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The router and the wrapper: The industrial Internet of Things and its Gateways

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This article contains advertised content. 

Have you heard of the Internet of Things? If you’ve talked to Google in the second person, or altered a thermostat from your phone, you’ve used an IoT device. The realm of IoT isn’t confined to the living room; industrial sites, especially factories, contain myriads of internet connected devices, known, rather appropriately, as the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT.

Heavy equipment needs heavier security, however. A cybersecurity breach at home might be inconvenient, but unauthorized access to industrial production machinery can be calamitous. In the face of rising spyware, ransomware and data thefts, smart production machines increasingly use Industrial IoT (IIoT) gateways as the secure checkpoint between the internet, IT systems and machine data.

How IIoT Gateways structure industrial networks

An IIoT Gateway is a great unifier. Centralizing data from dozens of devices, an IIoT Gateway order device connections into an ordered path through the firewall.

IIoT Gateways are useful for network separation, allowing for devices within a network to be tiered against potential intrusions. Leading gateways, such as Secomea’s SiteManager, interlink multiple machines into a single subnetwork, enabling connected devices to be managed in isolation from the rest of a site’s network.

Centralizing the connectivity of industrial devices is no mean feat – industrial devices have multigenerational lifespans and communicate with a babble of differing protocols.  In consequence, IIoT gateways are designed to be adaptable; capably interfacing with a variety of platforms and machines. This makes IIoT gateways perfect for managing connectivity of devices in the field, embedded deep within the sensitive machine networks of contemporary factories.

IIoT Gateways and machine builders

The SiteManager IIoT Gateway, for example, is sold both as a hardware unit for the plugin integration of machines and as a software version that can install directly into a variety of platforms and industrial systems. This software variant is regularly adopted by industrial machine builders, including the UK-based food packaging equipment manufacturer, RedPack.

Embedded in every freshly baked RedPack flow wrapping machine is a copy of SiteManager Software. By linking machines in the field with customers, SiteManager aids Redpack in smoothing setup hiccups for their clients. With the operations data to remotely support customers through device setup. SiteManager’s device-to-server data connectivity, secured by a TLS VPN connection, allows Redpack to provide granular programming support to installers through a packaging machine’s difficult teething period, without compromising the customer’s network security.

augusta free press
augusta free press