1. Connectivity anywhere
SMARTUNIFIER can connect to and interact with equipment from virtually any location. The ability to deploy small communication instances on virtually any computing resources allows industrial connectivity to be implemented easily on-premises (e.g. directly on equipment), in data centers, on the cloud, or on hybrid infrastructures, and thus provides connectivity in multiple locations wherever required.
2. Preconfigured communication protocols and formats
SMARTUNIFIER provides comprehensive connectivity support for a variety of equipment, devices, and IT systems. This includes many different preconfigured communication protocols and formats. e.g., OPC-UA, file-based, database, message bus, Webservices, and direct PLC connections. Preconfigured interfaces are also available for many standard software applications.
3. Decentralized architecture
SMARTUNIFIER offers unlimited scalability because it is decentralized. Unlike other platforms, no central communication infrastructure, like a message broker or database, is required. Moreover, the provision of connectivity can be done quickly, at minimal cost, and progressively expanded. In large installations, a swarm of SMARTUNIFIER Communication Instances provides the required communication capabilities at any location within an enterprise IT network – on a server, on an equipment PC, or on the cloud. Nevertheless, the configuration, deployment, and operation of all SMARTUNIFIER Instances can be managed centrally:
4. Reusable Information Models and Mappings
Within SMARTUNIFIER, semantic Information Models describe the communication-related data that is available for a device or IT system to be connected. Once an Information Model for a device type at one location has been defined, it can be reused for the same device type at other locations, thereby substantially reducing integration time and cost. Mappings define when and how to exchange and transform data between two or multiple data sources and targets and serve as a “universal” translator between the different Information Models. Thus, meaningful data can easily be exchanged between different communication partners. E.g., it is possible that different data fields from different sources are considered to have the same meaning when in fact there are differences.
5. Low code interface implementation
SMARTUNIFIER can connect different data sources simply by configuring Information Models and Drag&Drop mappings. This is much quicker than other solutions that require coding of the interface components.
6. High performance with decentralized architecture and integrated compiler
SMARTUNIFIER provides high performance and low latency with its decentralized architecture. There are no central bottlenecks caused by middleware or a broker/database as is the case with many other products. Additionally, SMARTUNIFIER features an integrated compiler that creates native bytecode for the interfaces to be executed within the SMARTUNIFIER instances. This results in exceptionally quick processing that is orders of magnitude faster than a solution using a scripting language or an interpreter to provide connectivity functionality.
7. Factory communication scenarios
With SMARTUNIFIER you can do much more than simply provide an on-premise application or a cloud application with access to equipment or device data. This is because SMARTUNIFIER makes it easy to implement entire communication scenarios between shop floor equipment and upper-level IT systems. As an example, within a manufacturing use case, these scenarios can cover all steps from product identification, validation, and order start as well as sending process results and process data from equipment to a manufacturing execution system (MES) or any other destination system. It is also possible to realize manufacturing control scenarios that include providing parameters or other control data (e.g., recipes, control programs, control commands) to equipment from MES, SCADA, or other facility control systems.
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