Control Engineering 2017 Engineers' Choice Awards Finalist
EC: EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler
Network Integration — Ethernet hardware: The EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler transmits all control data simply, safely and cost-effectively to all common cloud systems in plug-and-play fashion. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
The new EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler from Beckhoff Automation establishes a direct connection to the cloud without any special control program between Beckhoff EtherCAT I/O and the Internet of Things (IoT). As a result, the coupler enables simple and standardized integration of I/O data with cloud-based communication and data services.
Via an integrated Web server, I/O data can be parameterized, such as in data processing and timing, through a simple configuration dialogue. No special engineering tools are needed. The EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler then autonomously transmits the data, including time stamp, to the cloud service. Apart from that, extended mechanisms are available, including local buffering of I/O data on a microSD card (2 GB) to protect against data loss when the Internet connection is interrupted. The cloud services and security functions (encryption, firewall) can be configured via the web server in the same convenient way.
All major cloud systems are supported via the IoT protocols AMQP, MQTT and OPC UA (over AMQP): Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), SAP HANA, as well as private cloud systems in company networks. The EK9160 is "Microsoft Azure Certified" and enables communication with clouds based on advanced multi-cloud capabilities.
For data communication, the IoT Bus Coupler uses the publisher/subscriber communication principle. As a publisher, the EK9160 sends data to the cloud, enabling other applications to access the information as a subscriber. This application can then publish data itself if required, which in turn can be accessed by the IoT Bus Coupler. The devices do not need to "know" each other or individual IP addresses, rather only the central message broker, so the individual applications operate in "decoupled" mode. Moreover, communication for both the publisher and subscriber is always active and directed externally.
Beckhoff Automation, www.beckhoff.us
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