PTC announced that its Kepware industrial connectivity software now integrates with Microsoft Azure. Utilizing open-source, standards-based communications, Kepware’s KEPServerEX software moves data between industrial controls devices and the Azure cloud platform–allowing organizations to more effectively connect, monitor, and manage Internet of Things (IoT) assets across complex industrial environments.
“A major hurdle in widespread Industrial IoT adoption is interoperability. With more than 20 billion devices expected to come online in the next five years, and a subsequent flood of complex industrial data, interoperability will become increasingly important,” said Erik Dellinger, strategic industrial partner manager, Kepware. “It is essential that industrial automation companies and device cloud vendors begin to speak the same language. By collaborating with Microsoft, we are addressing this challenge and strengthening our support for evolving industry standards.”
Acting as the hub for machine communication is Kepware’s IoT Gateway, an advanced plug-in capable of pushing information collected by KEPServerEX into big data and analytic software applications. Kepware and Microsoft’s industrial IoT solutions seamlessly integrate with the help of OPC UA. KEPServerEX can move industrial control data to the Azure cloud platform by utilizing both OPC UA and MQTT via the Azure IoT Gateway SDK and Azure IoT Hub.
“The integration of KEPServerEX and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is a great way to support the needs of manufacturers, the OPC UA foundation, and standards that foster IoT innovation,” said Sam George, director, Microsoft Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp. “We’re proud to foster the advancement of the IoT ecosystem with Kepware and its deep domain experience.”
A use-case example from BMW Group--to address the team’s many requirements for industrial IoT and big data applications, especially in the area of predictive maintenance, an “IoT Sandbox Platform” was created to enable new applications with connectivity from any existing PLC in their factories to be connected to the Azure cloud platform for big-data analysis.