Thursday, December 8

How Does An Edge Gateway Work?

Potential users ask less and less about the meaning of IIoT and cloud solutions. You have arrived at the ‘how’: How do you bring sensitive data securely to the cloud? What do you have to consider? What pitfalls are there? Whether manufacturing company, machine or device builder, or advertisement. Click on how does an edge gateway work?

System integrators are all faced with the challenge of integrating a cloud connection into systems or devices or providing it as an option. As a rule, however, the core competence lies in completely different areas than in data communication. Therefore, solutions’ out of the box’ are in demand that do the work and guarantee secure data communication.

The communication experts at HMS have developed various solutions for this, which can suit individual needs. When it comes to the cloud, many companies often already have a fundamental decision on which provider a company generally uses. This specification usually comes from IT and then also applies to the production level.

On the other hand, some companies make a conscious decision not to store data in an external cloud but instead rely on an on-premises solution (on-premises: in their premises, locally). The most common reason is that they do not want to give their critical data outside of their home and put it into the hands of third parties.

No matter what the solution looks like in each case; Data must be collected from the points where it is created and safely brought to the cloud. This not only requires an edge gateway that bridges the gap between the industrial network and the cloud. No matter how it is designed, this gateway must also have a lot of intelligence to ensure secure data transmission. HMS has developed a suitable solution for each of these different approaches, which can be adapted and integrated to individual needs, be it in the self-developed device, the delivered machine, or a production line.

Cloud In-House At The Start

Especially those who get involved in the topic often consciously decide in favor of the cloud in their own company at the beginning. The Anybus Edge solution supports such on-premises concepts. It consists of the three components Anybus Edge Gateway including sequencer, and HMS Hub consisting of Edge Broker and Edge Portal.

The edge gateway is the hardware installed on-site that connects to the industrial networks at the factory level. In addition, the data from the factory is preprocessed, analyzed, summarized, and prepared for secure transmission to the cloud in the gateway. The gateway independently establishes a secure connection to the edge broker here to transfer the previously defined data. The data transmission in smart light switch is event-controlled via Ethernet, WLAN, or cellular radio to keep the data volume low.

The gateway is available in over 50 different versions and thus covers all applications. The system’s heart is the HMS hub with the edge broker, which ensures secure data transfer between the factory and the cloud. For this purpose, the data communication is wholly encrypted end-to-end with the TLS 1.2 standard, which is also common in banks. This ensures data integrity and confidentiality.

The protocol used and specially developed for the IIoT requirements works bidirectionally and event-driven. It also performs well with a large number of connected devices. Anyone who does not resort to a ready-made solution must acquire a lot of knowledge – especially in  ​​secure data connections – and then always stay up to date with the latest technology to implement secure communication.

The Digital Strategy

Another component of the HMS Hub is the edge portal, which in the narrower sense represents the cloud. This is where all the system data come together and are displayed. Dashboards, for example, provide an overview of the live process data of a system or machine. Trend graphs show continuous changes in system or machine parts or provide information about individual components’ wear and tear.

Alarm management via email or SMS is also possible. But you can also create your applications. The connection to third-party clouds such as Microsoft Azure or Siemens MindSphere or databases, for example, for billing, is also possible. And the highlight: If the user wants to switch from the local cloud to the ‘real’ cloud solution in an external data center at some point due to increasing requirements, this is easily possible. The many essential scalabilities are thus given.

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