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31/10/2019

zenon Service Grid: Upgrade to IIoT platform

Flexibility and scalability are basic requirements for ensuring an agile digitalization process. With Service Grid, we have widely expanded the functionality of zenon and created a solution that will continue to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0 projects in the future.

A growing number of smart machines and devices are exchanging data via the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and responding autonomously and in real time to changing conditions and parameters. It is becoming increasingly rare to find processes running only in one centralized system. The zenon Service Grid is our answer to the resulting challenges. To date, all zenon components, such as Editor, Runtime and Analyzer, have been developed for integrative and networked configuration and deployment. Service Grid represents a functional upgrade of zenon to a distributed software platform. The benefits of zenon are now available throughout the IIoT. This enables distributed engineering of projects across multiple production lines and locations. Projects can now be configured and monitored more easily from a central location – even in distributed or difficult to access systems, such as photovoltaic parks or wind farms.

 


All components in the zenon Service Grid are connected via the central Service Hub. This also constitutes the connection between the local level and the cloud.

 

Virtual machines as the core system

 

The components of Service Grid perform specific tasks that can be installed and operated independently of each other on different systems. Virtual machines can also be used to develop the basic system. This makes it possible to run Service Grid on different cloud platforms, connect systems in a network across sites, harmonize processes, and integrate IoT devices or third-party systems. Because the individual services use only web technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes, they can be deployed very flexibly. The Service Hub, the central communication hub within the IIoT platform, controls the entire data exchange process between all stakeholders and ensures seamless communication between zenon Editor, Runtime and Analyzer. For zenon 8.00 and lower versions, the web engine had to communicate directly with Runtime via the SCADA Runtime Connector. This is no longer necessary thanks to the Service Hub connection.

 

 

Integrated API

 

Using the Service Grid API, users can easily connect third-party components or clients, such as web applications, mobile apps, and MES or ERP systems. Through access to the API programming interface, users can also request variable values or entire reports, and process them in third-party clients. In addition, services such as Microsoft Azure Analysis Services enable users to create customized business intelligence solutions or adapt and visualize data for virtually any business purpose using open source platforms, such as Grafana.

 

Flexible, open and secure

 

Connecting third-party components poses an increased security risk. All communication is therefore encrypted in Service Grid. Access credentials and a digital certificate are both required for this step. This ensures information can be transmitted securely on public networks such as the Internet. The coordinated interaction between the Identity Service and the Policy Service complies with high security standards that can be implemented on a project-specific basis. Read, write and configuration rights can also be enabled at a granular level for individual services or users – on a project basis or for specific variables only.

 

Version 1.0 available now

 

Connecting third-party components poses an increased security risk. All communication is therefore encrypted in Service Grid. Access credentials and a digital certificate are both required for this step. This ensures information can be transmitted securely on public networks such as the Internet. The coordinated interaction between the Identity Service and the Policy Service complies with high security standards that can be implemented on a project-specific basis. Read, write and configuration rights can also be enabled at a granular level for individual services or users – on a project basis or for specific variables only.

Service Grid functionality is now available for zenon 8.10 or higher and zenon Analyzer 3.30 (zenon Release 2019).

 

Read also more detailed article in the current issue of our customer magazine Information Unlimited.

 

Do you have any questions about the zenon Service Grid? Contact your local zenon representative or send an email to sales@copadata.com. We will forward your request accordingly.