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IOTech Announces Edge Connect to Simplify the Collection and Management of Industrial Data

IOTech Announces Edge Connect to Simplify the Collection and Management of Industrial Data

IOTech, the leader in open edge computing, announced the general availability of Edge Connect, a powerful new solution for acquiring large amounts of data in complex multi-protocol industrial environments. Industrial IoT applications deliver tremendous business value in manufacturing, energy and other sectors.However, organizations must first connect the edge devices and collect their data before they can create business value, a complex and time-consuming process. Edge Connect streamlines this process so organizations can rapidly deploy new use cases at the edge.

Edge Connect was developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading industrial solution providers including Schneider ElectricJohnson ControlsFluence Energy and King Steel.

“King Steel has been working in collaboration with IOTech over the last 12 months to help contribute to the direction of Edge Connect with its focus on Industry 4.0 connectivity. Edge Connect delivers an Industry 4.0 data connectivity solution that enables real-time data acquisition, data storagedata visualization and analytics for our award-winning NexCell Injection Moulding Machines,” said Jim Chen, General Manager of King Steel. “It was easy to embed Edge Connect into our machines, saving King Steel development time in contrast to alternatives and helping future proof our equipment as our requirements evolve.”

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Edge Connect is specifically designed as a connectivity solution that can be used by third party OT applications deployed at the industrial edge, including closed loop control applications in the manufacturing sector, real-time monitoring for battery energy storage systems in the energy sector and embedded applications in the automotive sector. Unlike other connectivity solutions, Edge Connect can easily embed into a wide range of edge devices, even the smallest microcontrollers, making it perfect for industrial OEMs. The solution works seamlessly with all existing proprietary systems and hardware, eliminating the need to rip and replace infrastructure to deploy it.

Edge Connect’s key features and benefits include:

  • Easy connectivity unlocks data value: The product provides the ability to easily connect to many different types of equipment concurrently using a variety of industrial protocols (e.g. ModbusBACnetOPC Unified Architecture (UA), EtherCAT and many more) and read/write data from these devices at high volume and very low latency, generating business value from the data that has been locked inside of these traditionally siloed systems.
  • Open APIs: Edge Connect’s open APIs make third-party application integration simple. OPC UA has become the de facto communication standard for Industry 4.0 and client applications can access aggregated data via an OPC UA server layer.
  • MQTT/JSON support: Users have the option of accessing normalized data via MQTT/JSON, which is particularly useful when streaming data to cloud services.
  • Memory and CPU efficiency: With its small memory footprint and efficient use of computing resources, Edge Connect is ideal for applications where CPU and memory resources are limited, such as microcontroller applications.

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Major industrial OEMs and ISVs across industry verticals such as smart manufacturing, building management and energy already use IOTech’s OT software technologies to create a new generation of protocol-agnostic, data-driven industrial edge solutions. Edge Connect greatly simplifies the development of connected OT applications and enables faster time-to-market for new edge solutions. Because it is hardware and operating system agnostic, users have complete flexibility to deploy it as a native Linux application, containerized or even embedded as a library into a third-party software stack.

“As a high performance connectivity solution that providers can easily embed in their own edge solutions then Edge Connect is unique,” said Andrew Foster, Product Director at IOTech. “It solves the problem of accessing an organization’s operational data that is typically locked away inside of their OT systems. In most cases, this is through simple configuration or via dynamic device discovery and without the need for custom code.”

Designed for high-performance edge computing use cases across a variety of vertical markets Edge Connect simplifies integration between real-time edge applications and higher-level enterprise IT, SCADA and cloud applications.

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