Introduces the industry’s first solution to connect digital industrial machinery easily to a plant’s Wi-Fi infrastructure
Award winning Wi-NEXT® today announced the launch of a new product in its WiseMesh® product family: the Wi-NEXT End Node Digital. This is the only device today that can connect Modbus, CANbus, Profibus and general digital machinery for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) via a Wi-Fi network. With Wi-NEXT End Node Digital, it is possible to connect to the Wi-Fi infrastructure of the plant via RS485 or Ethernet ports in a flexible, energy-efficient way, with a very low impact on the deployment or overall project cost.
Until now, the connection of digital machines was done via wired connection or wireless narrowband analog protocol interface. Wired solutions have a high cost of implementation and a lack of flexibility. Narrowband analog wireless protocols require interfaces to convert the data into a digital format ready for an IP interface. This additional layer of complexity makes the implementation inefficient and expensive. With the Wi-NEXT End Node Digital, a wide variety of digital machines can be installed, anywhere on the factory floor, and even quickly reconfigured when necessary, at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions on the market.
“As manufacturing is evolving and adopting newer technologies, some machines pre-date the concept of remote connectivity,” said Armando Pereira, CEO of Wi-NEXT. “There are millions if not billions of these valuable legacy machines that are completely disconnected. They are ‘invisible’ to the network and very expensive to maintain. Besides connecting these invisible assets, the Wi-NEXT solution has the capacity to enable value-added services such as predictive maintenance, energy efficiency audits, and usage reports, plus handle the ever increasing data transmission via a state-of-the art open-standards broadband Wi-Fi infrastructure.”
Big data is also moving to the factory floor, interconnecting more sophisticated machines to users with an ever increasing “thirst” for real-time management data. This data needs to be collected, transported to the data center, analyzed and trigger intelligent decisions on the factory floor. Delays, interference or even interruptions are all undesirable outcomes. As such, distributed edge computing has become state-of-the-art with valuable contributions in mission-critical environments such as a factory floor. By moving part of the traditional Cloud capabilities to the networks’ edge, next to where the machines are located, efficiency improves and failure rates decrease as latency and other network interruptions are eliminated.
Wi-NEXT offers a range of sophisticated Industrial Grade Wi-Fi solutions that support distributed processing at the edge for IIoT applications. With the new End Node Digital, Wi-NEXT now offers a low-power affordable Wi-Fi appliance that allows easy interconnections to a wide variety of digital industrial machines, turning them into intelligent assets that can be easily monitored, controlled and optimized.