IoT Platform for Industry 4.0 and Smart Production
Obtaining data from smart production lines and production environments is nothing revolutionary and has been an important factor of running an efficient factory for years. While production data is often available, machine condition and performance might not be visualised the same way. By gathering and visualising this data it allows you to understand why issues arise and later to predict them before they happen. By combining production data and machine monitoring you can increase production performance and reduce stoppages.
While Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been around for a long time, they are usually expensive to obtain and set up. And often they focus on production data and not machine condition value. The data needed is usually available through PLCs or can easily be measured with retrofitted sensors, but there is no good way of gathering and combining this data. Machine vendors also tend to have good data collection platforms, but with a manufacturing line with equipment from multiple different vendors, these usually won’t help.
How Beacon Tower fits:
Beacon Tower, being vendor-agnostic, allows you to gather all types of data from your factory – either directly from sensors, other cloud platforms and MES, or through your equipment’s SCADA, or directly from PLCs.
We make use of integration tools that easily allow us to gather data from a majority of protocols and interfaces. By making use of our Asset structure & hierarchy you can model your production environment in multiple layers to make sure the data structure mimics reality.
Key Beacon Tower functionalities that enable Industry 4.0 and Smart Production
Asset Structure & Hierarchy
With Assets you can create an accurate presentation of your production. Assets can represent one or multiple physical devices or machines or be put in hierarchies to model your complex production and geographical set-up. This allows you to model what is really important to your or your customer’s business.
Beacon Tower has built in support for IoT Edge devices. This means you can move sensitive and time critical operations to your devices while still keeping the benefits of a cloud-based data collection. You can either incorporate your own edge devices or make use of the Beacon Tower embedded edge software.
No vendor lock-in
Beacon Tower has no hardware requirements and connects to all device clouds, machines and sensors to gain maximum flexibility and prevent automation vendor lock-in.
Beacon Tower Digital Twin is a software representation of a physical asset and location designed to detect, prevent, predict, and optimise physical behaviour.
Rules & Alarms
Create rules that are applied directly on streaming real-time data. The rules can either be simple thresholds that triggers alarms when sensor values go outside them, or complex rules based on multiple different sensor values and algorithms.
The rules can either start actions or trigger alarms. The alarms can be of varying severity to notify different groups of users.
Beacon Tower security enables secure access for devices, APIs and customers. Beacon Tower builds upon Azure security, with multi-factor Authentication services that have zero-trust relationship and with secure connections to all devices.
Azure 24/7 security monitoring enhances Beacon Tower as it relies on Azure Cloud managed services.
Critical challenges for Smart Production
Create the link between industrial machinery and digital systems. Beacon Tower supports a range of wide-area and short-range communications protocols. For example, Sigfox is a proprietary, ultra-narrow-band wireless technology and a network service provider; it deploys and maintains its own network. Other relevant connectivity options include NB-IoT, Bluetooth LE (BLE), LTE Cat 0, and Wi-Fi. These platforms cater for the specific requirements associated with extracting data from complex industrial assets, supporting a broad set of industrial protocols that range from legacy SCADA and industrial buses, to more modern OPC UA communication protocols.
Beacon Tower protects IoT devices and data from attack. IoT devices generate sensitive information about company operations and customers and transmit that data using specialized protocols to local gateways and then over the internet. In the industrial space, IoT brings connectivity to buildings, assets, and critical infrastructure that have traditionally not been connected. Beacon Tower incorporates security components to ensure device attestation, network connectivity, software upgrades, authentication, identity and access management, and data loss prevention.
Beacon Tower transform data into timely, relevant insight and action. Beacon Tower is optimised for many sensors that capture and generate time-series data in a per-minute or real-time manner, or capturing insights from audio and video sensors that deliver rich media. Beacon Tower has rich analytics, including data filtering and streaming analytics to monitor data in real time and advanced analytics to extract hidden patterns and insights from captured information.
Control the provisioning, maintenance, and operation of IoT devices. Beacon Tower is designed to manage thousands or tens of thousands of connected devices to measure state information like pressure, temperature, or vibration. Beacon Tower enables technology stakeholders to simplify the process of configuring, provisioning, and initiating operation of connected assets and products. Beacon Tower offer a range of capabilities to support monitoring, testing, updating, and troubleshooting connected devices and software. Beacon Tower also include operational logs and reports documenting the status of updates.
Create applications and integrate with enterprise systems. The diverse array of industrial IoT use cases requires software integration and APIs to support relevant business processes and applications. Beacon Tower enables developers to easily create code, business rules, and data management capabilities integrated with IoT connectivity, security, and manageability. Development tools, scripting tools, API links, and API management tools are designed for interfacing with enterprise applications. Beacon Tower also helps transform industry- or technology-specific data elements and data models into a normalised format by providing developers with a range of APIs with freedom of development tools and coding languages.