Data integration and IoT or Industrie 4.0 have been fueling the market for many years and are finally on the verge of a breakthrough and success, because it is now possible to integrate and successfully use the incredible range of technologies and the vast amount of sensors, data formats and conceivable usage scenarios. The same can be said for the volume of data currently produced.
In the "Internet of Things" or Industrie 4.0, a seamless data exchange between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) is crucial for competitiveness and success. However, this is not the only decisive factor.
Production processes, both in manufacturing and in the process industry, require continuous improvement in efficiency and performance - this can only be achieved in the future through innovative, reliable data integration.
Deep integration of production and business data into the IT world offers a variety of opportunities for new sources of income and business models. Intelligent solutions for OT/IT integration must therefore not only enable users to take full advantage of IT innovations, but also offer maximum security against data loss and unrestricted interoperability, as well as keeping the total cost of ownership low. This applies to all types of solutions and applications, from individual applications running on-site to moderation of MES systems or complex IoT platforms running in the cloud. Regardless of the chosen solution, process and machine data always remain the most valuable asset of a company, which must be stored securely, protected against access by third parties and available at all times to improve integration and efficiency.
The use, analysis and storage of the inconceivable amount and density of the aforementioned data would force companies to maintain their own data centers or servers. This is where various cloud services come into play, offering appropriate services such as storage space, computing power and databases, and much more. For companies, this is a broad field that combines the benefits of innovation and flexibility with security. Global players such as Microsoft (Azure), Amazon (AWS) or Siemens (MindSphere) are appearing on the "virtual servers" market and offer their services to industrial customers in a wide variety of forms, solutions and applications. The company is now spoiled for choice here, an issue that we cannot resolve in this blog.
Softing is taking on the challenges of implementing IoT and Industrie 4.0 applications and expanding the dataFEED product family to create an innovative, integrated software platform that offers comprehensive functions for efficient and reliable digital data exchange and, above all, for data management on three levels.
- Data acquisition: Full access to process and machine data from a variety of controllers and devices in automation networks. An important topic in brownfield projects (= problems that occur with newly developed software that must be integrated into existing software architecture)
- Data integration: Unifies the various on-premises applications using middleware software (application-neutral applications) and open standards for data exchange and interoperability. This enables the implementation of more complex machine-oriented solutions, such as edge analytics, in one place. This is an abstraction layer that standardizes the technical differences between applications and unifies their interfaces at different locations, e.g. for integration into a central cloud platform.
- Data management: Implementation of optimization measures and improvements to efficiency. For example, to visualize data streams, monitor and manage certificates or easily integrate information into Data Lake solutions.
With Softing, users can decide how dataFEED Software Platform should be operated: it can either run as a stand-alone application or is deeply integrated with leading cloud platforms and their edge solutions.
For companies that have strategically chosen Amazon AWS as their cloud platform and are looking for a data integration solution that supports AWS Greengrass.
- Security: Secure, flexible architecture for OT/IT integration through open standards and simple operation.
- Cost control: Extremely low configuration outlay during initial installation or changes throughout the entire plant life cycle. As a result, the cost of ownership for IoT solutions is reduced.
- Speed: Short IT innovation cycles with stable production.
- Reliability: Proven and reliable technology based on experience and expertise in data integration for more than a decade.
IoT solutions are complex and often force companies to work with multiple suppliers. However, many are looking for support and service in the technical and economic fields in order to successfully pursue the path to digitization. Softing Industrial Data Intelligence works closely with selected partners so that the dataFEED Software Platform can be used optimally and efficiently as part of your own IoT solution. Our partners include manufacturers of leading cloud platforms, software providers of IoT platforms and MES systems, as well as consulting firms and system integrators from various industries. In addition, Softing experts are active members of standardization organizations such as the OPC Foundation and the Open Group.