Softing’s New OPC UA-based OT/IT Integration Solution with MQTT Connection

August 23, 2022 by Damond Goodwin

Softing introduces a new OPC UA-based OT/IT integration solution with MQTT connection, the edgeAggregator, for applications in cloud and edge computing to manage complex system architecture.

Softing Industrial Automation is a German-based company with a North American business unit located in Knoxville, Tennessee that focuses on producing software with the goal of helping customers connect their automation in order to better optimize their facilities. 

Softing recently introduced an OPC UA-based OT/IT integration solution with MQTT connection for application in cloud and edge computing that can manage complex system architecture in OT/IT integration. 


Softing Industrial Automation Headquarters

Softing focuses on producing software with the goal of helping customers optimize their facilities. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial


Softing Industrial Automation

Communications in an industrial business setting can be difficult. Softing looks to help customers solve some of these challenges with their unique portfolio of communications experience and connective devices by producing devices and software that help customers connect their devices for increased facility optimization and efficiency.

Their products are used to connect PLCs islands that speak different protocols together. The ability for devices to talk across protocols helps to simplify the process of monitoring systems from afar. Softing's products are also able to connect new PLC systems with already installed PLCs via fiber optic high speed cabling. 

In addition to connecting different devices, Softing's innovations help customers stay connected and monitor the health of their network. They have transmitters, systems for asset management solutions capable of monitoring valves, as well as are capable of providing network troubleshooting.


Softing edgeAggregator, and OPC UA aggregation server

Softing’s new edgeAggragtor, the OPC UA-based OT/IT intergration solution with MQTT connection. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial


Data Aggregation

Softing has released the new edgeAggregator in the hopes of providing customers with a new central data integration layer in their businesses. The system is a container-based solution for managing complex system architectures designed with flexibility in mind. It is capable of OT/IT integration and can even be used in some edge and cloud applications. 

The exchange of data is vital to any integration of devices and equipment into edge or cloud computing. This process of handling the data can be difficult, however, because even a small number of servers and clients can equate to a huge movement of data and information.

With this in mind, it is easy to see how the architecture can become complex quite quickly. Softing has designed the edgeAggregator to operate as a central data integration layer for handling the complex data. The system is also capable of managing access rights and special security requirements. 


capable for OT/IT integration. and MQTT connections

Softing's edge Aggregator works as an IoT cloud gateway. Image used courtesy of Softing Industrial


As an OPC UA aggregation server, edgeAggregator can be used to handle the aggregation of up to 100 OPC UA servers and will support up to 25 OPC UA server endpoints. For handling bidirectional data transmission with cloud applications, the system works as an IoT cloud gateway using MQTT Publisher/Subscriber functionality. 

For protection against cyber attacks, it acts as an "OPC UA Firewall" and can function as a security supervisor. When it comes to the central management of the security parameters of the OPC UA and MQTT connections, edgeAggregator works well managing users and certificates. 


Optimization and Efficiency

Data transmission and organization can become very complex, especially when multiple entities are linked together. In order to be successful with cloud or edge computing, the data used needs to be managed properly and the system needs to be capable of monitoring and managing security threats from cyber attacks after linking to the cloud.

Softing has created the egdeAggregator in order to manage these complex tasks. With it, Softing aims to help customers better realize the benefits of data monitoring in both their business models and on the plant floor. The addition of such technology hopes to bring a higher level of optimization and efficiency to industrial plants using it.