Inductive Automation invited our team to participate in their webinar series to talk about harnessing the power of edge to cloud architecture. You can watch the entire webinar here or read the recap below.
Meet the speakers:
Travis Cox: I am the Chief Technology Evangelist at Inductive Automation. In my role, I help to educate and develop awareness of the Ignition platform and supporting technologies that are available today.
Mike Walsh: I am a Senior Product Manager at OnLogic and I work with our customers and partners, like Inductive Automation, to make sure their product needs are being met and to ensure that the evolution of our products is delivering the necessary features and functionality.
Cole Wangsness: I am the Partnerships Leader at OnLogic and I work together with customers and our partners to build better solutions together so that we can deploy software and the hardware solutions together.
- Introduction to Ignition and OnLogic
- What is the edge?
- Edge benefits
- Hardware & software considerations
- Going forward
Intro to Ignition
Slide courtesy of Inductive Automation
Travis: Ignition is a universal industrial application platform. It’s basically an enablement platform that allows you to build HMI, SCADA, MES, and IIoT solutions. It is used by 44% of Fortune 500 companies and 57% of Fortune 100 companies across all industries around the world. It has an unlimited licensing model, so you get a server license that is completely unlimited in terms of tags, screens, clients, device connections, and more.
Ignition is fully cross-platform to run on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, and it’s perfect for the edge. It is built in IT standard technologies and uses modern technologies. It’s also a scalable server client architecture that is completely web based and web managed with designer and clients that you can launch anywhere.
Ignition is completely modular, so you can pick and choose the functions that you want and you can easily expand as you go forward. It also has a very rapid development environment that is easy to deploy out to clients.
Background on OnLogic
Cole: OnLogic makes highly reliable, easy to install industrial and rugged computers. Our Ignition Line comes pre-loaded with Ignition Edge, but Ignition can be installed on any of our systems.
Since every project is unique, we offer a variety of options.
Everything is built to order and you can configure how you want it with the I/O that you need. Our objective is to make it easy for us to be your hardware partner so that you can focus on your software and your application. We offer a consultative sales model for anybody. You can work with a salesperson and for larger projects, you can work with a sales engineer to determine what you need.
You can get a prototype assembled quickly in days instead of months, and when you are ready to deploy, we can provide additional services like pre-imaging systems, bios customization, or branding to really make it your own. We also offer lifecycle management.
We were founded and headquartered in the US and we have a global reach including offices in the Netherlands and Taiwan. Our systems are built right here in Vermont and we also do manufacturing in the EU. When you work with a sales person or a support tech, you will most likely speak with a real person in your time zone, and that’s something we really value.
What is the edge?
Travis: The edge refers to the edge of network nodes that collect data and transfer it to a central location. It also refers to functionality that is right there at the edge, such as a local HMI and even running machine learning tools or analytics at the edge.
It’s that compute that allows us to either move data or provide some local functionality that’s required. When we look at these critical systems that we have out there, we can’t rely on connections to the Internet. We have to have edge devices that are close to that source of data, and as systems grow larger and more complex, we see that the edge of networking architectures require as much consideration as any other part of the system.
Mike: When you think about what used to happen, data collection was a guy going down there on the floor about once a week with a clipboard and recording gauge readings and a stopwatch taking timings.
That would be insane today with how fast manufacturing needs to move. Today, we are able to get that data quickly, easily, and at a very affordable rate. We’re finally getting to the point where the value of that data is so much more than the cost of acquiring the data, and it just completely changes everything.
Travis: We are seeing that in the digital transformation landscape or within the fourth industrial revolution that we’re in, it’s all about data. Data is so critical to our systems, and there are a lot of surveys out there that say that 80% of data is stranded in the field and we want to unlock that.
But of course, that means that we need to plan for it. There has to be an investment that goes into it, but it’s getting more affordable and the available power that we can now put at the edge is unlike anything that we’ve had before.
What does Edge mean to you?