White Paper: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Building Industrial IoT from Edge to Cloud


In the field of industrial automation, digital transformation, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), and edge computing have become common topics of discussion. Today's businesses and end users need their devices and applications to share data seamlessly across machines, sites, and the enterprise, for optimized production as well as cost savings.

Sharing process data has long been a goal of industrial automation, but traditional automation architectures are poor at scaling, priced prohibitively, and demand complex configuration and support. So how can we achieve these new, more ambitious goals of the IIoT?

Industrial automation architectures generally address data processing from a hierarchical perspective. But the task of transporting data and processing it in context is often difficult, because so many layers of equipment are required to connect devices and applications.

This hierarchical approach was necessary when computing capability, network bandwidth, and security features were much less available in automation products. Today, sensors and other edge devices are far more capable, with some of them including processing and communication abilities similar to a PC. Security protections like embedded firewalls are also becoming standard features, allowing each device to act as a peer on the network instead of passively listening and responding to high-level systems.

This white paper introduces next-generation distributed I/O and control products that make new architectures possible, enabling connectivity from the field to the cloud for sensors and actuators, and for the input/output (I/O) systems and controllers linked to them.

You’ll learn about:

  • The evolution of distributed I/O, with IIoT tools like MQTT with Sparkplug B, OPC UA, and Node-RED
  • New architectural possibilities available to industrial automation engineers using modern edge I/O and edge controllers
  • Ways to remove boundaries between IT and OT domains, to get the data you need to optimize operations

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