As part of the keynote presentation at the 2021 virtual Ignition Community Conference, Don Pearson, vice president of sales and marketing at Inductive Automation, explained how the company’s Ignition platform can help companies address the opportunities presented by IT/OT (operations technology) convergence, Internet of Things, smart manufacturing, and digital transformation trends.
“If you take the Ignition platform and plop it right in the middle of all these challenges in the enterprise, you have an industrial automation platform that can connect the entire enterprise,” he said. “I don't care if you’re talking about thousands of PLCs and RTUs and tags across an enterprise spread across the entire globe—the ability to have a platform that can bring the entire enterprise together from the center to the cloud and back again and give you the feedback loop, the dashboards, the data, and the real time and historical analysis you need—that is hugely powerful and it's vital to a successful digital transformation.”
Like any technology company positioning itself to address these evolutionary trends in industry, Inductive Automation does not contend that its software alone can address every aspect of the digital transformation. As such, the company frequently highlights its work with technology partners. Partner sessions at this year’s Ignition Community Conference event included:
- Opto 22 demonstrating how its groov EPIC (Edge Programmable Industrial Controller) can be used with Ignition Edge to add critical cybersecurity features to legacy systems while also processing operational data for use in an Ignition IIoT infrastructure.
- Bedrock Automation explained how it combines Ignition, Bedrock’s Open Secure Automation, and the AWS cloud to allow operators to securely interact with remote PLCs via TCP/IP.
- Advantech showed how its products, paired with Ignition, can be used to capture, buffer, translate, organize, and transmit IoT data at the source. In particular, Advantech spotlighted its UNO-2271G Intel Atom E3825 dual-core, edge gateway with Ignition Edge running Linux.
- Stratus Technologies explained how to move digital transformation projects from proof of concept to production with its edge technologies and Ignition.
- Hilscher showed how its sensorEdge product can be used with Ignition to retrofit legacy equipment for predictive maintenance. According to Hilscher, one sensorEdge product can aggregate data from up to eight IO-Link sensors and send it to the cloud at one second intervals for predictive maintenance analysis. Open RESTful APIs are used to stream equipment data to Ignition, where the data are processed to provide sensor alarming, trending, visualization dashboards, database retention of the information, and reporting.
- Machine vision supplier Cognex discussed how capturing and analyzing data at the point of acquisition is a key component of any digital transformation. More specifically, Cognex focused on how connecting Ignition to its Cognex Edge Intelligence technology, which aggregates data streams generated by Cognex machine vision devices, facilitates the integration of data streams from multiple devices.