DARMSTADT, Germany --- TE Connectivity (TE) takes a leading role in a research testbed. The Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC) has approved an IIC testbed on sensor-to-the-cloud connectivity called the Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brownfield Sensors Testbed. This testbed is being carried out with fellow IIC members SAP, ifm, and the OPC foundation. The idea for the testbed was publicly unveiled at the Hanover Fair in April of this year.
The objective of sensor-to-the-cloud connectivity is to make sensor data available to information technology (IT) systems in near real time, enabling advanced analytics. This is of particular interest to operators of existing manufacturing facilities, as it provides them with opportunities to increase efficiencies through reductions in energy consumption. Unlike new deployments, where the appropriate connectivity may be designed in from the beginning, smart solutions are required for these "brownfield" installations in order to enable easy integration at both the operational technology (OT) and the IT level to reduce downtime and save costs.
The Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brownfield Sensors Testbed will:
• Introduce a retrofit hardware solution (the "Y-Gateway") that makes use of existing physical connectivity
• Extract sensor data from the automation system without impacting operations
• Deliver the sensor data to SAP's IT platform through a secure OT/IT communication based on OPC UA (IEC 62541)
• Define and implement a common device model based on an available open standard to allow for the easy integration of an IO-Link sensor with IT, enabling the remote configuration of the sensor