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Industrial Ethernet Book 105

IIoT gateways can be adapted to any protocol and a wide range of system requirements. SOURCE: SIEMENS automation solution does not need to be changed. Moreover, the free programmability of the RX1400 makes it possible for system houses with Linux know-how to incorporate their own protocols or processing algorithms. Utilization of process context However, to also utilize the process context of a PLC, an intrinsic cloud capability of the PLC is important, that is, the ability of the PLC system to send the desired information to the cloud by itself. For instance, a machine may be in standby mode so that the temperature values recorded are actually of no interest. A pure gateway solution, however, lacks this contextual information. So it still transmits the sensor data in the predetermined cycle – resulting in data noise without useful information. In the case of an intrinsic communication, the transmission frequency can also be adapted to the present program sequence. If special communication modules are then used in the PLC, the requirements for security will also be met by means of firewall mechanisms and strict network separation. How can such a solution look in practice? In a machine, distributed I/O modules of the type SIMATIC ET200SP are used, to which the sensors for temperature, vibration etc. are connected. Also not missing is an optical code reader, such as the SIMATIC MV440, to identify the respective workpiece via a data matrix code. As higher-level station, a SIMATIC S7-1500 is employed, which keeps ready the decentrally connected sensor values in its process image for the PLC programmer. The communication with Siemens MindSphere takes place via special blocks – the MindConnect FBs. Through appropriate integration into the PLC program, a control of the communication can be implemented. For the network connec t ion, a communication processor CP1543-1 is used, which transmits the data over a special network strand. The advantage is that the automation network, as well as the PLC, is reliably protected from attacks. The application for such a configuration could be, for example, the collection and analysis of quality data. At the individual processing stations, quality data is captured and then used for controlling the respective production step. At the same time, these quality parameters together with the unique product identifier in the data matrix code are sent to the cloud, which now can perform higher-level analyses and check for correlations with any conceivable information – going far beyond the context of the actual processing machine to include the evaluation of inspection reports by suppliers, the measurement data of returned defective parts, etc. For quality management, this opens up entirely new possibilities. Step-by-step digital solution For companies to develop their own competitive advantages from the cloud connectivity, a step-by-step approach is recommended. On the one hand, the own solution architecture should be sketched and tested in small pilot projects. In doing so, especially the data model must be designed as uncompromisingly as possible to be able to later scale it to a whole operation or even across different sites. On the other hand, attention should be paid early on to network structures suitable for industrial communication. A modern industrial network not only features high performance and high availability, but also is of sufficient flexibility to support present and future IIoT solutions. Simply put, anyone wanting to transport data must also take care of the appropriate data highway in a timely manner. Finally, it is recommended to obtain a technology partner so as to not having to reinvent the wheel in your own company. Firms such as Siemens offer a comprehensive portfolio of components and systems, and also possess the know-how to create new solutions from them. For instance, customers receive services as needed to analyze, plan and implement network infrastructures, as well as to train and certify their own personnel. In a concrete example project, Siemens and Würth Industrie Service developed an RFID-based e-Kanban system that not only ensures a more targeted supply of so-called C-parts to customers, but also provides a renewed digital business model. Thanks to this strategic innovation, Würth considers itself optimally positioned for competition, even in these times of digital disruption. Markus Weinländer, PD PA, Siemens. 21 4.2018 industrial ethernet book


Industrial Ethernet Book 105
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