Data Connectivity | Start Small, Think Big
How do you transfer PLC data to various databases? And further up to such higher-level systems as MES and SAP? Start small, but remember that the software tools you'll need for that could also come in handy later on.
Step 1: Transferring PLC Data to a Database
We don't have to introduce the KEPServerEX communications platform, the product we write so often about. It can collect data from a variety of production line control systems, thanks to hundreds of integrated communication drivers for devices from many different manufacturers. These drivers convert data into the universal OPC UA/DA format.
Using KEPServerEX plug-ins, you can then send the data to databases or utilise, for example, the MQTT protocol. This may seem sufficient for now, but will it be enough in the future?
A Long-Term Goal: To Interconnect Everything
There's another option though. You can use KEPServerEX exclusively for production data acquisition and then, using the OPC UA/DA protocol, you can connect the platform to another piece of software – the OPC Router. This program supports a large number of higher-level systems, for example MES, SAP and various databases.
This method of transferring data to a database may be cheaper than with the sole use of KEPServerEX. But this isn't its only advantage. The OPC Router can mathematically process data and offers many more possibilities for leveraging it across the enterprise.
The Key Advantage: Modularity
Both the KEPServerEX and the OPC Router are modular systems – you don't need to buy more than you really need now. Yet, if the need arises, you can easily extend their functionality by purchasing additional modules. What this means is a relatively low initial investment, but a great deal of value to be unlocked in the future stages of your digital transformation.
Need Some Expert Advice?
On our online shop, you can now find a live chat, where our technicians can help you identify suitable plug-ins and drivers. They're here for you – don't be afraid to ask. Or let's meet in person to talk about your data acquisition strategy in more detail.