Industry 4.0 ready, open software architecture
Industry 4.0 is a hot topic, so it’s time to look at how we can integrate Industry 4.0 technologies across machinery, shop floor, and building management systems. To do so involves ensuring equipment is able to work with enhanced communication – including the three lifelines of industry – power, signal and data.
Multi-way communication of ‘big data’ is created by connecting devices so they are able to interact with each other. The modular industrial computing architecture – MICA – uses open software architecture for an embedded industrial computing device. The robust IP67 industry computer can easily be integrated into the manufacturing environment as a stand-alone offline computer, or a protocol converting gateway linked via the Internet.
Integration of additional intelligence to an existing production line environment is achieved using MICA. Process improvements can be identified through the capture and process of data from a variety of sensors. It therefore provides the processing pre-analytical link between the factory floor sensor level and the analytical/ big data cloud. As such it supports the trend toward Industry 4.0 enabling the integration of the two key elements of Machine to Machine communication and Manufacturing Logistics. MICA is the first embedded computer to provide virtualisation in the manufacturing environment.
When looking at Industry 4.0 applications, and where MICA can be used within these, the possibilities are endless. For example, by integrating suitable sensors and being able to communicate with a machine’s existing operating system software, MICA can be retrofitted to support predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and significantly extending the lifetime of the machine. It can also be customised to carry out defined test programs for remote, field based applications, making it a viable solution for rugged programmable testing conditions. MICA can be used in high vibration and wide temperature fluctuating applications.
For Industry 4.0, using MICA offers significant economic benefits compared to industrial PCs; without the need of a fan, the device is maintenance free, and there is no associated licensing or leasing fees. It offers further operating cost savings as the base version only consumes around 5W of power.
For more information please visit www.HARTING.co.uk/MICA