There is no doubt that, as an industrial manufacturer, you have been reading about the vast amounts of information that industrial machines can provide for the improvement of process, productivity, efficiency, quality, and uptime. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is upon us, and you may be wondering if you are ready for an upgrade and how to get started. Questions you may ask yourself and your Operations experts relate to finding out if your production equipment is ready to connect and provide data. If so, what type of data can it provide? As is typical in manufacturing, getting the most out of a capital investment means holding on to older equipment and maintaining it for as long as possible. It’s not uncommon to find equipment that is 30 years or older that is still in operation. However, those machines were made long before the internet and technologies that are common today. These machines, though, are often very capable of providing information, it just takes experts who have grown up with this older technology and who have experience to bring it forward to contemporary communications methods in an efficient, secure, and reliable manner.
Machines built 30 years ago are typically equipped with either relay logic or early Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) devices. In some cases, the use of pneumatics or mechanical linkages, cams, and levers were used. All of these early technical methods will require adaptation to enable the sensing of movement, positional location, pressures, and temperatures. The Prophecy IoT approach to bringing these older but reliable and valuable machines starts with building a technology inventory. Through the careful and methodical investigation alongside your Operations Technology (OT) and your IT (Information Technology) staff, we build a comprehensive list of your equipment, processes, and desired data to be provided by the manufacturing assets. We pay careful attention to aligning what data is needed from a machine in order to provide a very focused and cost-effective solution recommendation.
Once we have the inventory of a piece of equipment and its capabilities, we design a structured integration solution; this can range from full instrumentation of a non-electronic mechanical driven machine to adapting legacy PLC devices that may be running older protocols such as Modbus RTU or serial interfaces. The end result is a designed solution that brings older equipment up to the same communications and data producing functions as the latest version of the same equipment. We then provide this technology recommendation so that you may work with your local contractors and operations technicians to install the new hardware. Prophecy IoT can also provide full turn key PLC based sensor and data acquisition solutions to make this process simple, quick, and cost effective.
For equipment that is already capable of connecting to data acquisition systems such as Modbus TCP or Ethernet enabled Allen Bradley, Siemens, and similar devices, Prophecy IoT comes complete with over 300 different direct drivers ready to set up and configure data tags. If you have equipment that supports OPC DA and OPC UA, we have direct connections to these protocols as well. If you have machines that support proprietary APIs (Application Program Interfaces such as SOAP, REST or JSON) , we have that covered as well.
The bottom line is that with Prophecy IoT and the expertise of manufacturing, SCADA, MES, and now IIoT, we have you covered whether the equipment is 30 years or 30 days old. We talk to machines and make them tell you what is going on. It is time to start listening to them.