved yet. The great advantage of digitization is that you can still add and supplement further data sources at any time later if they become relevant.
Production data are an important source of know-how, but often mostly untapped.
Enabling your machines and systems for IIoT
A lot of data in modern technical systems are already measured via sensors and partly also recorded in a decentralized way. In most cases, they can be retrieved via the HMIs or PLCs. If this is the case, you only need to check whether your HMI or PLC also has interfaces to transfer this data to the cloud.
However, especially regarding comprehensive process monitoring or in the area of quality measurements, there may still not be enough data collected. Here, it is necessary to expand your systems with suitable sensor technology (retrofit sensor technology) and to integrate these as data streams. For example, camera systems are suitable for monitoring surface quality or force measurements for failure analyses of components. The measurements, respective to the measured components are then stringently assigned to the corresponding manufacturing parameters via timestamps and coupled with each other.
Connectivity for your shopfloor
As diverse as the machines, modules and systems can be, so are also the interfaces on the shopfloors. The most important interface in the industrial sector is OPC-UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture). This open communication standard is platform- and manufacturer-independent and comes with a high level of integrated security mechanisms. This allows the desired data streams to be transferred to a cloud application in an uncomplicated manner.
MQTT is another very widespread interface for IIoT, which is designed to be particularly traffic-saving. Another advantage is that administrators can implement it very quickly and securely.
New cooperation: Cybus - NEXOCRAFT
Our AIoT platform graphicx.io can communicate with all technical systems via OPC-UA, REST API or MQTT. Our new partnership with the IoT company Cybus opens the range of supported standards and protocols many times over. You can also integrate the following interfaces via this:
- Beckhoff ADS
- Fanuc FOCAS
- Heidenhain DNC
- Pfannenberg Connect
- Sick SOPAS
- Siemens SIMATIC S7
- Siemens SINUMERIK
- Werma WIN Ethernet
- CAN Bus
- Analog I/O
- Discrete I/O
- EUROMAP 15, 63
- HBM DAQ
- IEC-104 / 60870
The cooperation between Cybus and NEXOCRAFT combines the best of both worlds: Cybus' Connectware secures the comprehensive data flow for production lines between the shopfloor and the cloud and enables the creation of scalable data architectures. Machine and sensor data are collected via connectors, are pre-processed based on events and transferred into a uniform model and are thus available for IT systems and applications.
As a result of the cooperation, a Connectware-graphicx.io interface exists with which all production and process data can be easily transferred to our AIoT platform. Here, monitoring and analysis tools are then available to the full extent: real-time data monitoring, industrial health scoring, KPIs, dashboards, reporting, etc.
Author: Christoph Voigt | IoT & Solution Manager
Christoph Voigt has over 30 years of experience in programming for automation, PLCs, safety controllers, robots and HMIs. Many projects with a strong focus on IoT & AI make him an expert in unlocking these new technologies for industrial companies.