Leuze electronic has published a new white paper that explains how it has worked with Microsoft to develop a sensor with Industry 4.0 capability. Based on the Leuze BCL 300i bar code reader, the I4.0 device transfers data directly to the Azure Cloud and back to the sensor.
For an Industry 4.0 implementation it is not sufficient to say that the device - in this case a bar code reader - has built-in communications; rather the device must be capable of communicating across all IT levels and, in particular, to the upper levels.
OPC (Open Platform Communications) paves the way for Industry 4.0, with OPC being based on OLE, COM and DCOM technologies, all of which have been developed by Microsoft. However, a further development of OPC, namely OPC UA (for Unified Architecture), is a cross-platform implementation that is not restricted to use on Windows platforms. OPC UA can also be used in embedded systems and alongside other communications protocols, so it is very suitable for use in devices such as sensors.
The new Leuze electronic white paper explains how OPC UA can play an important role in Industry 4.0 implementations, and how the company worked with Microsoft to develop a system in which the BCL 348i bar code reader could share data with the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and also be controlled remotely via the cloud. Furthermore, the large volumes of data collected from the bar code reader can be stored and analysed using the vast processing power available in the cloud, bringing with it the advantages offered by 'big data.'
Contact Leuze electronic to request copies of the free OPC UA Microsoft Azure Cloud white paper.