Today’s industrial IoT solutions are judged on their ability to adapt to various data acquisition needs and how they transform data collected from devices into useful business insights for decision makers. In addition, injecting local intelligence into IIoT gateways and edge devices can provide faster response times, and reduce the data load on an industrial network. However, for an IIoT solution to work efficiently, each intelligent gateway should be backed up by robust software and a reliable and powerful industrial wireless network. Here we identify some of the key enablers of an Intelligent IIoT Gateway Solution.
Customized Applications for the Industrial IoT
An ideal IIoT solution is one that is customized for the specific needs of the IIoT and combines the capabilities of a controller, data logger, router, and customized software to significantly shorten the time-to-market. To add to this, an easy-to-use and intuitive GUI that simplifies data acquisition will save valuable time and money, since IT experts will be able to handle popular Modbus protocols in industrial automation applications without the need for additional programming. Systems integrators and IT experts involved in implementing IIoT solutions need to be trained on the critical requirements of industrial applications so that they can build data solutions that are a good fit for Industrial IoT solutions.
Seamless Integration of Data
The volume of data generated by edge devices is growing exponentially. Industrial IoT solutions must include a strategy to handle such large volumes of data so that the data collected from the edge devices is processed and available in the right place at the right time, and in the right format. Transmitting data to a centralized system for processing could take as long as a few minutes, which could be too late if the application includes critical industrial processes. Tools and applications that enable local intelligence in edge devices can bridge this gap and deliver faster response times.
4G LTE technology, which can provide the network backbone required for mission-critical industrial applications, is the latest advancement in industrial wireless. Combining 4G LTE with the IoT specific protocol MQTT has the potential of providing always-on connections and enabling on-demand communications in your IIoT systems.
Keeping in mind how rapidly the Industrial IoT field is changing, a scalable solution that can effortlessly adopt and implement a new technology will give you good returns on your investment. Rather than wait for the change to swing into action, a better solution would be to proactively seek out systems and solutions that are future-proof or require minimum change to adopt or support newer technology. Embracing new technologies has the potential to provide substantial gains and make your system work in more efficient ways than you might otherwise have imagined. Some of the latest technologies that you can adopt in your IIoT deployments are:
- Built-in packet routing and logging service for wireless networks
- LTE management support for smooth deployment and higher maintainability of devices
- MQTT support for machine-to-machine communication and to enable remote devices to communicate directly with the cloud
- RESTful APIs for data integration with other systems
Case-In-Point—The Power Utility Sector
The case of a power utility provider illustrated above shows how an intelligent IoT gateway or an intelligent edge device can facilitate faster decision making. Such a solution can be easily implemented using an Industrial IoT system consisting of an Industrial IoT gateway and sensing devices.
The Moxa ThingsPro software suite is a game changer in the IIoT field. ThingsPro, which comes pre-installed on some Moxa IIoT gateways*, provides:
- An easy-to-use configurable GUI for data acquisition with the most popular Modbus protocols and with LTE-enabled routing capability
- Future-proof technologies for local intelligence
- MQTT support, which provides a lightweight, asynchronous data exchange protocol for heterogeneous applications
- RESTful APIs for gateway configuration that take advantage of HTTP methodologies to provide application flexibility and insight into your IIoT gateway
For additional details download our white paper, Building a Future-Proof Data-Processing Solution with Intelligent IoT Gateways.
To learn more about ThingsPro, click here.
*ThingsPro is currently supported on UC-8100-CG series computers. Moxa intends to develop the ThingsPro suite further by supporting it on more of our edge-computing platforms to offer you the best-in-class programmable IoT gateways for industrial automation applications.