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Internet of Things

New interface connects machines to IT systems

How do you get sensor data into the system? The two German companies, ifm electronic and SAP, have developed an Industry 4.0 solution to do just that: The Connectivity Port is an interface between machines and SAP solutions that works in both directions.

05 May. 2017
New interface connects machines to IT systems (Source: ifm electronic gmbh)

"We estimate that every year a million machines are delivered worldwide that would benefit greatly in terms of efficiency by being connected to SAP systems," explains Thomas May, Board Member at automation specialists ifm electronic in Essen. However, since there is still a lack of suitable applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), 95% of the data generated by sensors is not available for IT systems. That is all about to change thanks to the Connectivity Port , which has been developed by ifm together with the software manufacturer SAP . This port allows data to be taken from machines without much installation effort and transferred to systems from the software manufacturer SAP. The connection works the other way too, allowing the SAP application to transfer information to the machines. There is no need for reprogramming. The connection to the control unit or directly to the sensor must merely be configured.

"In ifm we have found the right partner for open automation technologies like I/O-Link," explains Tanja Rückert, Executive Vice President for the business unit IoT & Digital Supply Chain at SAP. "Sensors are the only source of information in the factory hall. The combination of business logic and machine data opens up opportunities to completely rethink and optimize many business processes." As a result, we could see information from production processed in real time.