IIoT Implementation with Omron PLCs

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⌚Timestamps:
00:00 - Intro
00:29 - What is a machine automation controller?
01:02 - IoT and IIoT
02:51 - Cloud computing
03:16 - IIoT-ready PLCs
04:29 - IIoT in action
05:55 - MQTT

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In this video, we’re going to talk about how Machine Automation Controllers or PLCs are using Cloud Computing as part of the IIoT in the new Industrial Revolution, also referred to as Industry 4.0.

We’ll look at how two industry-leading Omron controllers interact with the Cloud and store and use data on SQL databases in machine processes.

A Machine Automation Controller combines the traditional PLC electrical circuit logic functions with high-speed Motion Controller functions required for extremely precise and lightning-fast position/velocity/torque control.

This new evolution of PLCs that we’ve referred to as Machine Automation Controllers has evolved even further into a device that easily fits in with other devices of the IIoT.

As the name suggests the IIoT is part of the IoT but concentrates on the connection of machines and devices in Industry.

Consumers that are part of a digitally-transformed business enterprise have access to any, and all data when wanted.

A Consumer can be a human or a device. A business enterprise can be many things including a factory, or several factories.

Digitally transformed means that consumer devices like instruments, sensors, and other devices are networked together and communicating with computer-driven industrial applications for various functions and control.

Human consumers need ready access to data for business management.
For all of this digital transformation, there needs to be considerable computing horsepower to transform, manipulate, store and handle all of the data.

Some or all of this computing horsepower may be owned by the business enterprise itself, or it might be on the Cloud.

Cloud computing is the use of internet-based IT services for data storage and computing power as opposed to using local extranet-connected servers.

The ever-growing list of cloud-computing providers includes Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure Google Cloud, and many more.

Industry-leading PLC manufacturer Omron has developed a series of IIoT-ready Machine Automation Controllers. @Omron Automation - Americas

The Omron NX102 and NX701 PLCs can communicate to the cloud via OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) which is an open industrial protocol.

Omron’s PLCs have embedded OPC UA servers allowing connection to a variety of platforms such as Windows, Linux, or Android.

These Omron PLCs also have an SQL client built into the CPU which can talk directly to an SQL database. This essentially eliminates middleware as the PLC can connect to an SQL database wherever it is.

SQL (Structured Query Language) is the ANSI standard language for relational database management systems.

The Omron Sysmac Platform shares data from Omron controllers using three methods;
- Embedded SQL Client,
- OPC UA Server,
- MQTT Function Blocks.

MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) is a very popular publish/subscribe messaging communication protocol for IoT devices allowing the exchange of data via Cloud services.

It is an Open and Standard protocol that requires a Broker. A Broker such as HiveMQ is a commercially available intermediary entity that enables MQTT clients to communicate.

A Broker receives messages published by clients, performs message sorting by topic, and then distributes them to subscribers.

The Omron Machine Automation controllers can accomplish MQTT via Sysmac Studio communication Function Blocks as it is not built into the PLC.

The Function Block MQTTClient controls the connection with the MQTT server. This means that you don’t need to write any program for your PLC to communicate with an MQTT server. All you need to do is to add this function block in your logic and assign the right parameters to it.

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