A key feature of Industry 4.0 applications is the close interweaving of the production and management levels. This involves the use of a large number of OT components, which exchange data with one another and communicate with various IT applications. This results in the creation of highly complex network structures that present a challenge in terms of the volume of data required, secure data transfer and straightforward configuration. Short IT innovation cycles mean that users are also facing the question of how they can reduce the costs for IT-OT integration over the lifetime of a plant. Considering the above, the new OPC UA middleware solution dataFEED Secure Integration Server offers the user decisive advantages.
Decoupling by Interface Abstraction
The abstract interfaces of the middleware allow for adaptations or extensions within the IT or OT world without having to follow the other level. Instead, it is sufficient to adapt the OPC UA address space of dataFEED Secure Integration Server, resulting in only minimal effort. For instance, this allows the user to easily integrate a new IT application into the existing interface of the OT side or to make changes within the production world. It becomes possible for a software supplier to integrate a standard interface for its application into customer-specific systems and environments. As a result, the user gains significant degrees of freedom and can take full advantage of short innovation cycles in the IT world and freely select the IT applications and platforms used with reduced integration effort. In addition, he has every opportunity to make changes within the OT world without having to start the IT integration process from scratch.
Data Aggregation and Preprocessing
The data aggregation of dataFEED Secure Integration Server allows data to be aggregated from multiple sources, so that the IT application only must access one server instead of many individual data sources. The simplified communication structure reduces the configuration effort, as not every single OT data source and IT application needs their own configuration.
Data pre-processing performs the central calculation of required process values, such as average values over a longer period of time, or of parameters for carrying out predictive maintenance. This leads to a reduction of the exchanged data volume and an increase of the available computing power on the computers of the IT application.
With the use of dataFEED Secure Integration Server, the security functionality of the OPC UA standard is fully available. This allows to specify different access rights for different applications and users, to restrict access to individual data only to specific applications, to define certificates for data access and to build white lists or black lists for accessing data from individual IP addresses. In addition, denial of service (DoS) attacks on the used OPC UA authentication can be detected.
Significant User Benefits
dataFEED Secure Integration Server provides comprehensive functionality for centrally managing an Industrie 4.0 solution. OPC UA Servers and Clients and the associated address spaces can be dynamically added and deleted without rebooting; various data sources can be flexibly grouped together for access by individual OPC UA applications. The proper configuration of the OPC UA address space for a particular client interface makes the simple integration of standard applications possible.
As a middleware, dataFEED Secure Integration Server also decouples the OT and IT worlds and their interfaces from each other. This makes decisions about changes and investments largely independent and reduces integration and operating costs over the lifetime of the plant.
Ready for Industrie 4.0 Applications
Comprehensive data exchange is an Industrie 4.0 key feature. For this purpose, dataFEED Secure Integration Server provides a central OPC UA data integration layer, which makes it easy to configure the data exchange between the OT and IT world, to manage it efficiently, to run it smoothly and to maintain it easily. Data access can be set, released and locked centrally for individual components. An OPC UA firewall provides protection against attacks.
High flexibility in namespace designation, address space filter support, web-based configuration and a configuration API minimize the highly complex network structures of Industrie 4.0 solutions by using dataFEED Secure Integration Server and thus make these manageable.
IT and OT world meet with different requirements
The aggregation server abstracts device interfaces and provides a unified interface for communication with a central platform
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