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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dev kits links sensors to cloud alongside industrial controllers

By Nick Flaherty

The linking of embedded systems directly to cloud services is continuing as Comtrol launches a cloud software development kit (SDK) for its IO-Link master family of industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Comtrol’s MultiLink technology allows IO-Link sensor data (status, events, and process data) to integrate directly with Microsoft's Azure IoT Hub while simultaneously communicating with the sensor data to the PLC controller. Thi sis a key integration to provide a way forward for traditional industrial automation systems. 

The IO-Link Masters - with IoT Gateway functionality - communicate with sensors and send information to the Azure IoT Hub, which in turn can make it available to Azure Stream Analytics and other cloud-based applications.

“We are excited to support customers’ need to share IO-Link sensor information with enterprise cloud systems. Comtrol created a direct link between Comtrol’s IO-Link Master and Microsoft Azure. This will support popular SCADA systems, such as Wonderware, G.E. Predix and others running on the Azure cloud platform. IO-Link and Azure complete the goals of Industry 4.0 and IIoT.” Bradford Beale, President of US-based Comtrol.

Comtrol has been making networking and industrial data communication systems for the last 35 years, specialising in industrial Ethernet and device connectivity. It sells RocketLinx industrial grade Ethernet and Power over Ethernet switches, IO-Link Master industrial gateways, DeviceMaster Ethernet device servers and gateways and RocketPort multiport serial cards. 

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