Control-to-cloud effectiveness

Connecting systems and processes gives companies a broader visibility of business-wide operations. However, as data moves into the cloud, one of the primary concerns is security. Similarly, control-to-cloud effectiveness should not be overlooked, as embracing industrial cloud-based solutions is no longer enough to give a business a competitive edge. 

Here, George Walker, managing director of industrial automationprovider Novotek UK and Ireland, discusses the need to evaluate control-to-cloud effectiveness and asks — are your systems up to the job?

As industry further adopts full-scale industrial internet of things (IIoT) systems, data processing has increasingly shifted to the cloud. How much control should be placed in the cloud remains a contentious issue. Cloud-based MES lowers the cost of having an efficient system and opens up efficiency improvements to smaller companies who were previously priced out of the market.

It’s clear that a secure connection to the latest generation of cloud systems can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs, while offering a scalable and flexible solution. However, to make the most of the insights gleaned from these collective data points, requires the information to be analysed in real-time and the analytics sent back to the authorised end users.

Most control data in the cloud is unanalysed and raw. The Emerson PACSystems RX3i CPL410, distributed by Novotek UK and Ireland, has edge functionality meaning that the data pushed to the cloud is already actionable. As the name suggests, the edge is the boundary of the industrial system that connects to the cloud. 

Incorporating the Ubuntu server, the CPL410 is adapted to artificial intelligence (AI) and allows the development of machine learning or digital twinning. As a result, it provides an open platform for reliable and secure communication and analysis. This enables the use of cloud or edge-based results optimisation applications and controls can be programmed to dynamically influence business results, generate new forms of revenue and improve profitability.

The CPL410 is the world’s first edge device that allows customers to run real-time deterministic controls alongside edge technology stacks, running on general purpose operating systems, such as Linux, directly on the hardware in a safe and co-operative manner. Another great benefit of the CPL410 that it can be used by control engineers to monitor the OT network, while a broad suite of cyber-security technology and tools help prevent unauthorised updates or changes. 

The flexibility of cloud connection means that the CPL410 can be integrated into a wide range of applications including automotive, oil and gas, wastewater management and modular machine designs. Operators in these sectors can benefit from reduced unplanned downtime, minimised maintenance costs, maximised asset utilisation, and increased network and asset security.

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