Matt Newton

Recent Posts

From IoT to IIoT: an industry pivot

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM

This week Opto 22 is exhibiting at the Open IoT Summit in Portland, Oregon. The IoT Summit is a Linux Foundation event, packed with a ton of technology workshops and product demos.

We also exhibited at the IoT Summit last year. It’s a great chance to connect with the Linux developer community and get their perspective on things, since it’s so much different from what a typical industrial automation professional is exposed to.

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Topics: groov, Internet of Things, IoT, PACs, API, REST, mobile, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, Node-RED, GPIO

The rise of the IoT middleware platform

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In a recent developer survey conducted by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, IEEE IoT, and Agile IoT, 40.8% of respondents indicated the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions they were either currently building or planning to build were IoT platforms or IoT middleware.

Almost every large IT or OT company today has some form of IoT platform or middleware, with the current number of self-described IoT platforms exceeding 150.

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Topics: groov, Remote monitoring, Tips, IoT, Networking, IIoT, Node-RED, Data acquisition

Must-have cables and adapters to maximize OEE & connect OT to IT

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Almost everyone in the industrial automation, process control, and factory automation industries is concerned with keeping their equipment up and running.

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a key metric for understanding how the factory is performing.  And part of keeping things running is keeping things communicating. 

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

Build Your IIoT Application with Dell and Opto 22

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As noted in Opto 22’s recent edge computing technology primer, one of the key problems currently facing the IIoT is Internet bandwidth limitations. We’re talking about connecting billions of sensors to networks that were never designed to handle that kind of traffic.

I can remember the painful days of dial up Internet connectivity when millions of people started connecting their PCs to the Internet through tiny little phone lines, watching file transfers drag on and on for hours.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

Basic Industrial Ethernet Network Troubleshooting

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Ethernet networks have taken over as the prominent bus architecture for industrial automation networks. And for good reason.

Ethernet simplifies and homogenizes connectivity between industrial devices. We don’t have to worry about male or female DB9 and DB25 serial connectors, no concern for DTE or DCE devices, and forget about straight-through vs. null-modem cables. In general, the world is a much happier place.

However, even with the added simplicity Ethernet offers, troubleshooting Ethernet networks can be a bit more involved than serial networks.

Let’s assume you’re trying to establish communication with an industrial Ethernet device that for whatever reason has dropped off the network. Here are a few tips I always use when starting to troubleshoot an industrial Ethernet network.

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Topics: Networking, I/O

Open-loop vs. Closed-loop Process Control

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Process Control

Process control systems are used in everything from advanced manufacturing to run-of-the-mill activities at home, like heating your house and brewing your beer. (You do brew your own beer, don't you?)

A control system that manufactures a product requires monitoring and control of many different process variables, while some at home require little more than a timer. For example, in manufacturing we may use flow meters to make sure fluids flow through pipes at a certain rate, or float meters to ensure ingredients fill a vat to a specified level.

When I brew beer at home, I may use a temperature sensor in my mash tun, wired to a controller that’s controlling my heating element to keep the mash tun at just the right temperature for optimum starch-to-sugar conversion. This is an example of a closed-loop control system.

(To see how small closed-loop control principles are scaled up to build industrial process control applications, check out the New Belgium Brewery case study and see how they use Opto 22 gear to brew their world-famous Fat Tire and other beers.)

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Topics: Food & beverage, PLCs, Tips, PACs, Oil & gas

Developers, hackers, and members of the Linux and maker communities: We want to meet you!

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 2, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Opto 22 will exhibit and present at ELC + OpenIoT Summit North America

About the Show

This month Opto 22 is exhibiting and presenting a technical workshop at the Open IoT Summit in Portland, Oregon.

It's a great opportunity to take a look at some of our new products and solutions that leverage open technology—like a REST API for an industrial controller and Node-RED running on our groov Box.

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Topics: IoT, IIoT, Raspberry Pi, Digital I/O for Raspberry Pi

A Brief Overview of Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

Posted by Matt Newton on Jan 31, 2017 4:04:08 PM

Ahh, the Sixties...

The 1960s was a decade full of inventions, especially innovative new tools that the manufacturing industry would eventually adopt:

  • In 1964 the BASIC computer language was invented.
  • The following year the compact disc went on sale in the US for a mere $1,000 per unit (maybe that’s why software was so darned expensive).
  • 1969 brought us the first barcode scanner.
  • And that same year Al Gore invented the Internet, leading to the development of the Industrial Internet of Things as we know it today. Way to go, Al.

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Topics: groov, OEM

Top 5 Industrial Applications For Drones

Posted by Matt Newton on Jan 26, 2017 1:25:48 PM

Drones are playing a key role in the Industrial Internet of Things. Not to mention the fact that they’re pretty much all the rage today with just about everyone.

I would hazard a guess that almost everyone you know knows someone who has one. They’re in all the stores at the mall, the military has fleets of them protecting the skies, and I can’t wait to see Amazon’s version dropping my packages off on my front doorstep.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

KPIs for Industrial Automation and Process Control

Posted by Matt Newton on Jan 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Understanding how productive, efficient, and profitable your business operations are takes constant monitoring and analysis.

One of the tools used in manufacturing, automation, and process control to stay on top of these metrics is  key performance indicators, or KPIs.

KPIs can be applied to all levels of a business, from manufacturing to sales, marketing, operations, and customer service.

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Topics: Process control, groov, Tips, IoT, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

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