To simplify and accelerate IT/OT convergence, Rockwell Automation has introduced Factory Talk® Edge Gateway™, the first capability of its edge strategy.

Many industrial enterprises struggle to aggregate operational data from heterogeneous sources and add relevant context from the source – such as process conditions, time stamps, machine states and other production states – to the IT layer. This prevents them from uncovering potentially valuable insights at the enterprise level. While traditional gateway solutions do not address these challenges, FactoryTalk Edge Gateway enriches OT data with critical context where it matters – at the edge – and delivers it in a flexible, common information model to IT applications. This enables industrial enterprises to derive operational insights for a competitive edge.

Enabling ITOT convergence for industry value

FactoryTalk Edge Gateway collates the operational data and packages it into a logical model that IT and OT applications can understand.

FactoryTalk Edge Gateway is the foundation of a broader edge platform that will include elements of pre-built data analytics models, machine learning, tailored applications, and scalable computing. It is the latest addition to the widely adopted FactoryTalk® Analytics suite that serves diverse industries and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) use cases. It is also a key element in Rockwell Automation’s strategy to accelerate digital agility across industrial devices to cloud spectrum, with partnerships including PTC and Microsoft.

Today, many industrial facilities use heterogeneous systems and devices that generate volumes of data at high speeds – resulting in significant data silos. Connecting the dots across these data silos by building relevant OT data context is key to generating higher value actionable insights. Furthermore, unless the industrial OT data is packaged into a logical data model that both IT and OT applications can understand, IT/OT convergence remains a farfetched prospect. FactoryTalk Edge Gateway automatically stitches the data together and packages it using a pre-configured information model hierarchy. It provides one solution to collect and organise the relevant data.

The system’s data management capabilities reduce analytics data preparation efforts for data scientists or analysts by up to 70%, and provide high value OT data. The underlying common information data model is orchestrated by Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk® Smart Object™ capability and can be efficiently mapped to on-premises or cloud applications to generate predictive insights across the enterprise. FactoryTalk Edge Gateway is designed to integrate with best-in-class ecosystem solutions like Microsoft Azure and FactoryTalk® InnovationSuite™, powered by PTC, as well as big data, IIoT and cloud applications.

Arvind Rao, Director, Product Management for Information Systems at Rockwell Automation said, “Industrial businesses need actionable enterprise-level insights to achieve their goals. As customers continue to drive IT/OT integration and leverage operational data to gain insights, they are realising that having the right OT data context is critical to scale their digital transformation initiatives. With FactoryTalk Edge Gateway, we are significantly reducing the time and effort required to build, maintain and enrich this critical OT context. This provides our customers with the opportunity to realise double-digit operational improvements through analytics.”

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