Overview

The connect-Gateway is a software solution for machine data logging for industrial machines. For this, the Gateway supports a wide range of protocols and formats. In this article we will give a brief overview about the technology.

Data Movement

Industrial production generates large amounts of data and information. But the types of data, where the data is generated and which system need to have access to the data can vary a lot.

The connect-Gateway enables to collect machine data of any kind and forward it to any system that needs to work with this data.

The core function of the connect-Gateway is the configuration and management of data interfaces and the definition of the data flow between these interfaces. For modern machine data acquisition, this means that the data of machines or plants can be forwarded to other IT systems, databases or cloud platforms by simply configuring interfaces.

The connect-Gateway acts as an intermediary between the two worlds and also regulates the data flow in terms of IT security. Due to its independence of manufacturers and protocols, the connect-Gateway can record data from different manufacturers and control systems. This data can be processed for all target systems. The connect-Gateway serves as a universal translator to make machine data available for other systems.

The connect-Gateway is the central unit for data aquisition from industrial machines.

Web-Based Management

The connect-Gateway provides a web-based user interface, that can be accessed via a web browser on PCs or mobile devices like tablets or smartphones.

The user interface is used to administrate and check the configuration of your connect-Gateway, as well as to obtain a graphical representation of the data flow.

Part of the management interface showing the current values of some datapoints.

Configure your connect-Gateway

Depending on the types and number of machines, every connect-Gateway needs to be configured differently. The configuration is managed using a configuration file. All devices and machines – called Endpoints– that should me monitored using the connect-Gateway are configured.

Each endpoint can send or receive data using various protocols. Each entiy of data is written into so called Datapoints, or read from them. Furthermore, you can use triggers to define the time at which the data is to be written or read.

These are the major parts of a configuration file:

  • Datapoints
  • Endpoints
  • Transformer
  • Persister

Datapoints and Data Conversion

The connect-Gateway standardizes all incoming data by storing it using the internal structure of datapoints. The set of all datapoints creates the dataspace.

A data producer writes data into the dataspace. A data consumer reads data from the dataspace.

A producer data mapping defines which data is extracted from the given input format and stored into the dataspace as a certain datapoint. In the dataspace, the datapoints are stored in a structured way and can be read out of it again. A consumer output mapping transform the data in a format suitable for a specific consumer.

The data handling process is as follows: The connect-Gateway receives data from a producer, decodes the input format and applies the mapping to set the datapoints. On the other side, a consumer reads the datapoints from the dataspace. For this purpose, the connect-Gateway maps the required datapoints via an output encoder into the format expected by the consumer.

These mighty principles makes the connect-Gateway an ultimate data converter. The handling of specific formats for decoding and encoding is encapsuled into plugins. The same way the transport protocol are implemeted as plugins. By this, the connect-Gateway can be adapted to any format and protocol that is required.

Endpoints

Each endpoint uses one or more protocol plugins to send data to the connect-Gateway or receive data from the connect-Gateway. Within each protocol it can be defined whether data is received from a producer or sent to a consumer. The data flow is called producer, if the data is send to the connect-Gateway. The data flow is called consumer, if the data is received from the connect-Gateway. An endpoint can provide consumer-interfaces, producer-interfaces or both.

Transformer

The connect-Gateway offers the possibility to connect collected data with each other. The transformers cumulate the data and write the result into a new datapoint.

Transformers are scriptable using JavaScript. Any processing logic can be implemented to normalize the data or make any pre-calculation on the data inside the dataspace.

Persister

All values received are only stored for the runtime of the connect-Gateway in memory (RAM). If these values need to be available after a restart of the connect-Gateway (e.g. continuous piece counter) you can use persisters. The values are stored inside a database or files in the file system.

Protocol Plugins

The connect-Gateway offers a large variety of protocol plugins to configure the data interfaces. Here is a list of some supported protocols:

  • CAN – Protocol plugin that communicates with the CAN bus
  • FANUC_FOCAS – Protocol plugin for Fanuc CNC machines
  • HTTP_CLIENT – Protocol plugin for a HTTP Client using async processing in a common Thread-Pool
  • HTTP_SERVER – Protocol plugin that creates an HTTP Server
  • JDBC – Protocol plugin for connections to a database using JDBC
  • MQTT_CLIENT – Protocol plugin for MQTT Client tasks
  • MQTT_Server – Protocol plugin instantiating a MQTT broker

Learn more

Please contact us, to receive more information on how to use the connect-Gateway as a central processing using for data aquisition from industrial machines or any other technical system or device.