Data integration in the Industrial field
In the industrial field ServerNet offers
transverse and direct connectivity with industrial control machines: PLCs
(Siemens, Allen Bradley, Rockwell, Omron, Schneider, etc.), Operators’ PCs
(Esa, ProFace, etc.) and SCADA (InTouch, Proficy iFix, Citect, etc.).
ServerNet can also collect and integrate environmental and industrial
surveillance data concerning, for example, process and production areas.
ServerNet has specialized in extending the functions of the supervisors and
data acquisition systems called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data
The use of modern technologies, such as Web browser and mobile phones, is at
this point stabilized. ServerNet designed its platform following the
concepts of IoT (Internet of Things) and Cloud, being a pioneer towards
their natural development, investing resources in being among the first,
today, in generating and offering a mature IIoT - “Internet of Industrial
Things” - solution.
Several research institutes, such as the Gartner Research, indicate how even the
Industrial field is now orienting towards Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Starting from the learning phase (machine learning) AI needs normalized, certain,
complete, detailed, at the necessary frequency data and interoperable access.
Phases following machine learning, require peripherals able to interpreter the
algorithms predisposed by AI systems.
For its nature, IoT alone directly interfaces with sensors and predisposed
objects, but it is incapable to integrate obsolete systems. Therefore, the
modernization needed for an integrated industrial plants’ control is compromised.
SCADA and PLC
The picture shows an example of supervision and control of a purification plant.
The solution in performed thanks to a programmable logic controller (PLC). A PLC
is a computer for the industrial field, specialized in processes’ management and
control. It runs a program that, reading digital and analogical signs’ values
coming from sensors, manages the plants’ actuators.
When the supervisor s moved away from the plant it manages, a Remote Terminal
Unit (RTU) is commonly introduced; a micro-pressure electronic device which
deals with plant’s data transfer to the supervisor. It is also often referred to
as Remote Telemetry Unit.
Integration today: SCADAs and PLCs managed plants
In most cases, when an integration between systems serving different plants is
needed, a single brand logic re-wiring of them is usually preferred, they are
technologically dealt with as if they were disconnected and separated plants and
a real integrated connection is unlikely to be implemented.
Otherwise, SCADA centralization of supervision in a unique room Qualified
Personnel manages is the choice, which is considered much cheaper and less risky.
In this case, systems and data’s natural heterogeneity remains and the set of
plants is improperly defined as integrated.
Even in case of a single plant, which is later enhanced, what we have just
described often happens. Incremental expansions of plant at later times are
commonly integrated the same way.
In the age of IIoT, which requires an easy and fast implementation, the above
mentioned modernization solutions are unsuitable in terms of costs, risks and
access availability for innovative implementations.
Security suffers as well; this is not natural in the IIoT and therefore remains
outdated and often unsuitable in a complex multi-operator architecture.
IIoT - "Internet of Industrial Things"
Here aside, we can see an example of IIoT. For its nature, the system is able to
connect to the different sensors trough cabled networks, serial ports and via
radio transmission systems, using configurations in complete absence of a
Natively, IIoT is able to connect to the Internet also using MQTT protocol,
which allows downloading values from the sensors and transfer them to
centralized standard service, using configurations often in complete absence of
a specific programming.
MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) is an ISO standard light and
publish-subscribe messaging protocol. MQTT efficiently works on the Internet
environment because when exchanging data it uses a few resources and a limited
A IIoT system gives you the advantage it can be quickly installed and readings
for measured values are easily implemented on it. On the other hand, it does not
natively integrate with the existing supervisory systems and lacks of a
contextual graphical representation of data and processes.
Even MQTT standard implementation makes the peripheral device LS24 able to
exploit the protocol’s own characteristics to transfer data to third party MQTT
Cloud systems. ServerNet LS24 device, designed for medical uses and realized
following industrial standards, is itself a strong IIoT peripheral system; it
offers computing power, low power consumption, functional autonomy, thanks to
the internal battery, and various methods of communication (from mobile phones,
WiFi, Access Point).
LS24 device normally acts as a IIoT peripheral hub, but in case of central
services’ absence it also has autonomous functional continuity.
ServerNet wanted to extend the IIoT through:
• availability of its drivers, which can be applied to a wide range of
industrial control Resources such as PLCs, TOs and SCADAs;
• capability to interact with specific “languages” characterizing each Resource;
• Web graphical representation of data and processes in a way similar to what
happens with a SCADA;
• SCADA systems and single PLCs integration, even if they are isolated;
• local processing by sending the resulting data to PLCs, in order to extend
their process capability.
• use of mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and so on, without the
need to install additional software on such devices.
ServerNet integrates access’ control solving the lack of security typical of
SCADA systems mainly based on modem or PSTN.
The technology behind all ServerNet products simplifies network maintenance,
system installation and unit commissioning. A self-diagnosis system prevents
ServerNet IIoT extensions
Basically, ServerNet embraced a concept which is often referred to in industrial
environments "what is working, is not going to be changed".
Systems based on PLCs and SCADAs have proved to be valid and stable over time.
Combining them with an equally valid and stable system to share normalized,
certain, complete, detailed, at the necessary frequency and with an
interoperable access data, has been the keystone for the implementation of IIoT
systems open to future uses such as, among the first, Artificial Intelligence.
application on ServerNet IIoT
and geo-localization of distributed elements (edge computing).
4th generation Web SCADA (ServerNet IIoT)
Control and Telemetry
*Above shown screens are extracted from WaterIT, a ServerNet IIoT application
run in collaboration with