Over the last few years there has been a huge focus on Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IOT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and how industrial applications will benefit from using technologies which facilitate these.
Two key technologies growing at a rapid rate within Industry 4.0 are “Wireless” and “Remote Connection”, and these can be satisfied by HMS through the Anybus Wireless and eWON ranges. Both technologies, however, have some pressing points which must be overcome, to protect and maintain operations.
With wireless technology, there is a need to consider the co-existence of wireless devices as well as global coverage. WLAN and Bluetooth are leading the way with worldwide wireless installations and therefore lend themselves towards many IIOT applications. However, both these technologies operate in relatively narrow frequency bands and that is one issue that needs to be addressed.
Until recently we have been fortunate that the allocated frequency bands have not been heavily used, however we are now in a situation where the benefits of wireless are being increasingly recognised, meaning that the uptake is greater and congestion is therefore starting to become a problem. Bluetooth offers stable communications in a congested frequency through its Adaptive Frequency Hopping. However, standards like WLAN are considering new frequency bands away from the traditional 2.4 GHz and we are starting to see the emergence of the 5 GHz band for WLAN within Industry. Good practice also now leads us towards network scanning and frequency planning, in a similar way to designing a hardwired Ethernet network infrastructure, considering bandwidths of Ethernet switches and IP allocation.
When it comes to remote connections, it is the security of your data which is of upmost concern, along with maintaining a stable and reliable connection. “Layered Security” ensures that your data is always safe at each stage of the remote communication. Starting with the hardware device installed with your machine which decouples the machine from the wider area network, before passing through an additional firewall which can be defined to only allow communication with specific devices via an authenticated software. Through to the authenticated user profile connecting remotely, managed to only allow access to specific ports or specific systems along with the option for 2 Step Verification to protect log on credentials.
HMS will venture further into these two considerations at Routeco Live and we look forward to seeing you there to help you understand how these affect you.