IoT News Roundup

STMicroelectronics' water-resistant pressure sensor used in Samsung wearables ••• Industrial Internet Consortium publishes IIoT analytics framework technical report, testbed results ••• Altizon wins Frost & Sullivan IoT award ••• Opto 22 enhances industrial edge appliance with drivers for Allen-Bradley, Siemens PLCs ••• Inmarsat research indicates Internet of Things to play role in helping mining industry to improve environmental monitoring ••• Cloudponics intros IoT-supported, autonomous, self-sustaining hydroponics system.
By IOT Journal


Opto 22 Enhances Industrial Edge Appliance With Drivers for Allen-Bradley, Siemens PLCs

Industrial automation manufacturer and Industrial Internet of Things tools developer Opto 22 has announced a new version of groov, embedding key IIoT technologies MQTT and OPC-UA drivers directly into its industrial edge appliance. Added to the groov View software for web and mobile visualization, and the open-source Node-RED development environment, the newrelease offers engineers, technicians, and developers a comprehensive set of tools for edge deployment in industrial environments.

These new embedded capabilities are made possible through forging close partnerships with technology providers InductiveAutomation and Cirrus Link Solutions, and are part of the Ignition Edge Onboard program.

"Partnering is vital to provide everything required for a given IIoT implementation," said Benson Hougland, Opto 22 VP of Marketing andProduct Strategy. "With Inductive Automation and Cirrus Link, we've combined proven applications into a single, industrially hardened appliance to address today's application needs. Visualization, data handling, security, and connectivity are all in one compact box."

"We're pleased that Opto 22's groov is one of the first edge appliances to market with Ignition Edge embedded," said Don Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer at Inductive Automation. "Opto 22's reputation for reliable industrial hardware and their interest in the future direction of automation systems made the partnership a natural fit."

"Working with Opto 22 on drivers and embedding MQTT with Sparkplug has been great," said Arlen Nipper, President and CTO at Cirrus Link, and co-inventor of the MQTT protocol. "This partnership approach combines a trusted hardware platform with resilientcommunication architectures for automation and SCADA systems in an extremely efficient and flexible way."

A typical use case for the new groov edge appliance is gathering data from plant floor devices or from remote plants. A customer placesgroov near a machine or process, uses the built-in drivers to connect to existing control systems, analyzes the data, and publishes theresults back to a central server or broker on premises or in the cloud. Applications like Ignition Enterprise or any MQTT/Sparkplug-compliant software can subscribe to the data.

This scenario eliminates complex networking architectures like VPNs, firewall configurations, and remote desktop software, because allcommunications to the broker use a secure outbound connection from control systems, whether publishing data or subscribing to it. Additionally, because groov is a complete computing appliance, a PC is not required.

Ignition Edge in the groov appliance includes both a built-in OPC UA server and MQTT module. The built-in OPC UA server includes drivers to popular PLC brands, including Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley PLCs, Siemens S7 PLCs, and Modbus TCP devices. Other drivers are available at additional cost. Embedding these drivers and OPC UA at the edge eliminates the cost and complexity of commissioning and maintaining a Microsoft Windows-based computer for translating PLC and device data to OPC UA, the only method available until now.

MQTT is a bi-directional, lightweight event- and message-oriented transport protocol with a publish/subscribe architecture. This architecture decouples devices from applications, allowing users to reduce reliance on traditional IT networking resources. MQTT's pub/subarchitecture also reduces network traffic, because data is published and sent only when it changes. Supported over the MQTT transport is Sparkplug, a freely available, MQTT-based payload definition for industrial applications, which greatly simplifies implementation by definingtopic namespaces and payload, and managing the state of devices in the field.

Ignition Edge embedded into the groov edge appliance also allows Inductive Automation customers to extend their Ignition platform to the edge with optional Panel and Edge Enterprise Administration licenses, available directly from Inductive Automation.

Originally launched in April 2013, the groov edge appliance is an industrially hardened computer appliance used for visualization, data handling, and connectivity. For visualization, groov View makes it easy to create secure, scalable operator interfaces for mobile devices andweb browsers on any computing platform.

For data handling, groov includes Node-RED, an IoT application builder that connects to data sources locally and in the cloud, manipulates that data, and publishes the data to anywhere. The groov edge appliance was designed for security from the ground up, with communications to the appliance over two independent Ethernet interfaces protected by TLS encryption and user authentication. All configuration of the appliance is securely managed by the included groov Admin utility.

Both the groov edge appliance (part number GROOV-AR1-BASE, $1295 list) and the groov Enterprise License with Ignition Edge (part number GROOV-LIC-ENT, $1595 list) are available immediately from a world-wide channel of distributors, partners, and system integrators. Customers with a GROOV-AR1 groov Box can purchase a groov Enterprise license to obtain the new features. Existing customers with agroov Enterprise License under current maintenance can request an Ignition Edge license at no additional charge. For more information,contact Opto 22 Pre-sales: 951-695-3000 or toll free, 800-321-6786. For more on groov, visit

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