The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the driving forces behind Industry 4.0, transforming automation and production. As an automation building block, ctrlX AUTOMATION from Bosch Rexorth offers a solution to unite IT and OT as well as to increase the efficiency of plants and machines.
The IIoT combines monolithic systems and architectures and creates a meaningful interaction between mechanics, electronics and IT. By integrating sensors and actuators into devices and equipment, it becomes possible to collect data on condition and performance and transmit this information in real time. The IIoT uses advanced IT technologies to collect, process and analyse real-world data. For example, monitoring systems and sensors can be used in production to improve product quality and optimize production processes.
The Industrial Internet of Things forms the bridge to increase the degree of automation and thus the efficiency of systems and processes, as well as to achieve self-organization of material flows and processes.
Fast networking with integrated safety
But how can the potential of the IIoT be exploited or technologically implemented? With ctrlX IOT from the automation toolkit ctrlX AUTOMATION, an advanced IoT software with integrated safety is offered. This is because the Industrial Internet of Things places completely new demands on safety. ctrlX IOT carries fully integrated IT security standards for access control and remote maintenance.
The software enables high flexibility and connectivity with a variety of communication standards and connectivity options, for example to dock different devices. It offers numerous secure, established protocols and pre-configured industrial IoT connectors for data acquisition. It also provides central access to all real-time and non-real-time data, including archiving. The efficient and protected data exchange creates new possibilities to overcome previous limitations securely and quickly.
In the ctrlX Store, users can find apps that make it easy to implement IoT use cases. For example, the Node-RED app connects hardware, interfaces and services in the sense of the Internet of Things. The app forms a central element as an IoT gateway in interaction with the ctrlX Data Layer. In this way, a wide variety of devices can be connected.
The Telegraf app is suitable for data collection and exchange. It is based on the open source server agent Telegraf, which has been tuned to ctrlX AUTOMATION. The app collects and sends all kinds of data from databases, systems and IoT sensors. Over 200 plugins are available to collect and output data. With the app, it is also possible to develop your own plugins to fit your individual monitoring needs.
In addition, ctrlX AUTOMATION makes it easy to integrate your own know-how into PLC and IoT applications. The ctrlX CORE enables companies to run self-developed software on the open control platform. Furthermore, functions in all common programming languages can be converted into apps, made available via the ctrlX Store and operated on the ctrlX CORE. The anchored ctrlX Data Layer, as a central architectural element, ensures communication between the apps.
Here, openness meets the platform's security, which is indispensable in the IIoT world. The controller can be expanded into a full-fledged all-in-one appliance – for example, by installing a firewall, VPN and other third-party apps. This ensures maximum security and availability of the connected end devices. ctrlX CORE thus functions not only as a machine controller, but also as a secure and intelligent gateway solution. Thanks to its openness and numerous interfaces, it is also suitable for brownfield use to retrofit IoT connectivity and IoT functions on machines and systems.
The goal of ctrlX AUTOMATION is to provide users with an automation solution that opens up the greatest possible scope for action. Companies can easily get started with automation and combine the IT and OT worlds in a meaningful way. The solution grows with its tasks: Suitable apps and scaling options are available for every use case. It also opens up opportunities for new business models. By networking machines and systems and collecting and analysing data, companies can offer predictive maintenance services, for example, and thus position themselves in the market for the future.
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