Achenbach OPTILINK: New UniLink Gateway opens the door for many applications

Whether productivity dashboards, retrofitting downtime-monitoring or simply data logging - the new UniLink Gateway makes many things easier that previously seemed difficult. It forms the bridge between the machine network on the one hand and the IT world on the other. This means that the advantages of both worlds can be used in one device: fast, near-real-time reactions and visualizations in the machine network as well as complex data analyzes and reports for management and decision-makers in the cloud. The central component of the gateway is the MQTT broker, through which the data traffic is handled elegantly and through which a clean separation of the OT and IT network is possible. The broker connects to the data sources in the machine network using a variety of possible connectors. Real-time data sources such as OPC UA or Modbus TCP can be used just as well as more static data sources such as SQL servers or file systems. In addition to the high level of IT security, user comfort is the top priority. The gateway is easily configured for different networks or communication partners using the browser.

The web server available for this purpose can not only provide the configuration pages, but also provide real-time visualizations or data evaluations for screens in the machine network. Data is transferred to the OPTILINK cloud via a separate upload module, which temporarily stores the data in the event of temporary Internet failures and transfers it seamlessly once the problem has been resolved. The data quality in the OPTILINK cloud for long-term analyzes or AI applications could be increased again with the new gateway. The possibility of installing your own, customer-specific app modules on the gateway offers high flexibility and a lot of potential for future developments. These can then, for example, monitor limit values ​​or carry out data analyzes directly in the machine network. With its 'Industrial Linux' platform optimized for gateway applications, two separate LAN ports and Docker-based architecture, the new gateway sets standards in terms of IT security, stability and efficiency. The devices have been installed in new systems since the end of 2023, but are also already in use in various existing OPTILINK systems.

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