The connector is mainly used to connect up and analyze existing systems, as well as to test new functions in order to digitally extend future systems. Separate hardware is used for this, which can be installed in the control cabinet if required. The connection to existing hardware depends on the type of protocol and controller concerned.
The core functions of the connector are to translate proprietary control protocols and to connect up systems and external components, such as measuring devices, to various IT applications independently of the control system. The focus is on a high sampling rate of the control data, thus providing an optimum starting point for process-specific and cross-process analyses. Several simultaneously-monitored sources can be sampled synchronously at a rate of up to 10ms achieve a low-noise and process view with minimal distortion. The control data acquired can also be supplemented by camera recordings or information from additional sensors. The recorded data can be saved directly in the connector or another locally-linked system.
Depending on requirements, data can be aggregated or filtered prior to transmission; event-dependent data storage is a further option. Thanks to the use of standard interfaces, the range of functions can be extended by any IT application. In particular, the standardized and control-independent write access to control data facilitates the efficient development or adaption of new solutions.
The figure illustrates how protocols and interfaces can be modularly extended. Scalable software-based application scenarios are also possible. In accordance with functions and requirements, the data is made available inside the connector (e.g. aggregated and filtered) or outside (e.g. various messengers such as SMS, e-mail or apps).