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Softing Industrial Automation from Haar near Munich develops and markets a broad portfolio of software and hardware products for a wide range of applications in all sectors of the process and manufacturing industry. The range includes technology and data integration, communication and infrastructure components as well as network monitoring and diagnostics. All products comply with global standards and can be seamlessly integrated into heterogeneous systems. In this way, they close technological gaps and create design freedom when designing integrated automation systems for current and future IoT applications. At HANNOVER MESSE 2024, Softing Industrial presented its new edgeGate - a maintenance-free hardware solution for transferring production data from PLC and CNC controllers to edge and cloud-based environments.

Robust and reliable connection

According to Softing Industrial, edgeGate is designed to simplify access to programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and computerized numerical control (CNC) controllers. It enables seamless and secure data integration into modern management systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). This integration is possible for both new and existing systems. Communication via OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) ensures a robust and reliable connection.

Improved data security

In addition, edgeGate offers Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) functionality. This function facilitates the direct integration of machine data into private or public IoT cloud applications. The MQTT implementation is generic and compatible with numerous cloud providers. Like the OPC UA standard, MQTT supports a range of security mechanisms such as encrypted connections, certificates and user authentication. These functions significantly improve data security.

Versatile use without interfering with existing systems

The edgeGate is designed to be virtually maintenance-free and enable connection to control systems without interfering with existing systems. Supported controllers include Siemens Simatic PLC, Siemens Sinumerik Controller, Fanuc CNC Controller, Modbus TCP, Allen-Bradley PLC or OPC UA Client machine data. The gateway offers a simple web interface for quick configuration of the application as well as an additional security layer and communication encryption.

Expandable for increased performance

The performance of edgeGate can be extended by integrating Softing Industrial's edgeConnector products, which offer comparable functionalities in a Docker-based software version. Another compatible product is Softing's Docker-based edgeAggregator software, which provides a powerful OPC UA data integration layer. "We are pleased to offer a hardware solution that complements our Docker-based software offering," says Abel Jimenez, Product Manager at Softing Industrial Automation. "edgeGate simplifies the connection of PLC and CNC controllers to management systems with robust communication functions such as OPC UA and MQTT and increases efficiency. Stand-alone or extended by our edgeConnector and edgeAggregator products, it offers a comprehensive data integration solution."