MAC Solutions has been appointed preferred partner in the UK, Ireland and France for distribution of the OPC Router from inray Industriesoftware.
For many companies, the continuous optimisation of production processes is crucial in ensuring the quality of their products and, ultimately, in ensuring the success of their business. As a central communications platform for Industry 4.0 / IoT projects, the OPC Router offers automated data exchange by integrating all systems and isolated solutions across the business. The collected data can be used for data transfers, analysis, reports and for executing powerful workflows to increase efficiency and quality, while lowering production costs.
OPC Router – Industry 4.0 Software to bridge the gap between OT and IT
The OPC Router works like a universal coordinator, enabling all systems and protocols to communicate, whether these are PLCs (programmable logic controllers), PCS (process control systems), SCADA, MES, MS SQL Server, other relational and non-relational databases, label printers, email servers, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), or different cloud applications.
OPC Router is based on standard but secure interfaces for data exchange across all automation levels. Connections between automated systems can easily be done via drag-and-drop using the implemented plug-ins, are event-driven, with individual connections and transfers created via user-friendly graphical software configuration, allowing simple interface for monitoring of live actual values. Its simplicity requires no IT skills or expertise, enabling efficient time-to-market implementation of the solution, resulting in cost savings from the software development phase of the overall project. There are no limits regarding number of users, tags, transfers and connected systems.
- The OPC Router implementation is achieved by using plug-ins, configured in accordance with the special requirements of the data source and the application. Below are four of the more common plug-ins. Many other plug-ins are available:
- The OPC UA Client Plug-in implements various ways to connect to different OPC Servers, distributing the data, being a platform-independent option for communications between different devices and a standard for Industry 4.0 / IoT projects.
- The MS SQL Server Plug-in connects to the SQL Server and provides easy access to tables, views and procedures, collecting data from various systems and distributing this back to the right system at the right time.
- The SAP Plug-in couples the production environment with SAP systems – communication takes place on the SAP-side via standard interfaces or individually created BAPIs, RFCs or IDocs.
- The MQTT protocol is widely used in the IoT world and has been specifically designed for low bandwidth devices and networks, where small/low power devices and sensors are ideal MQTT data sources. With the MQTT Plug-in, the data from these data sources can be received and then transferred between different IoT and Cloud platforms. Since the MQTT data traffic is bi-directional, data can also be sent back to the devices and sensors to make settings or trigger actions.
To summarise, the main advantages of OPC Router are:
- Easy to use: simple modern graphical user interface with recording and visualisation of transfers and events.
- Powerful: one single solution covering entire OT and IT communication.
- Scalable: implementation realised with modular system integration using plug-ins that can expand with the project scope.
As John Pritchard, Managing Director at MAC Solutions (UK) LIMITED states: “Previously, in order to perform OT to IT integration, our customers had to use complex scripting and bespoke code, which required highly skilled software developers. OPC Router uses standard plug-ins to ERP vendor systems such as SAP, along with drag-and-drop workflows to eliminate coding. In addition to our other OPC offerings, this makes MAC Solutions the Number One OPC solutions provider across the UK, France and Ireland with by far the largest OPC portfolio.”
Thorsten Weiler, Head of Sales & Marketing at inray comments: “We are delighted to have MAC Solutions as our preferred partner for the distribution of OPC Router in Great Britain, Ireland and France. As they are also a Kepware distributor, MAC Solutions is an expert in the field of industrial communications and the Internet of Things [IOT]. OPC Router perfectly fits their product portfolio and enables easy, direct connection between all shop floor and top floor systems.”