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Data transfer plays an especially important role in the integration of the production and management domains, with the large number of variables, heterogeneous interfaces, rights management, and specific security requirements being just some of the key challenges faced in this context. A middleware based on OPC UA offers a particularly elegant approach to implementation here.
IT architectures need to play a vital role in IIoT system architectures, with gateways evolving to provide more flexible, innovative and efficient software solutions. A key question is how network solutions can be deployed to exploit software, IT and innovative algorithms and make production more efficient.
With the help of Softing's FG-200 gateway, the field level is connected via Foundation Fieldbus with little effort.
The digital transformation in the manufacturing industry is increasingly high on the agenda. For it to work, the OT and IT level must be much more closely interlinked than before. This is not only a technical challenge. openautomation talked to Frank Steinhoff, Managing Director of Softing Industrial Automation GmbH, on this topic.
What is the difference between cloud and edge computing and how they can work together for the successful implementation of IIoT solutions?
Use of a gateway along with OPC UA and MQTT, can provide access to S7 controller machine tool data. This allows important spindle and axis data, such as torque and power consumption, to be read out, processed and become available for condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and data logging or analysis tasks.
Smart devices provide operators not only with I/O data but also with a wealth of information about industrial plant operation. Information collected from field devices such as diagnostic data, status information on devices and specific device parameters can also help plan predictive maintenance programs.
Data from intelligent field devices helps in planning preventive maintenance work and helps to reduce downtime and lower maintenance costs. Before the plant operator can use them for process optimization, the data of all installed field devices must be made transparent and at the same time securely available.
Direct integration of Profibus PA field level into Ethernet control systems has created transparency and consistency for a provider of palm oil tank farms. An integrated platform handles reporting and offers real-time transparency for total inventory management of both raw materials and finished goods.
In the spotlight: Softing joins Emerson’s DeltaV Alliance Product Program and extends intelligent device management across the field to islands of devices and out to the enterprise to remote subject matter experts.
Simple fieldbus integration without programming effort.
Digital, mobile, networked and standardized solutions are providing new connectivity for process control users to communicate via HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and Profibus PA.
Even modern fieldbuses like PROFIBUS are unable to maintain their perfect post-installation condition indefinitely. Some “aging“ is inevitable and this could eventually lead to bus faults and costly production losses. These problems can be avoided by continuously monitoring the PROFIBUS networks. The Softing solution deployed at the Aschaffenburg paper mill delivers benefits that receive the “thumbs up” from its staff.
Typically, implementing a PROFIBUS PA field device means developing custom hardware and device-specific software, requiring in-depth PROFIBUS knowledge. However, there is a simpler solution.
PROFINET standards for diagnostics and management are suited for acceptance testing and continuous monitoring of the network, along with functionality to carry out maintenance tasks. The premium car manufacturer Audi uses PROFINET for a wide range of communication control and maintenance diagnostics.
The safety of a plant is at risk if the data communication does not function reliably. A wastewater treatment plant in Colorado was looking for a replacement for problematic gateways. The live test from two different suppliers revealed significant differences.
The plant’s life cycle and users involved are key factors to determine the required set of diagnostic tools and functionality needed.
Diagnosing problems with PROFINET networks and other TCP/IP-based Industrial Ethernet systems raises technological and organizational challenges.
HART-IP can be run on Ethernet or WiFi, and enables vertical data integration for field devices all the way to the control room. Access to process variables allows support for device parameterization and advanced diagnostics. It will also play an important role in the Internet of Things for process plants in the future.
Trends in process automation in recent years have been moving away from proprietary and analog communication technology, and towards the use of digital fieldbuses which have many advantages. One of the most important is the widely used PROFIBUS fieldbus with its PROFIBUS Process Automation (PA) application profile.
As part of the extension of the Pfändertunnel by a second tunnel tube, Evon GmbH was to bring the control technology and control room integration in the entire tunnel up to date. Due to the enormous amount of data to be transmitted, the Austrian company decided to use the Profibus-DP master stack from Softing.
A breakdown of the fieldbus communication system can quickly become very expensive, particularly if it causes unplanned downtime of complex machinery like paper manufacturing facilities. The PROFIBUS Monitor (BC-502-PB) diagnostics tool for the continuous monitoring of PROFIBUS networks supports the early detection of potential failures.
A PROFINET controller stack implementing Industrial Ethernet communications is the basis of an effective process control system for the steel manufacturer SSAB. The technology has provided an ability to deploy very large networks consisting of up to 150 field devices, including a number of drives, and operate at cycle times of 8 to 32 milliseconds even without exploiting the system's full performance potential.
To fll the need for an implemented PROFINET interface in the automotive industry, Unglaube decided to integrate a PROFINET stack into their Data Matrix code reader system. The solution strengthens the company’s position in an important market, but also provides an excellent basis for future product innovations.
Young Tech Co., Ltd. (YTC), a leading positioner manufacturer in Korea, entered the growing fieldbus market when it rolled out a new FOUNDATION™ fieldbus (FF) H1 device: the YT-2500 Smart Valve Positioner. Fully certified, the new device provides a full range of FF functionalities. Thanks to Softing Industrial Automation’s FBK-2 Fieldbus Kit, the Korean technology pioneer was able to reduce development costs significantly
FOUNDATION™ fieldbus: Control in the Field helps Nicaragua achieve its aggressive renewable energy agenda.
Following the market requirements, BIFFI, a manufacturer of valve actuators for petro-chemical applications decided to implement the Foundation fieldbus H1 communication protocol for its electric actuator ICON2000.