Industrial automation systems are increasingly using the cloud as a repository for big data storage and as a means for accessing and implementing Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The cloud provides a low cost and secure way to store big data and it offers a wide range of wired and wireless access methods to this data from anywhere in the world, cheif among them the internet. In an industrail setting, integrating IoT devices are over the internet creates what is called an industrial IoT (IIoT) application.
These IIoT applications are often implemented to monitor and control assest located in widespread geographical areas which are frequently subject to harsh operating conditions. Such applications are commonly found in oil & gas, power, and water/wastewater industries.
The first step to realizing the vision is getting properly formatted data from industrial automation systems and components to the cloud. This task is complicated by the wide range of unique industrial automation protocols and networks, and by the many different ways in which data is acquired by and stored in automation components and systems.
One of the best ways to address these issues is by using a hardware communications hub to gather all of the required data from the different components and systems, to format the data as required by the cloud database, and to send the data to the cloud. Althernately, a software communications hub in the form of a PC-based HMI such as Advantech's WebAccess can also be used as discussed in this white paper titled Cloud-based SCADA as an Industrial IoT Gateway. This approach isn't convered in this white paper because this document instead focuses on applications without a local PC-based HMI.
In this White Paper:
Hardware Communication Hubs
Reasons to Use an RTU
Industrial Communication Gateway Advantages
Data Handling Applications