IioT – The road to the Smart Factory doesn’t have to be complicated

Much is being discussed about the IoT and the effect it will have on our future but what about the IIoT (The Industrial Internet of Things)? The IIoT is the further development of a distributed control system (DCS) that permits a higher degree of automation with the use of cloud computing to refine and optimise the process controls. It refers to interconnected sensors, instruments and other devices networked together with computer in industrial applications, including manufacturing and energy management. It allows for data collection, exchange and analysis and has the potential to facilitate improvements in productivity.

As complicated as this sounds, the road to the Smart Factory does not have to be complicated. We have just launched IIoT starter kits which consist of an IIoT gateway with VPN service and integrated IoT PLC, as well as one year of free cloud access on the wienetCloud portal. Also included is a Quick Start Guide for initial commissioning and for connecting the gateway to the wienetCloud.

The wienet IIoT gateways included in the starter kits enable simple and secure connection of devices and systems to the Internet and support Modbus TCP as well as serial interfaces such as Modbus RTU via RS232/485. The gateways offer an OPC UA server function for transferring data to all OPC UA-enabled cloud systems. In the future, they will also have an OPC UA client for full support of the open communication standard. In addition to the Kolibri protocol for communication with the wienetCloud, the wienet IIoT gateways enable data transmission via MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport). This allows data to be connected directly from the gateway to other systems and cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS Cloud. The open message protocol shows its strengths where a reliable transmission of messages via unreliable - for example mobile - networks is required. It is easy to use even on devices with little memory and computing power with high performance, and is particularly suitable for the communication of sensors, actuators, mobile phones or embedded systems in vehicles where bandwidth and energy are limited. Since the gateways also have a mobile radio modem, they are not dependent on the user's IT infrastructure and can be operated anywhere where supply voltage and mobile radio reception are available.

Also included in the IIoT starter kit is a one-year free cloud access to the wienetCloud portal. The scalable, browser-based platform allows the collected data to be monitored, analyzed and evaluated. Since access is possible from anywhere in the world - even via mobile devices – a quick reaction is possible and local processes can be optimized. Handling is simple: After registering to the wienetCloud portal, the user is given access to their individual platform. This is where customer projects can be created and devices added. Each user can set up their own dashboard to visualize the machine utilization, errors or maintenance-relevant information.

During the initial use, users are supported by the enclosed Quick Start Guide. The compact manual explains and illustrates step by step how to connect the gateways to the wienetCloud and also contains a link to the IP tool from Wieland, which enables quick and easy configuration of the gateways.

It couldn’t be simpler!