I am excited to announce the release of KEPServerEX® Version 6.1! This release builds on the usability and performance enhancements of Version 6, while strengthening the industrial connectivity platform’s core functionalities and enabling further device connectivity across the plant floor.
Version 6.1 includes new OPC UA Client driver enhancements, additional Configuration API capabilities, streamlined ThingWorx® and KEPServerEX integration, and two new solutions: a Siemens Plus Suite that incorporates Siemens-approved OPC UA functionality and a new driver supporting CODESYS Version 2.3 connectivity. These enhancements were designed to help bridge the gap between Operations and IT, for seamless enterprise-wide operational intelligence and optimized Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity.
On February 24, I presented "Collecting Industrial IoT Sensor Data through the KEPServerEX® User-Configurable Driver," a live webinar on how the User Configurable (U-CON) driver for KEPServerEX can help optimize the new breed of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) smart sensors. Attendees sent in great questions and comments throughout the webinar, but due to time constraints I couldn't answer every question asked.
The Q&A pairs below address the topics I didn't have time for during the webinar. I hope that this background information on the U-CON driver will give you the confidence and enthusiasm to explore how it can optimize your smart manufacturing tools.
Many of the promised benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) did not capture the imagination of SCADA professionals a year or two ago. Why not? Because many of the IIoT capabilities lauded as “visionary” match what they have been accomplishing for decades.
Today’s manufacturing plant floor has inherent automation and connectivity challenges. Real-time production control and data analysis requires seamless connectivity across the enterprise—but disparate machinery, devices, and applications can’t always communicate effectively (or at all). Valuable information can be lost in this connectivity gap—at the cost of safety, productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
In October 2015, Kepware released the IoT Gateway advanced plug-in. Leveraging the 150+ drivers within the KEPServerEX® connectivity platform, the IoT Gateway streams real-time industrial data directly into Big Data and analytic software applications. It extends KEPServerEX connectivity to include web-based client applications and helps users create a more connected enterprise.
Since the release of the IoT Gateway, we’ve received questions about its ability to issue an HTTP GET request from our RESTful Client and retrieve data from a RESTful Server within KEPServerEX. Although this functionality is not included in the IoT Gateway, you can retrieve data from a RESTful server for use in KEPServerEX via Kepware's User Configurable (U-CON) driver.
In today's fast-paced world of technology, new software can reshape industries overnight. But while the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is everywhere now—connecting millions of devices, machines, sensors, and systems throughout the world—it is anything but an overnight sensation. Over the past 50 years, technological milestones big and small—from large-scale system architecture breakthroughs to modest "Eureka" moments—have led to today's IIoT and are still informing predictions for tomorrow's industrial landscape.
In KEPServerEX® version 5.21, Kepware’s industrial connectivity platform expanded interoperability with the ThingWorx® IoT Platform, the industry’s leading application development platform for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Both KEPServerEX and ThingWorx are extremely flexible, and can be deployed in many different environments and integrated with a variety of solutions to meet customer needs. To support this wide range of use and application, Kepware extended the integration options available for connectivity between the platforms—providing users the ability to select the best integration method for their systems.
On June 30, Kepware concluded its first installment of the IoT Webinar Series. The series shares breakthrough technology for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and explores a wide range of solutions made possible by integrating KEPServerEX with IoT Alliance member offerings. Use cases and real-world applications ranged from condition-based monitoring and predictive maintenance to machine learning, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and big data analytics.
In recent years, the number of manufacturers leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to improve productivity, reduce defects, and gain more visibility into the operation of their facilities has increased dramatically. A recent survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that over one-third of U.S. manufacturers consider it “extremely critical” to have an IIoT strategy implemented in their operation. Similarly, a survey from LNS Research with over 600 respondents found that 34 percent of companies are currently adopting IoT—a figure that will undoubtedly continue to grow in the coming years.
On December 15, Kepware hosted an IoT-themed Tweet Chat. During the one-hour event, R&D Lead Aron Semle, Product Manager Erik Dellinger, and a team of Kepware employees joined IoT Alliance members, industry affiliates, and the global Twitter community to discuss the Internet of Things and Industrial Automation. We received so many thoughtful responses, comments, and conversations that we'd like to share them with you here.