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January 21, 2020  |  by David Blanco

SCADA Application Optimization: How FreeWave & AUTOSOL Make it Possible

The industrial world is dealing with more data, more applications, and more of a need for edge processing than ever before. This makes it necessary for traditional SCADA systems to evolve. Designed to collect data from the field that enables operations to react quickly to problems, SCADA must now also accommodate the capture of data that allows for the prediction of issues before they occur. Enter IIoT.

IIoT is a major component of reshaping industrial control systems into SCADA 4.0–the next generation of SCADA. It is not meant to replace SCADA, but rather enhance and optimize it to support your increasingly data-driven operations. IIoT technologies bring with them flexible scalability to ingest and process more data for more granular analysis. But to efficiently collect this information within your existing SCADA architecture, you must first address many of the traditional SCADA challenges that center around isolation: enabling interoperability between proprietary systems, breaking down data silos so users across relevant departments have equal information access, and bridging the gap between legacy and new ‘smart’ devices to extend their lifespan and avoid costly rip-and-replace scenarios. Enter AUTOSOL and FreeWave.

Enabling Rapid SCADA Modernization

AUTOSOL has joined forces with FreeWave, provider of the robust IQ industrial edge computing platform, to help our customers optimize data acquisition from the edge via an MQTT publish-subscribe SCADA architecture. With our eACM edge polling software running on FreeWave’s ruggedized, C1D2-certified edge connectivity and computing platform, you can rapidly and reliably deploy a solution for industrial data communications that leverages MQTT, the leading protocol for IIoT messaging.

eACM supports IIoT because it allows you to shift real-time demand-response polling from the server-level to the field. This is ideal for low-bandwidth, high-latency data links like those common in oil and gas and other industrial environments. Instead of flooding your connections with unnecessary updates on unchanging values, eACM lives within FreeWave’s ruggedized hardware out in the field and polls your RTUs, PLCs and field devices locally. It uses a publish-subscribe approach to polling, and only publishes values when they change. eACM also supports the MQTT Sparkplug B specification, which allows for data to be back-filled or restored after a communications outage.

Not only does this enable you to significantly reduce bandwidth consumption for the current SCADA data you are capturing, but also allows delivery of higher resolution data using the freed bandwidth.

How You Benefit

Rather than simply sending data to the HMI as it would in a traditional polling system, eACM can deliver published data via an MQTT broker to any applications and systems that are subscribed to it. The software supports multiple protocols simultaneously, so you are not constrained by the types of devices you can pull this granular level of data from.

Now users across the enterprise can gain access to the data they need for analysis to improve decision-making, proactively optimize operations and accelerate new digital transformation initiatives that represent the best ROI. All of this is possible using the same network resources you already have, and without replacing your existing field assets – allowing them to interoperate with each other and with new IIoT devices added over time.

With FreeWave as our partner, we can deliver our best-in-class MQTT polling software in a single hardened, ready-to-deploy package. You can choose eACM on FreeWave’s low-power ZumIQ™ Edge Computer to reliably run the software at your edge devices, or on the ZumLink™ IQ Edge Intelligent Radio which offers compute power and secure long-distance data transmission all in one.

Together, we help you take advantage of the transformative benefits of IIoT within your SCADA architecture and ensure ultra-reliable, anytime access to the most accurate field data you need to optimize your industrial operations.

Want to learn more?

Watch this recording of a recent webinar we co-hosted with FreeWave, which explains and demos our joint solution in more detail.

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