Nowadays, manufacturers need keeping factories running 24×7, and, in order to ensure it, the equipment must be reliable because a failure can cost millions of euros and impact the ability to ship product to customers. How can IoT help you to increase equipment and minimize unplanned factory downtime? The answer is monitoring factory equipment, quickly, providing maintenance engineers with detailed error message in real time. In this newsletter we will show you an example of how IoT can help in industry.
Project, Hardware and Architecture
In this project, Opiron Electronics connect an M-Duino PLC from IndustrialShields to the Xively IoT platform. This example is going to show you an online monitoring feature for a Factory process, which will enable to maintenance engineers and operators to visualize factory data using Internet, so they´ll can access using smartphones or tablets. For this reason, we are not going to implement a full automation solution because it is not the scope of this newsletter. Since the hardware point of view, the architecture that we will implement will be as the following picture shows:
First of all, make sure you have a Xively account. If you don’t already have one, you can register for a free account here. Secondly, select the data you want to visualize. IoT is not going to substitute SCADA systems; you have to think it as an extension, so select the critical data that you would have in the cloud. In our example we will use a temperature.
As usual, we will use the Arduino IDE to program our PLC. Furthermore, for this project we will use the Xively library for Arduino which you can download here. You will need the http client library as well, available here. The sketch will upload a datastream to the Xively platform. Xively generates graphs based on data you provide, but you can create triggers and notifications to provide alert capabilities for your application. Regarding the M-Duino PLC code, it can be downloaded here:
The main benefits of the Opiron proposed solution are:
- Online monitoring can reduce maintenance costs and downtime.
- Connected: Maintenance engineers can keep connected to equipment and process, which means faster repair times and a reliability improvement.
- Open Source based: Since the hardware and software point of view, this feature means big flexibility, big availability of resources on the internet in case of failures or change implementations, etc.