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IoT bus coupler transmits data to the cloud

03 May 2016

The EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler from Beckhoff is designed to transmit all control data simply, safely and cost-effectively to all common cloud systems in plug-and-play mode without the need for programming or a controller. 

The EK9160 establishes a direct connection without the need for any special control program between Beckhoff EtherCAT I/O and the Internet of Things (IoT). As a result, the coupler enables simple and standardised integration of I/O data with cloud-based communication and data services. 

Via an integrated web server, the I/O data can be parameterised, such as in data processing and timing, through a simple configuration dialogue. No special engineering tools are needed. The bus coupler then autonomously transmits the data, including time stamp, to the cloud service. Apart from that, extended mechanisms are available, including local buffering of I/O data on a microSD card to protect against data loss when the Internet connection is interrupted. The cloud services and security functions (encryption, firewall) can be configured via the web server in the same convenient way.

For data communication, the IoT Bus Coupler uses the publisher/subscriber communication principle. As a publisher, it sends data to the cloud, enabling other applications to access the information as a subscriber. This application can then publish data itself if required, which in turn can be accessed by the IoT Bus Coupler. The devices do not need to know each other or individual IP addresses, rather only the central message broker, so the individual applications operate in decoupled mode. 

Communication for both the publisher and subscriber is always active and directed externally. This simplifies firewall configuration and setup in the IT infrastructure. 

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