Industrial Machines, e.g. those used in manufacturing plants, are not connected to the cloud. This limits their accessibility where remote maintenance, monitoring, or upgrades are not possible. Although there are commercial hardware platforms that can connect machines to the cloud, they are often limited in terms of customization, expensive, and difficult to use.
Furthermore, common off-the-shelf solutions usually imply a stack of components that may or may not be part of the same architecture; making it hard to integrate different suppliers and/or technologies, as well as locks the solution to the features and the release cycles of the supplier.
We have developed a modular software and hardware platform for industrial control to connect machines to the cloud. Advantages of the hardware platform include: • Low cost hardware • Modular hardware design, i.e. customizable in terms of interface, input/output connections, functionality, etc.
Technical specifications (Hardware) include: • Single Board Computer • Standard bus protocols (i2c, spi, can) • Carrier board connects SBC to Mini-boards (to extend functionality) • Possibility of real-time field control on the same platform, offering real time capable co-processors
Coupled to this, the platform includes a software environment for cloud-based services. Advantages of the software environment include: • Connection to the cloud allows remote services, e.g. maintenance, upgrades, real-time control via tablet, etc. This reduces time and costs of maintenance and downtime • Easier and cheaper to code (software can be developed and maintained by a wider range of developers worldwide) • Faster development, deployment and upgrade of the machines (not depending on supplier's release cycles) • More Security • Easier to integrate, by providing API for easy integration to ERPs, Operation control, Business intelligence, etc. • Servitization of manufacturing offering new possibilities
Technical specifications (Software) include: • Linux development environment (RT-Linux deployment environment) • Exporting common *nix automation tools to the field (programming languages, command line, networking tools, web interfaces) • Python software framework to integrate hardware devices (components)
The platform is suitable for both new and existing machines (retrofitting). Working prototypes are available.
We are seeking:
We would like to: