Press release - October 29, 2020
CONTACT Software joins the Edgecross Consortium
Connected machines, automation and real-time process monitoring are the hallmarks of the smart factory. Edge computing plays a central role at the interface between IoT and the cloud. CONTACT Software now supports an initiative from Japan, which develops industry standards for this technology.
The cloud is the basis for the Internet of Things. However, it is less suitable for IoT applications that require real-time reactions. This is where the Edgecross Consortium, founded 2017 in Tokyo, comes in with its activities. The initiative, which was launched by Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, Advantech, NEC, IBM Japan and Oracle Japan, develops and certifies vendor-neutral edge computing solutions for Industry 4.0.
Edge computing is the collection and analysis of operational data at the edge of a network, i.e. close to the data source or directly within an automation solution. IoT applications can thus continuously monitor and optimize machinery and ongoing production processes in real-time.
Edge computing requires standards for hardware, software and communication protocols. In the global partner network of the Edgecross Consortium, more than 60 members from the IT, factory automation and industrial connectivity sectors contribute to this today. Their cooperation makes it possible to collect data from machine controllers and sensors independently of the supplier and to execute it on various industrial PCs from different manufacturers.
CONTACT Software and Mitsubishi Electric already use the Edgecross Basic Software in their joint IoT projects. This leads to digitally networked plants in which production lines, sub-process plants and components communicate with enterprise IT - the digital twin is the link here. The open software platform forwards all information and signals from the machines to an industrial computer from Mitsubishi Electric and converts them into an MQTT protocol.
"With the Edgecross Basic Software we integrate individual machines and their components into a holistic retro-fit scenario with real-time monitoring", says Sebastian Creischer, Account Manager IoT at CONTACT Software. "And through our Elements for IoT platform we link the operative data analyses with the internal company IT to create consistently digital, event-driven process chains".
Depending on the desired application, CONTACT Elements for IoT triggers, for example, predictive maintenance in service, spare parts ordering in purchasing, optimization of the production environment or product changes in development. "As partners, we can offer coherent concepts for the smart factory that unlock real Industry 4.0 potential and further advance the evolution of the shopfloor", says Stefan Knauf, Division Manager at Mitsubishi Electric. "This is why we want to cooperate even more closely with CONTACT”.