Industrial Communications

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In the environment of the automation of industrial processes, the communication between the devices that intervene in the control of these systems, is a key issue to allow not only a correct operation, but also the supervision and control of these processes.

The communications between devices are carried out through the use of different industrial communications protocols. A communication protocol is a set of rules that allows the transfer and exchange of data between the devices to communicate.

As technological development in the field of electronics has progressed, automated control of industrial processes has been imposed on traditional production methods.

In the early stages of the introduction of this technology in the industry, automation was limited to local control of certain machines or production lines, leading to automatic systems isolated from each other, which could not share information to optimize the development of work on a larger scale.

It is for this reason that the next step on the road to a fully automated industry was to interconnect these isolated systems. This step has allowed, in addition to a more efficient management of production processes, a better availability of information from field devices, centrally at the plant level.

The latest advance in this field was given thanks to the need presented by the large entities of the industrial production sector and consisted in the integration of information between plants and factories of the same group.

The integration of these systems is usually carried out by distributing the communications in several layers:

  • Field Buses
  • LAN networks
  • LAN-WAN networks

Challenges in industrial communications

There are many industrial communications protocols in use today, some of them driven by specific manufacturers, and many others defined as open standards.

Historically, there has been a big problem in the industry when connecting devices from different manufacturers, which used different protocols, so the planning when designing a communications network that made compatible the existing information in all systems became a great puzzle.

This meant that it was complex and expensive to have all the information unified, which would allow a global vision of the business on the part of the board. In this sense, several manufacturers and entities have made attempts to impose a standard that allows to simplify and unify industrial communications, a contest that today continues to develop without having yet reached a commitment by the industry.

Industrial communications: what IDbox brings

It is at this point where IDboxRT shows one of its greatest strengths, as it is a system that allows to gather and unify all the information necessary for the management of the business on a large or small scale, without the need to modify the architecture of the industrial communications network owned by the client.

This is achieved thanks to the custom development of connectors, which acquire the information of the different devices, whatever the implemented protocols, normalizing the data in a common format, and gathering all this data in the same tool that allows to exploit the data thanks to numerous visualization, analysis and calculation capabilities.

Currently IDboxRT offers a catalogue of more than 150 connectors, a figure that is constantly growing, since they are pieces of software that are custom-developed as requested. Ultimately, the objective of the system is not limited to gathering information, but also to provide our clients with a simple and effective way to improve their processes, giving them the operational intelligence that will help them in day-to-day decision-making. For this, the analysis layer of IDboxRT is offered as a web client, mobile application, or even through the plugins for Microsoft Office.

With all these characteristics, we managed to solve the recurring problems of isolation and availability of information in the industry, unifying the information and offering it through any device anywhere.

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