Industrial IoT Gateways Monitoring Manufacturing Machines for Predictive Maintenance
Things Embedded were approached by engineers of a leading software house automating capture, transformation, and contextualisation of machine data for production monitoring, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and process optimization. Struggling with the deployment of their software stack in industrial environments we were asked to recommend an edge computer designed for the industrial demands of the digital factory floor known as Manufacturing 4.0. Serving as an edge based relay server, the requirement was to take raw machine data, encrypt it, pack it up and send it to the cloud service for analyzation.
Originally building and deploying tower PCs with commercial off the shelf hardware, often found in server rooms, our customer was facing a range of challenges often found in factory environments. These problems included keeping the PC cool without suffering particulate ingress from deploying in dirty environments and space constraints when installation options were limited.
Wanting a solution that was truly intended to be installed in manufacturing environments we we worked to the following brief to provide a reliable industrial IoT gateway:
- Compact and reliable in harsh environments
- Plug-and-Play universal data collection for PLCs
- Simplified connectivity with external sensors
- Remote edge management
“Transitioning our customer to an industrial IoT gateway was going to give our customer a system which runs silently in hot and cold environments without the need for onboard fans, provide more resistance to shock and vibration having no moving parts on board, safeguard their investment against dust and debris found in manufacturing environments, and give peace of mind with reliability not found when using consumer-grade desktops. The addition of having a small footprint also makes them ideal for placement in small and compact spaces subject to their customer’s requirements. ” Andrew Whitehouse, Managing Director at Things Embedded.
Solutions for Industrial Edge Connectivity
Industrial Protocol Gateways
Industrial Remote IO Modules
Industrial Cellular Routers
Installation Simplified, Hardware Failures Eradicated
Checking all the boxes, the latest iEP-5000G industrial IoT Gateway from ASRock Industrial was recommended to give the customer ample processing power and complete installation flexibility for collection and relay of requisite machine data.
Ruggedised Chassis for Harsh Manufacturing Environments
Featuring a compact and rugged chassis with a fanless passively cooled design, the powerful Intel Atom x6000E industrial IoT gateway hits the sweet spot not only in terms of size and performance but offers ingress protection from the elements these systems are subject to on a daily basis. With varied use cases these gateway systems are often found sitting on top of a machine, covered in grease or metal shavings, that’s the environment these systems are subjected to. Furthermore, the industrial internet of things gateway supports a wide 6-36V DC input for fluctuating power inputs and can withstand extended operating temperatures (-40°C to 70°C).
Flexible I/O and Expansion for Industrial Applications
Connectivity to a wide variety of production, machine vision and automation devices their software stack was designed to interface with was paramount. As standard the iEP-5000G provides:
- Three Gigabit Ethernet ports with the option for duel IEEE 802.3AF PoE
- Three configurable RS-232/422/485 serial ports
- Two high speed USB3.2 ports
- Four digital inputs and four digital outputs
Deployed with remote I/O modules industrial protocol gateways the IoT Controller could seamlessly integrate with a wide range of sensors, actuators, machines and computers found in factory floor environments.
Remote Edge Management via Ethernet, WiFi, or Cellular
Featuring surplus Ethernet ports along side ample expansion for Wi-Fi 6 and or 4G/5G expansion the IoT edge gateway simplifies remote edge management no matter where in the world your machines are allowing you to diagnose issues or push updates to the Edge without the necessity of an on-site visit.
Built On Windows 10 IoT and Deployed with our Golden Imaging Service
The integration of Windows 10 IoT operating software was a must-have to ensure the integration of their software stack. Providing an out-of-box experience we handled all imaging and BIOS customisation needs prior to dispatch.