With the MICA® (Modular Industry Computing Architecture), HARTING offers a solution to cache, analyse and process data directly at machines and plants. But thanks to the modular and open MICA® architecture, it’s also easy to link machines directly to powerful Cloud and AI solutions. As a result, the MICA® can quickly create local solutions to capture particularly important KPIs. On the other hand, an entire factory can also be migrated to Industrie 4.0, and conversion times can be drastically shortened.
In the following application example, which was first presented at SPS IPC Drives in November 2016, injection moulding machines of various manufacturers and ages at a HARTING factory are connected to IBM Bluemix and Watson IoT using the MICA®. It acts as an administration shell, i.e. it creates a digital representation of a device in the digital world, thereby transforming it into an I4.0 component. The MICAs® were equipped with a modular function board which provides a Modbus RTU and 8_S0 connections for current transformers and current meters. At the same time, the MICA® records the RFID tags of the installed injection moulding tools via Ethernet.
All data are then optionally stored locally on the MICA® in Influx DB – an Open Source database optimised for time series – using the freely available MICA® MQTT container and evaluated using the Open Source tool Grafana, or transferred to an IBM Data Center in London for storage and evaluation via a Watson IoT connector installed on the MICA®. This seamless transition between local and global data processing means that a user can start with a local PoC or an application for a few machines and then, without new hardware and with minimal software changes, migrate to a company-wide solution.
The MICA® acts as a admini stration shell, i.e. it creates a digital representation of a device in the digital world.
During the three days during which measurements were taken, several gigabytes of data were collected and visualised for analysis. The application has also been available for viewing at the IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich since 16 February.