Machines that talk to each other is a new reality and not fantasy from Hollywood blockbusters anymore. We go for a run and our fitness bracelet communicates information to the mobile phone. We send a signal to the coffee maker via an app and a cup of a hot drink is waiting for us as we are crossing the doorway. Oh yes, and we start a washing machine remotely if needed.
These devices bring more comfort to humans, and we all appreciate some help so that we don’t need to leave our chair.
But what if the issue at stake is less of an option to switch off the light from your mobile but a life-threatening situation? Or a mishap that risks bringing huge losses to your production? Or vice versa – a golden chance to get a head start over your competition?
This area of machine to machine communication exists under a common name of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Experts say that IIoT is no longer the “next big thing” but the current need of production companies. Even more, soon real-time communication between machines and business software will not be something that puts you on a pedestal above rivals but – unless implemented – will cripple development.
Interestingly, this innovative area of the Industrial Internet of Things is closely connected with Portugal, and particularly with Madeira. Here on the island, an international company Connecting Software has opened its office and creates solutions for better manufacturing and industrial processes.
Thomas Berndorfer is an Austrian-German entrepreneur who launched the Madeiran office of Connecting Software in 2017. It is the fourth location of the company after the headquarters in Vienna, first development hub in Slovakia and a sales office in the USA. Since the opening, the team on the island has been constantly growing.
“Originally, we came to Madeira because it is a wonderful place to live and didn’t have big plans for this division. But in the first months we found motivated software developers, good people and positive political and economic factors, and now intend to grow even more”, says the CEO Thomas Berndorfer. The company has expanded the marketing department on the island, added a testing team and plans to add customer support.
Madeira and IIoT (Industrial Internet of things)
Together with Slovakia, the team of Madeira creates integration and synchronization solutions for a variety of sectors and businesses. One of its most recent products is a connector between production machines in a factory and standard business systems on everybody’s desktop. Currently, we think, it is the only solution in the world which enables machines and business systems to “talk” in the same language.
Imagine a factory where each machine produces a lot of data: if it is functioning correctly, if it is not overheated, how much energy it is consuming, if the material is enough, etc. How great it would be if all this important information appeared real-time on a manager’s desktop in the form of easy-to-read graphs, images and alerts within the standard business applications like ERP or CRM, right? Normally, business systems would not understand what production equipment “says” but Connecting Software’s solution acts as a translator between both.
What the IT company has done is revolutionary. Its OPC-UA Connector requires only basic skills from a developer and allows to learn integration of machine data and business software within three hours. Such easy integration is possible because the solution uses the only universal language among developers, familiar to every developer.
According to the CEO Thomas Berndorfer, compared to programming integration from scratch, OPC-UA connector reduces the code to up to 90%. It leads to fewer bugs and building iterations, saving developer’s expensive work time.
Another revolutionary feature of the OPC-UA connector is that the client can choose how to launch it: in the cloud, on-premises or hybrid. It is especially important for companies whose production facilities are based far from urban zones and strong Internet coverage: integration through a cloud would be a bad idea. Finally, safety concerns are crucial: on-premises integration is less prone to interception or hacking.
What is the next step?
There is a stereotype that only big well-established companies have the need and can afford integration of machine data in business systems. It is not exactly so.
“Integration with the OPC-UA connector is absolutely affordable for small and medium-size productions. Besides, you can start synchronization with only several machines and then scale it up”, says the CEO Connecting Software Thomas Berndorfer. The company’s experts can provide free training and help to find the solution which fits your business needs best.
The world is changing, and the speed of changes is increasing as well. Join the IIoT movement now and ensure the success of your business in the years to come.