Considerations around Edge Integration

The real potential of TilliT lies in integrating signals from machines via the control systems to get real-time visibility on performance and production and using events to drive operator execution.

So before you start configuring here are a few steps to take.

1 - Map the data sources.

Control systems have all shapes and sizes. Different models, different protocols. 

TilliT can use three types of information: Production Counter, Events and Timeseries.

Start evaluating where which source equipment may hold relevant information for your digital operations platform. 

Evaluate how you will connect to that equipment. Is there a network already in place? Do you have an OPC server in place?

For every asset you want to gain visibility on performance and availability, you need to source a production counter and, at a minimum, a running state.

Events from the control system can help to automate task generation - for example, a task to remove the product from an asset once the production cycle is over.

There may also be some data collection that you don't want the operator to type, but the value to be read from a PLC. In this case, you want to have TilliT storing the data as a time series.

2 - Understand the connectivity

TilliT Edge is a hardware device that can be installed next and connected directly to a PLC if a network option is not available. Knowing the type of PLC will tell you what protocol it can talk to, if it's Ethernet/IP, Modbus, Profibus, Serial, etc.

If you do have a networked control system, maybe the best approach will be to centralised the different sources using an OPC Server.

TilliT Edge alone will be able to communicate to OPC UA, Modbus, Profinet, and some versions of Ethernet/IP. By adding an extra module, you get the option to read Profibus, Ethernet/IP, and I/O.

Next: Prepare check sheets

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