Connectivity for Edge Solutions With Docker-based Software Updates
Softing Industrial announced the release of its latest Docker-based software application updates and edge products with added functionalities, aiming to enhance efficiency and usability of its solutions.
Softing Industrial Automation GmbH (Softing Industrial) announced the release of the latest version of its Docker-based smartLink SW-HT software application and its edgeConnector and edgeAggregator products.
Softing Industrial sets out to elevate the efficiency of industrial automation systems through connectivity-enhancing software updates and edge products. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial
smartLink SW-HT Version 1.30
Softing Industrial’s smartLink SW-HT version 1.30 software application runs in a Docker container. Docker is a popular open-source platform for developing, packaging and deploying software applications in a portable and scalable way. A Docker container is a portable, standalone package that contains everything required to run an application (such as systems tools, code, runtime, libraries, and settings).
The smartLink SW-HT improves access to Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) devices, providing an Ethernet connection to direct HART instructions to remote I/Os. The latest smartLink SW-HT supports Field Device Tool (FDT) Device Type Manager (DTM) interface, and a remote I/O system developed by Siemens, the ET200 I/O system.
Prior versions of the software application allowed users to connect with remote I/Os from R. Stahl, Allen-Bradley, and Schneider Electric. Companies with control systems of varying complexity and structure may find the open connectivity of the latest smartLink SW-HT an attractive solution for enhancing system connectivity.
Softing Industrial features enhanced HART device connectivity. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial
The ET200 I/Os expand the I/O capacity of a PLC by connecting remote modules to the PLC via a communication network. Electronic modules can connect to a central control unit through communication interface bus modules such as Profibus, Profinet, and Ethernet/IP.
The advantage of using ET200 remote I/Os is that they allow the PLC to be located away from the actual I/O devices, which can be spread out over a large area. For control systems engineers, this can save installation time and costs and also allows for more flexibility in designing the layout of a system.
edgeConnector and edgeAggregator Version 3.40
The latest version of Softing Industrial’s edgeConnector and edgeAggregator products includes new functionalities to provide customers with integrated Docker information technology (IT) solutions.
New features of the latest version of Softing Industrial’s edge products allow customers to:
- Use the Prometheus query language to collect, analyze, and store metrics.
- Stream logging information for use by Docker container management platforms such as Portainer and Kubernetes.
- Integrate with central authentication solutions through the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.
- Utilize the latest (version 5) lightweight messaging protocol, MQTT protocol version 5, in addition to MQTT Trigger Enhancement and Store and Forward.
Customers can learn more about Softing Industrial’s edgeConnector and edgeAggregator products at Hannover Messe this April. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial
Store and Forward ensures that data is not lost, providing a secure solution for storing information. In a situation where the connection is interrupted, any data in transit gets stored and automatically sent once the connection is re-established. The Trigger Enhancement of MQTT now allows the formation of intricate triggers for all MQTT messages, thanks to its new integration with a scripting language, LUA scripts.
The edgeAggregator offers users a Docker-based IoT edge solution along with an OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) data integration layer. OPC UA servers (on the automation level) can be clustered, and their respective address spaces merged to facilitate communication. Data from multiple sources can be combined and made accessible to related IT applications through a uniform OPC UA interface.
Providing integration with Docker IT solutions is important because it allows users to leverage the benefits of containerization and container orchestration. By integrating Docker into an industrial facility’s IT infrastructure, companies can:
- provide a level of isolation between applications, which helps to improve security.
- reduce their infrastructure costs and improve resource utilization.
- improve their security posture and reduce the risk of data breaches.
- Improve application development and deployment speed.
With its latest updates, Softing Industrial hopes to increase the scalability and efficiency of its software solutions. Softing Industrial will present its latest innovations at the Hannover Messe trade fair on April 17 to 21, 2023 (hall 015, booth F48).