Connectivity: how do you connect a variety of different devices in just a few minutes?

Industry 4.0 is on everyone's lips – but unfortunately only in a few production halls. Why? Because the entry barrier for companies is very high. The first technical challenge is already on-boarding machinery and equipment to an IIoT platform. because plants and production machines are complex, often very different from one another and come from different manufacturers. Connyun’s Plug & Work approach removes these hurdles for production companies – without limitation and without quality losses.

The benefits of Plug & Work

As the foundation for successful on-boarding, Plug & Work provides connectivity between the various devices. This includes creating the infrastructure, selecting and tuning communication protocols and providing telemetry data for the corresponding IIoT application. Plug & Work has clear advantages for customers:

  • drastically reduces connectivity times and therefore also on-boarding times
  • eliminates error sources caused by manual configuration
  • OPC UA information models – if available – are extensively used as the basis for the data structure
  • simple, modular description of device types
  • once described, device types can be reused and shared with the community

Plug & Work in detail: achieving the goal through interdisciplinarity

The underlying principle of Plug & Work is well known and proven: taxonomies. This concept has been used for centuries in zoology and botany. Classification into species, classes and genera sharpens the boundaries between the categories and leads to a better understanding of the entire research area. This approach has also found its way into computer science, and is widely used, these days, in object-orientated programming. The term “object” can be used flexibly; the important thing about an object is only that certain attributes and methods are associated with it. According to the same principle, the open standard OPC UA describes machines as objects with properties and methods via so-called information models.

connyun’s Plug & Work principle allows existing OPC UA information models to be fully exploited, thus benefiting from existing device descriptions. This is a decisive step with enormous advantages for customers: instead of repeatedly reconfiguring connectivity for individual devices, this can be achieved automatically with Plug & Work in just a few clicks and just a few seconds. This saves time and avoids the errors that often occur with manual configuration. connyun’s smart solution compares the features of the new device with existing systems and automatically suggests the appropriate device type. In this way, devices can be rapidly connected without the need for programming. Relevant data are available immediately after on-boarding.

Smart categorisation of production equipment into taxonomies also facilitates the handling of complex systems, since device taxonomies can be extended arbitrarily. This means that even custom-made products, conversions or new types of systems can be connected quickly and reliably based on similar devices, without crashing the current Industry 4.0 applications

What if no OPC UA information models are available? No problem, because Plug & Work is by no means limited to OPC UA: the described taxonomy can also be set up without given information models. That means customers can use Plug & Work for their IIoT solution already today.