Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of things (IoT) originally describes a network of physical objects—a.k.a. “things”. A combination of embedded sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data over the Internet. This has become relevant even in the area of advanced analytics as the analysers and sensors generates more data than possible to follow manually i.e. in the words of the Danish composer Leo Mathisen “leave the hard work to others” in this case a smart and intelligent system and harvest the conclusions to optimize your performance and hence the production outcome.
This section is the “behind the scenes” for our product AnalyticTrust aimed to survey all critical aspects of the performance of a business critical analyser installation. Such use of IoT is often also referred to as Industrial IoT (IIoT). All Q-Interline systems are IIoT enabled.
In general Industrial IoT devices acquire and analyse data from connected equipment and eventually other critical local sensor data. The aim is to leave the hard work of analysing all incoming data for interesting trends and limits and offer a uniform access to work with data and catch potential problems before they may influence the production yield.
Security in terms of IoT is far from trivial and initially very few clients would dare to connect any part of a process to the internet, as it was considered a risk (for good reasons). As of 2021 solid industrial safety protocols and secure application standards are in place, making homebanking and similar applications as safe as it gets on the internet.
Q-Interline uses an up-to-date advanced technology to connect the analyzers to the AnalyticTrust server making it safe and secure, still offering the client the benefits of working from a browser.
The connection technology
The AnalyticTrust platform is running in the Microsoft Azure cloud. All access to the web-based interface are via encrypted HTTPS connections. Data is stored in Azure SQL Databases and Azure Storage. Data stored in databases and in storage are encrypted at rest as well as in transit.
AnalyticTrust operates with a client interface called ATCC. ATCC and the drivers work together to ensure that AnalyticTrust in near real-time has a complete picture of the relevant instrument configuration and measurements performed. ATCC is installed at client network and communicates to AnalyticTrust using WebSocket connections over the HTTPS transport protocol.
Q-Interline provides the component AnalyticTrust Cloud Client (ATCC).
ATCC communicates with AnalyticTrust through a Gateway service. The Gateway service provides a secure and flexible way to allow “occasional-disconnected” clients to connect in a reliable way. The communication between the measurement instruments and AnalyticTrust is always initiated from the customer’s side.
The communication protocol between ATCC and the Gateway endpoint is WebSockets over HTTPS with fallback to REST if WebSockets are not available or when messages are too big to handle for WebSockets.
The architecture is shown in the below shematic