Intelligent sensor networks form the backbone of IIoT. Focus is set on networking at all levels. But which components will be directly affected? We are convinced that our sensors will play a major role here.
OPC-UA is establishing itself as an important interface within the framework of IIoT. In particular for cross-system communication (from machine to machine and from machine to the cloud). OPC UA distinguishes itself by the fact that machine data can be forwarded. They are semantically described in the protocol.
If all this data was to be sent to the cloud without previous preparation, the term Big Data would receive a new meaning. This would simply result in an accumulation of data. But you would not achieve any added value. A solution is required.
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To prevent inundating the cloud with information, Kübler Sendix encoders with OPC UA will in the future prepare the data themselves before transferring it into the cloud. This will make data analysis easier, promoting in the same time the notion of predictive maintenance. For example, prepared encoder temperature data will show that the encoder is too often in the "red range" and might possibly fail. This, and much further information, will support plant availability and performance.
Find out in these examples which new possibilities and advantages will arise in the future.
Data preparation allows for example generating smaller position areas from 36-bit position data. Information is obtained indicating in which area the encoder, and therefore the application, is located. So, for example for a storage system, this would allow seeing quickly the location and condition of the main warehouse areas and, in combination with the operating times, deducing the rush hours. And all this without additional work load for the process control. This is ideal for process optimization.
The other on-board sensors allow deriving machine temperature evolution, which has significant influence on mechanics, lubrication, etc., without having to connect, wire and process an additional sensor. This plays an important role in SCADA concepts, in the areas of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. The 1:1 relationship to the environment and to the application allows monitoring much more than simply the sensor.
In addition, networking various applications in the cloud will moreover allow opening new business models. For example in the area of wind turbines, data will in the future be sold to meteorological stations. Who could know better how fast, how long and from which direction the wind is blowing? All what you need is the access to the data in the cloud to be able to draw conclusions from it.
Considering machine maintenance, such interfaces also offer advantages. For example, a bar code on the encoder, scanned by a service technician with his smartphone, will give him the authentication to consult encoder data. He receives, in addition to the current encoder status data, the order code, the part number, the serial number and the link to the electronic data sheet. Thanks to the authentication, encoder configuration via OPC UA can also be performed particularly easily.
Of course, factors such as security and data security play a particular role here. The service technician can use his smartphone e.g. to perform presetting, set the working range and the encoder resolution conveniently, even from his office, which is a great advantage for remote maintenance application such as e.g. offshore wind turbines.