Connecting and collecting industrial automation data has evolved past workarounds, data gaps, and silos. Best-of-breed industrial connectivity solutions provide manufacturers with a single source of integrated data collection, monitoring, and management across all disparate industrial assets. Best-of-breed, integrated data connectivity solutions enable manufacturers to harness real-time data and analyse holistic operational information across the factory and throughout the global enterprise. The benefits are immediate and far-reaching: decreased downtime, improved data-centric decision-making, and faster adaptability to new challenges and opportunities. Integrated data—and the ability to seamlessly access, analyse, and act upon it—is the heart of today’s productive and performant industrial ecosystem.
As it becomes increasingly easier and cheaper to customise industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives, integrated industrial data is even more valuable. And best-of-breed, single-source data connectivity solutions were created to make sure you get the most value out of that data.
The data you truly need—reliable, timely, and integrated across all assets—is available without workarounds or process changes. You can ensure your workflow is optimised without interruption, while laying the groundwork to efficiently meet any future data connectivity needs.
1. Wrap-and-Extend: More Data, Less Disruption
Best-of-breed, single-source industrial data connectivity solutions have an inherent wrap-and-extend approach. Also sometimes called a “retrofit,” this approach gives you integrated visibility into all industrial automation assets—from your oldest legacy equipment to your sleekest IoT-enabled sensor.
“Wrap” Your Plant Floor in Data Connectivity
The “wrap” part of a wrap-and-extend approach refers to how these solutions integrate data from all protocols used by equipment or equipment components—such as PLCs, control applications, and embedded sensors. You gain seamless interoperability with any industrial asset without having to write and compile code, install multiple connectivity servers, or learn new communication protocols.
Best-of-breed, single-source industrial connectivity solutions metaphorically wrap these machines—and your entire plant floor—with new connectivity, without requiring any internal changes to the machines or to production. They’re simple to implement and can easily encompass new tool connectivity as your plant floor evolves.
“Extend” Your Data and Your Performance
The “extend” part of a wrap-and-extend approach applies to extending your data—and extending your performance. With customisable connectivity options, you can extend data access to any device, software, or data source in your industrial control system (or any that you might incorporate in the future). By extending this data access—without workarounds or cumbersome implementations—these best-of-breed solutions also extend your ability to do what you do best.
2. Integrated Connectivity for Improved Efficiency
Best-of-breed, single-source industrial connectivity solutions break down information silos by aggregating data connectivity and access across protocols, vendors, devices, machines, software applications, data points, and more. The result is complete enterprise-wide data accessibility.
This extends to IT applications and across different business roles and locations for visibility into all industrial assets from anywhere, at any time. And that data is applicable for innumerable uses—from single-machine maintenance insights to enterprise-wide business strategies.
Actionable Data without Asset Intrusion
With access to real-time, integrated industrial data, decision-makers at all levels can swiftly identify and respond to any issues. You likely have baseline data management capabilities right now—such as siloed data access and basic data quality tracking—but the complexity of integrating data visibility and management across the enterprise has simply evolved beyond the scope of workarounds. Best-of-breed, single-source data connectivity solutions not only provide more robust and reliable integrated data, they give you the ability to take informed, immediate action across the factory and the enterprise.
Data Insights without Data Overload
When you first connected your machine data, your challenges likely shifted from collecting untapped data to managing the data influx. A best-of-breed, single-source industrial connectivity solutions enables you to not just connect, but also manage, monitor, and control your production, facility, and infrastructure data. With this integrated view, you can easily customise even the most complex, data-rich information to ensure it meets every user’s unique requirements.
3. Flexibility Today to Future-Proof Your Tomorrow
Best-of-breed, single-source, integrated data connectivity solutions not only help you do more with what you have—they also future-proof your connectivity beyond current requirements. Built by industry experts who understand the industrial automation market, these solutions were created to keep pace with industrial needs, ensuring that you stay innovative, tactical, and competitive. This is especially vital in today’s industrial landscape, where IIoT technology and customer needs are evolving faster than ever before. Your current tools won’t ever cause the same headaches as legacy equipment, with its limited data accessibility— with best-of-breed, integrated connectivity, today’s equipment will continue to meet any future initiatives, with reliable, robust, and integrated data flows.
Scalability Across the Factory and the Years
And this scalability goes beyond the plant floor. Best-of-breed solutions create a future-proofed foundation for greater collaboration with IT and other departments as technology needs change and evolve. Your connectivity is covered from the oldest legacy machines to the ever- growing list of IIoT-enabled devices and applications. Your time is too valuable to waste on workarounds. And your finely-tuned productivity is too important to interrupt with new technology that can’t adapt to your needs. Best-of-breed, single-source data connectivity solutions are designed specifically to provide seamless, integrated data connectivity across disparate software applications, machines, devices, and protocols, giving you in-depth visibility throughout even the most demanding infrastructure.