Beckhoff’s EK9160 IoT coupler offers direct connectivity of I/O devices to the Internet of Things (IoT) without the need for a controller or prior programming.

The coupler converts these signals into different IoT communication protocols and enables standardised integration of I/O data into cloud-based platforms and services.

I/O data transmission can be parameterised in a user-friendly configuration dialog via the integrated web server, using any web-browser. The required cloud services and security functions (authentication, encryption, etc.) can also be conveniently configured using a browser.

Following parameterisation, the coupler autonomously transmits the digital or analogue I/O values to the cloud service, including a timestamp. To safeguard against data loss in the event of network failures, a local buffer is used to ensure the integrity of the transmitted I/O data.

The EK9160 coupler is Microsoft Azure Certified and enables communication with clouds based on advanced multi-cloud capabilities and supports all major cloud systems including Amazon Web Services (AWS), SAP HANA, as well as and private cloud systems in company networks. In conjunction with the portfolio of EtherCAT I/O terminals offered by Beckhoff, the EK9160 can be used to transmit the widest range of machine and building data types to the cloud, such as temperature, pressure, vibration or energy consumption, across globally-distributed locations.

As a ‘publisher’, the EK9160 sends data to the cloud, enabling other applications to access the information as a ‘subscriber’. The application can then publish data itself if required, which in turn can be accessed by the IoT coupler through a central message ‘broker’. The devices do not need to know about each other or any individual IP addresses, so the individual applications operate in ‘decoupled’ mode.

Software libraries have been introduced for advanced analytics and communication between controllers and cloud-based services.

See Beckhoff on stand E1 at Smart Buildings Show, 7-8 November 2018, The Barbican, London.