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Keith Blodorn is a Director of Program Management at ProSoft Technology, specializing in IIoT and wireless communication solutions. He has worked in the Industrial Automation industry for more than 20 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Babson College.
Things to Consider
The Industrial Internet of Things opens up some interesting new possibilities for automation, so you should begin planning how you can get your system “IIoT Ready.” The good news is that you likely have many pieces in place already – intelligent field devices, industrial networks, perhaps even some Internet Protocol-based infrastructure. Here is some food for thought as you consider how your system can fit into this new world of connected machines.
- Network Migration – While many of your field devices are likely already on a network, it is probably not an Internet Protocol-based network. Not to worry! As you see the need to move device data up to higher-level systems, you won’t need to scrap that tried-and-true device network. Gateway devices and in-rack protocol interfaces in your controller allow you to easily connect those older networks to the IP-based applications that need that device data. Serving up data from smart devices adds value to your operation, but it doesn’t necessarily require changing everything that is already there.
- Cybersecurity – While the interoperability of the IIoT brings great benefits, it also opens up new risks that we need to address. In reality, many automation systems are already “connected,” so cybersecurity should already be on your mind. It is important to understand what equipment can be accessed by whom, what connections are necessary and not necessary, and how data that’s transmitted outside the boundaries of your organization’s network is protected.
- Start Small – Vendors everywhere have grand visions for what the IIoT can do for manufacturers. But remember, you don’t need to dive in head first to get benefits from IIoT. Look for applications in your industry that make sense, and give them a try. One of the best parts of the IIoT concept is its scalability – Internet-based applications can just as easily serve one deployment as one million. Pick an interesting application, and run a pilot in a small area. There’s no better way to learn about a new technology than by giving it a go.
- Get Help – Most importantly, work with vendors you can trust. When it comes to industrial networking, the Collaborative Automation Partner Program’s Strategic Partners have been helping engineers get different equipment all talking the same language. As one of their Strategic Partner, Prosoft Technology can help you navigate your IIoT course, from connecting older Modbus® and PROFIBUS® networks to enabling remote equipment connectivity via cellular networks. When you’re ready to start the next phase of your IIoT journey, we’re here to help make it happen!
About ProSoft Technology ProSoft Technology® designs industrial communication solutions that connect automation products seamlessly. ProSoft Technology is a highly diversified, customer intimate, global organization with a focus on quality and ease-of-use. Their products include in-chassis communication modules for PLC/PAC controllers, standalone protocol gateways, and a wide range of robust, field-proven wireless solutions. These are found in applications spanning the industrial marketplace.
With 500 distributors and regional offices in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and North America, ProSoft Technology provide an unparalleled support to customers worldwide. For more details visit our website: www.prosoft-technology.com
Prosoft is a Strategic Partner of the Collaborative Automation Partner Program. Leveraging Prosoft’s field-proven connectivity expertise, Schneider Electric Industry is able to offer a complete solution for customers.
About Collaborative Automation Partner Program
In order to provide an accurate solution for efficient industry, Schneider Electric needs to be connected with the best experts of the market. The Collaborative Automation Partner Program contributes to build a complete business solution by selecting and integrating Strategic Partner’s solutions to Schneider Electric offer. Today, CAPP portfolio includes almost 50 Strategic Partners spread in 3 categories: Interconnection of Architectures, Application for Solution and Complete Lifecycle Integrated. When partnering with a company, the program selects and tests targeted products from the Strategic Partner that will complete Schneider Electric Industry Business Unit solution. You can find more information about the portfolio on the website (Click here).