Factory Connectivity

Overview

In order to utilise the functionality of the tools and services data from the numerous data sources available within, the manufacturing environment needs to be made available. To achieve this, it is necessary to utilise a Factory Connector or IoT Gateway that can interface with the specific devices, sensors and systems the user wishes to gather data from. The connectors and gateways then communicate with the EFPF Data Spine using a predefined data model that relates to the nature of the data and its application. In EFPF there are three implementations of Factory Connectors & Gateways, supporting between them the most widely used industry standards and systems (e.g. OPC UA, Modbus, Zigbee and propriety PLC protocols from Siemens, Rockwell, Omron, Schneider). The architecture, however, supports future compliant Connectors and Gateways to be supported. The following diagram shows the architecture of Factory Connectivity in EFPF, with Connectors and Gateways publishing data over secured MQTT to the Data Spine Message Bus. Data can then be shared in real-time with Tools and Services in order to Store, Analyse and other perform other functions in order to achieve productivity gains.

Overview

FAQ

Is my data secure if I use a Factory Connector?
Yes EFPF Factory Connectors use MQTT over SSL in order to publish data to the DataSpine.

Am I limited in what data I can connect?
In EFPF we have three existing Factory Connectors / Gateways each of which Supports different connectivity protocols and standards. Some solutions also allow you to develop you own connectors They all send the data in the same way, but selecting the right connector / gateway for your application is important – to find out more take a look at the documentation for each option described below.

Can I support different connectivity types in the future?
Yes, it is possible to add new Interfaces to some of the Factory Connectors – please see documentation.

Can I share my data with other selected users to allow collaboration?
Yes, with EFPF you can grant other users access to runtime data by allowing them to see data on specific topics, and also historic data when saved in the Secure Data Store Service.

Can a Factory Connector / Gateway deal with more than one type of data at the same time?
Yes some of the connector gateways can publish different data, from different sources, at different intervals at the same time. Others require multiple low cost units one site each dedicated to a specific application.

What happens if my data is in the wrong format?
EFPF allows data to be transformed in real-time in the Data Spine using the Integration Flow Engine and Transformation Service, so making your data suitable for other Tools and Services isn’t an issue.

Connectors and Gateways

Digital Tools and services for Smart Factory

Productivity Tools

Industry 4.0 Tools

Data Analysis

Asset Management