Symphony Factory Connector

Overview

Symphony Factory Connector is a software module that is part of Nextworks’ Symphony platform. It primarily abstracts the low-level details of various heterogeneous fieldbus technologies and provides a common interface to its users. It adapts the device protocols and provides the necessary logic to manage them accordingly to their respective constraints (e.g. timing constraints). It also implements optimizations, e.g. avoid spamming the KNX bus with too many messages, pack contiguous Modbus reads into a single multi-register read.

Symphony Factory Connector Figure 1: Symphony Factory Connector

The Symphony Factory Connector supports KNX, BACnet, Modbus-TCP and Modbus-RTU as well as, several other proprietary control protocols. It can be extended by developing modules that can be dynamically plugged into its core. The Symphony Factory Connector component provides access to any available resources (sensors and actuators) as datapoints. The datapoints are primitive objects with basic data type (int, float, boolean) but devoid of any semantic annotation (physical object type, measurement unit, …) or are presented according to the OGC SensorThings data format standard. The Symphony Factory Connector supports access via REST and gRPC and furthermore enables publish/subscribe features via MQTT.

Configuration

The configuration is possible through its GUI and REST API. In order to configure the HAL, it should be interconnected with its supporting field buses either directly (via RS232/485 serial ports or GPIOs) or through the use of IP based gateways, such as KNX IP router and/or interface, Modbus/TCP gateways. After interfacing, user can perform the configuration through the GUI based on the fieldbus device specific parameters. For example, if the fieldbus protocol is Modbus, the user can import the project as single csv file or configure the buses (IP address, Port, Poll, Slaves) and related datapoints (Address, Register Type, Mask, Function Code, Binding Slave). Also, the configuration is possible via REST API with fieldbus specific schemas. For configuring the MQTT message broker to publish the data, user should use the specific configuration schema for API.

Operation

The Symphony Factory Connector could be deployed as:

  • Dedicated Minicomputer (preferred deployment method) such as Intel NUC (CPU and RAM to be estimated according to the use case)
  • Bare metal deployment, Nextworks provides Hypervisor + Container Management OS + Containers
  • Single VM for specific use cases

Also, a slimmer version (regarding the resource consumption and choice of appliances) of the Symphony Factory Connector could be designed by Nextworks for specific use cases after evaluation. In any case, Nextworks prefers to have design session with use case owners to define the required configuration in order to provide pre-configured image which could be deployed on hardware of choice.

License

Symphony Factory Connector is Nextworks’ commercial product and is not free. Nextworks will provide free research license and full support exclusively for duration of the experimentation up to the end of the EFPF project. After the license expiration if the users are still interested in using Symphony Factory Connector, Nextworks is open for negotiation.

FAQs

  1. Is Symphony Factory Connector Free and Open-Source?
    no, it is enterprise product of Nextworks S.r.l and users need to acquire License.
  2. How Can I Install Symphony Factory Connector?
    we kindly ask you to contact and share with us your requirement so we can provide you best options based your needs.
  3. After acquiring Symphony Factory Connector’s license, for how long it will be valid?
    It will be valid until end of the EFPF project plus four months.
  4. What are the deployment methods?
    It could be deployed on Dedicated Minicomputer such as Intel NUC, Bare Metal Deployment os Single VM for Specific Cases.
  5. What protocols Symphony Factory Connector supports?
    It supports KNX, DALI, DMX, BACnet, Modbus/TCP and Modbus/RTU as well as several other proprietary field protocols. It can be extended by developing modules that can be dynamically plugged into its core.
  6. How can I interact with Symphony Factory Connector to collect the data?
    Collected data is available for consumption through different interfaces: REST APIs, gRPC services, CORBA IDLs, as well as AMQP/MQTT brokers.
  7. How can I connect Symphony Factory Connector to the field devices?
    It can be interconnected with specific field buses either directly - such as via RS232/485 serial ports or GPIOs - or through the use of IP based gateways - such as KNX IP router and/or interface, Modbus/TCP gateways.
  8. Where is the repository/registry and how can I access it?
    Software is not publicly accessible and after acquiring the license, Nextworks will guide you on the best deployment method of the software based on your needs.
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