Establish connections to edge devices that enable ThingWorx to communicate with assets, machines, or systems.
Before you begin, complete these steps:
Guided by your integration and connectivity strategy, connect to any necessary edge devices. If possible, determine who programmed the device you’re connecting to and get their help. It may be a control engineer or programmer within your organization, a third-party vendor, or machine builder. This person can provide invaluable expertise as you connect to edge devices.
At this stage, you will use ThingWorx to model the data from your assets, machines, and/or systems. Your Asset Data Model will provide structure for this data. The data model specifies relationships among data points and provides the framework for your IIoT application. Follow the data model design you created during planning.
In less-common cases, your machine’s programmable logic controller (PLC) may require modifications in order to connect to ThingWorx. For example, you may need to modify a PLC in order to create serial or ethernet connections.
A control engineer or programmer within your organization should work with the machine builder to modify the PLC.
Data tag mapping involves labeling data from an asset, machine, or system and linking it to your data model in ThingWorx. You will tag data in such a way that ThingWorx can find and use it.
For example, if your IIoT application will display the speed of a conveyer belt, you must locate the variable for “speed” within the device. The conveyer belt’s PLC houses thousands of data points which are labeled with vague terms like “register 402.” You would use Kepware to connect to the machine and discover the tags. Once you locate the correct data point, you would apply “tags” to the data that help you find and leverage it in ThingWorx. In this case, you would apply a “speed” data tag.
Data tag mapping can be complex and time consuming. A programmer within your organization, a third-party vendor, or the machine manufacturer may be able help.
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