HMS Industrial IoT Blog

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Communication Solutions For The Factory of The Future: Part 3

by Michael Volz | Jun 28, 2018

While cloud communication solutions are today often directly integrated into new plants (greenfield), many existing plants (brownfield) will have to be retrofitted with the solution in the coming years. The requirements differ immensely in the two cases of application. In many instances, brownfield applications are equipped with old PLCs and heterogeneous networks, while new plants require state-of-the-art communication standards such as OPC UA, MQTT or TSN. HMS already offers suitable solutions for both cases.


The advantages of eWON Flexy IIoT gateways (Figure 1) can be put to full use in both existing plants and in new plants. The gateways adapt flexibly to a wide range of controllers, and they employ not only new communication standards but also communicate via older communication standards (e.g. MPI), such as those in existing plants. This allows a wide variety of controllers to be integrated into an overall concept. With its new Anybus CompactCom™ multi-protocol solutions (Figure 2), HMS provides an opportunity for device manufacturers to also use OPC UA and MQTT protocols for real-time communication via Profinet and Ethernet/IP. The new communication modules are downward compatible with existing modules. Device manufacturers can retrofit their automation devices with the modern communication standards by simply replacing modules. The communication modules allow for real-time communication on the one hand, and connectivity to industrial IT systems via a simple Ethernet connection on the other.


eWON 205 Flexy - IIoT Gateway for machine builders


Figure 1: The eWON 205 Flexy router is specially designed for machine builders wanting to offer value-add to their customers by means of machine data as opposed to classic remote access.

  • The functions include alarm management, collection of machine data as well as recording of historical data.
  • Can also be used for collecting key performance indicators (KPIs) for purposes of analysis and predictive maintenance. 
  • Ethernet connection by default, and can accommodate two additional extension cards (e.g. for WLAN, LTE, MPI, serial interfaces etc.), if required.
  • In addition, data integration in in-house systems or cloud platforms by means of APIs is possible.
  • HTTPS script creation or MQTT are also possible options. 


Anybus CompactCom™ - Embedded communication interface using OPC UA and MQTT

Anybus CompactCom - OPC UA MQTT

Figure 2: The Anybus CompactCom™ product family of embedded communication interfaces now also supports the OPC UA and MQTT IoT protocols. In this way, device manufacturers and machine builders that make use of Anybus CompactCom can easily exchange data securely within the framework of Industry 4.0 or IIoT.

  • CompactCom provides additional options for integrating industrial hardware with IT systems and IoT software, for example by using integrated configurable websites and by supporting Web Services, Email and FTP.
  • Using the Socket Interface and a transparent Ethernet channel, CompactCom offers a high degree of flexibility for implementing in-house IT functions to users who have special requirements regarding the communication between production and IT.
  • Independently of this, CompactCom continues to process the entire communication with the industrial production network.

All in all, it is important to remember: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is concerned less with things than with data. Finding the right methodology for analyzing Big Data and then using this data in a meaningful way are challenges equally as daunting for users as the search for the right communication solution. HMS has built a large partner network that provides assistance with the use of appropriate tools and know-how.


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