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What is the name of your product?

HARTING MICA (Modular Industry Computing Architecture) with secondary Ethernet interface

What is new/innovative about it?

The industrial-suited Edge Computer MICA® now also comes with a secondary Ethernet interface. It can be used to easily exchange and process data between two Ethernet protocols, including wired-to-wireless gateway applications.

It is necessary with many industry 4.0 applications to separate networks and simply send data back and forth between Ethernet protocols without permitting external applications direct access to a corporate network. HARTING has added a second interface for these applications to its Edge Computing MICA®. An additional USB interface can be used for adding further capabilities or a USB storage device. This is because, unlike a router, MICA can also carry out complex data transformations and aggregations.

What is the product’s main benefit for the customer?

The secondary Ethernet interface is provided via the functional circuit board and expands the modular system of the MICA platform. In particular, MICA Wireless with WLAN, BLE and LTE connectivity with an additional Ethernet interface is an easy to manage and compact solution for many projects in the areas of industry and transportation, for example

  • as a wired-to-wireless gateway for collecting maintenance data from PLCs and to send relevant events to the machine manufacturer or maintenance services;
  • as processing nodes for RFID readers connected via WLAN. When used in this way, many RFID readers send data to a MICA Wireless that evaluates the tags and feeds them in via Ethernet to the corporate network;
  • to monitor remote systems via Ethernet and transmit the data as needed in a compressed format worldwide via LTE;
  • as BLE to Ethernet gateways or railway embankment applications where Ethernet capable PLCs and RFID readers are also increasingly being used.
  • Why would you call your product “intelligent”?

    The HARTING MICA® edge device – through its data collection and pre-processing capabilities – is an enabler for artificial intelligence. The main prerequisite for AI is the availability of relevant data. Here, the MICA creates the necessary basics and is already able to execute learned neural networks.

    Are there any other important points that you can think of?

    This results in the need for a hybrid edge-cloud architecture. The data is collected and pre-processed at the HARTING MICA. Only the relevant data is then sent to the cloud for analysis. AI really helps here. Using machine learning, very large amounts of data can be analysed; it is then possible to discover which parameters are relevant for the existing questions. After this analysis, the MICAs can be reconfigured to send only these "smart data" (as opposed to Big Data) to the cloud.

    You can now apply machine learning to the relevant data in the cloud. For example, neural networks can be learned in the cloud. The learned neural networks are then so compact that they can be run on the MICA in the edge. This means that decisions can be made directly on site at the machine.