Many industrial companies use different computing and networking technologies for their industrial and data center environments, which can limit performance, efficiency, and flexibility. The typical SCADA and fieldbus systems used in the industrial environment, called operational technology (OT), monitor and control physical devices, industrial processes, and associated events. Industrial data centers employ information technology (IT), which encompasses information processing, communications technologies, and enterprise applications.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), original device manufacturers (ODMs), and system integrators (SIs) can bridge OT and IT infrastructure using a framework called the industrial data center (IDC) created by Intel and other solution providers. The IDC is a platform situated on the factory floor—between factory equipment and the enterprise data center—designed for analyzing and transmitting industrial data. It supports a centralized manufacturing data store, manufacturing analytics, and workload consolidation. For industrial companies, the IDC allows multiple decision points throughout the business to deliver improved operational insight and real-time reporting that helps them become more efficient, productive, and competitive.
Many industrial companies are eager to tap the power of data analytics in order to increase competitiveness, improve the bottom line, and anticipate trends. They are exploring the Internet of Things (IoT), which facilitates communications between all types of field devices and enables process engineers to act upon decisions derived from data analytics. However, a major challenge is gaining access to field data, made more difficult by field devices that use different fieldbus protocols, run independently, or lack connectivity.
Helping to overcome communication barriers amongst various field devices, including machinery, robots, PLCs, and sensors, the Intel® IoT Gateway provides cross-protocol communication capabilities. After filtering and aggregating data, the gateway can securely transmit device data over IP to the cloud or the industrial data center. The gateway can also run industrial application software to help improve operations, strengthen security barriers, simplify device management, and reduce maintenance costs.
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