There's gold in legacy devices—if you can reach it. Long-serving equipment, machines and systems may be the backbone of industrial manufacturing, but many if not most were built and installed in the years before today's on-board microprocessors and Ethernet or wireless network connections were available. It's this lack of data processing and connectivity that makes it difficult to access the useful data that many plant-floor devices contain. However, there are a few ways to overcome these obstacles, and take advantage of the insights and efficiencies this equipment can provide.
In this webinar, Jim Montague, Executive Editor of ControlGlobal.com, and Philip Bard, Senior Applications Engineer at Kepware, explore how manufacturers are approaching this problem, including the pros and cons of each approach, common pitfalls, and examples of success. They’ll review approaches such as:
- Ripping and replacing old devices with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled hardware and software, which is very costly;
- Developing and maintaining a from-scratch, in-house connectivity solution with existing components, which is very consuming; or
- Deploying third-party, IoT-ready connectivity solutions, such as OPC servers, IoT platforms, IoT gateways and sensors that can extend the capabilities of legacy equipment. This third choice enables communication with legacy protocols used by many existing devices (such as PLCs, control applications and embedded sensors) and it can also involve adding sensors that directly measure KPIs and make this data accessible to the IoT.