Rockwell Automation Introduces First Edge Gateway for FactoryTalk to Accelerate IT/OT ConvergenceNovember 06, 2020 by Sara McCaslin
Rockwell's FactoryTalk Edge Gateway software unifies data from the various industrial sources and control or automation systems to support contextualization and more insights.
Rockwell Automation released the FactoryTalk Edge Gateway. Rockwell’s FactoryTalk is a software package that allows users to interact with the real-time data and information they need to improve plant operation. FactoryTalk Edge Gateway Software takes things a step further by combining often siloed data from heterogeneous devices so that overlooked information becomes accessible.
The Challenge of OT/IT Data
One of the significant issues with OT/IT data convergence is the sheer volume of data generated from an incredibly wide range of equipment, sensors, and automation systems.
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway is a software solution that allows a device, machine, and automation system data to be connected, given context, and delivered to users as information to support plant productivity. Image courtesy of Business Wire.
This data can transform performance and move a facility into the cutting edge of industrial automation, but only when it is provided with proper context with related equipment. The data also needs to be in a format that can provide information about trends, insights, and other actionable information.
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway Software
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway allows the process of data collection and contextualization to be simplified and automated, organizing equipment data across devices, machines, and automation assets while supporting high data integrity.
At the edge, rather than in the cloud, it configures, connects, maps, and contextualizes the data to give it more meaning, then packages it in a common information model.
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway integrates with several IIoT, cloud, and big data applications (i.e., Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, ThingWorx, FactoryTalk Innovation Suite). This gateway integrates the data to be used by shop floor managers, designers, automation engineers, business managers, and anyone else involved in the decisions that rely on this type of data.
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway Software provides a connection between disparate data sources and data destinations. Image courtesy of Rockwell Automation.
Essentially, it is taking the massive volumes of data that are collected and allows users to leverage it for better plant productivity and efficiency.
Utilizing OPC-DA Standards
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway also uses OPC-DA (the automation industry standard for interoperability) to access KEPServer Enterprise data for third-party connectivity to simplify and automate data consumption and provide comprehensive operational insights, all through a single integration solution.
A graphic of OPC DA showing it works. Image courtesy of Information Technology & Services.
Numerous industries can benefit from the FactoryTalk Edge Gateway software, including any factory or facility where automation is in use or IIoT principles are at work.
This includes the food and beverage industry, where FactoryTalk Edge Gateway can prove invaluable for preventing quality issues or performing root cause analysis. It also consists of the automotive and tire industry. It can be used to establish a single source of truth to better measure machine, operational, and quality performance enterprise-wide.
FactoryTalk Edge Gateway aims to accelerate IT/OT convergence by taking highly diverse, siloed data and providing connections and context so that big data applications can pull critical information, insights, and trends from it.
This software from Rockwell Automation intends to enhance the productivity and throughput of facilities that have invested in industrial automation.