OT-IT Bridge: the easy way to Industrial IoT
NOA (NAMUR Open Architecture) and OPC UA pave the way to the Process Industry 4.0. Smart IoT (Internet of Things) tools are just waiting for the necessary data. Thousands of smart sensors have already been installed in brownfield plants that could provide it. Together with Phoenix Contact and Software AG, KROHNE has developed a scalable, secure best-of-breed solution: the OT-IT bridge. It brings diagnostic information and process measurement values onto IoT platforms without much effort. Each partner contributes its specific knowledge: KROHNE as a long-standing manufacturer of solutions for process instrumentation, Phoenix Contact with its expertise in OT connectivity and automation technology, and Software AG as one of the global market leaders for integration platforms as well as IoT and analytics solutions for enterprises.
In designing the solution, the first priority was that plant availability, reliability and safety - both cyber security and functional safety - must remain top priorities. For this reason, the partners consider the NOA concept to be a suitable basis for realising OT-IT integration and having the necessary data available in the future to solve Industry 4.0 use cases.
In the future, users can really exploit the potential that process instrumentation with HART or fieldbus interfaces already offers: in addition to the primary measured process value, almost all KROHNE instruments transmit diagnostic information regarding their status as well as other process values via the digital HART protocol. In addition to the flow rate, for example, electromagnetic flowmeters acquire the conductivity, which allows conclusions about build-ups in the pipeline. This can be used for predictive maintenance, for example if the build-up poses a risk of damaging a pump. Coriolis mass flowmeters also determine the gas bubble content and also provide density and concentration measurements. In level measurement, sensors provide information on foaming. Also, pressure or temperature sensors are additionally integrated into various process instruments for different parameters.
The OT-IT interface solution implemented by KROHNE, Phoenix Contact and Software AG provides this additional information via the OPC UA protocol. Via the OPC UA interface of a field controller from Phoenix Contact, the data is transferred through the OT-IT bridge to the Software AG platform. This makes the data for example available for analysis, monitoring and optimisation. At the same time, it offers an easy possibility to tap into the great potential of existing plants with components and software tools available today.
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