Subscribe and listen to AW’s podcast!
Subscribe and listen to the Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered podcast!
Listen Here

The Challenges of Making the Digital Transformation

A look at how numerous product enhancements and capabilities enable Wago to support a range of industry initiatives to connect and secure plant floor devices.

Charlie Norz, Wago
Charlie Norz, Wago

Digitalization offers innovative companies a great opportunity to successfully shape the future. However, digital transformation also brings with it many challenges such as real-time data collection, system security, and multi-vendor equipment collaboration. A single blueprint for mastering the digital transformation does not exist today; rather, companies need a variety of tailor-made solutions for their individual requirements.

The good news is that Wago’s open automation architecture provides just that. With a long history of helping industry collect valuable information from the plant floor, Wago continues to develop advanced technologies that offer users the freedom to quickly bring to market customizable solutions for the emerging digital age.

Through the advancement and development of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Wago helps enhance manufacturing and industrial processes through data mining and machine learning, and also helps users secure networks from cyber attacks. We have continued to enhance our technologies with tools for the digital transformation age. For example, we have embedded the MQTT protocol in our programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to enable secure data exchange between the plant floor and cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, SAP Cloud and others.

This makes it easy to create direct connections from the field level to the cloud. Information like run/stop times, connection status and device information can be communicated to the cloud through decentralized data acquisition processes. Our location-independent visualization helps provide an enterprise-level view, giving users full control over proprietary data. This creates an extension of existing systems via our PFC controller’s IIoT gateway.

As digitalization enables users to view their systems remotely from anywhere in the world, it also means those systems need to be protected accordingly. Government and industry organizations have recommendations for industrial security via defense-in-depth strategies. Wago has the means to assist with implementing these tactics through helping to ensure the security and integrity of sensitive information for web access and data transfers. Our PFC platform can encrypt information directly in the controller before sending it to the cloud over VPN connections. In addition, the controllers have an onboard firewall to further help with network security.

As we look to the future, we understand that industrial communication needs to be quick and regulated so that businesses can keep up with these ever-changing challenges of digitalization. Wago is working with a number of manufactures to drive Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) plus OPC UA communication standards to empower a variety of tomorrow’s cross-platform, vendor-neutral solutions in this regard. The aim is to deliver high-performance, recurring communication, and enable plug-and-serve scenarios by joining communication and information modeling for now and into the future.

As with all Wago solutions, safety and reliability are at the heart of all of our products, services and technologies. The result has been a portfolio of controllers and fieldbus couplers that are completely independent of protocols, as they support all common fieldbus protocols as well as incorporate Ethernet-based standards to meet the evolving requirements of the market. It is Wago’s vision to continue to be the backbone of a smart connected world.

For more information, visit Wago at


Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Take Automation World's machine learning quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Discover New Content
Access Automation World's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover New Content