As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to transform manufacturing operations into Smart Factories, machines must exchange information with other machines on multiple levels. When designers select an encoder, not only must they consider how it interacts with the drive but also how it communicates as part of a larger intelligent sensor network.

Enterprises are increasingly relying more on the cloud to process important machine data.
Therefore, the IIoT demands encoders that can forward that critical process, monitoring and diagnostic data to the cloud for enterprise-wide information handling without restriction.
The OPC-UA (Open Platform Communications – Unified Architecture) is becoming an important communication protocol for the Industrial IoT. Encoders that leverage this architecture are able to transmit parameters such as speed, position, acceleration, temperature and operating time along with IP information directly to the cloud while lifting the burden of information handling from the existing machine automation infrastructure. This open architecture does not limit developers to a specific operating system or programming language, and it’s free to implementers—no fees required.

Kuebler’s recently introduced EtherNet/IP encoder series integrates the OPC-UA interface, giving designers a gateway to the cloud with the freedom of open, cross-system communications throughout the plant. Besides providing interoperability for enterprise-wide industrial automation, EtherNet/IP encoders offer several other benefits:

This series of four single-turn and multi-turn optical encoders boasts 1-ms RPI (requested packet interval) times so they can transmit position data faster than many conventional encoders. They plug directly into the network and are software configurable, making installation quick and easy. They’re also highly reliable thanks to redundant signal paths that let them continue running even during a cable break or signal interruption. Users can choose different network interface speeds and flexible network architectures based on the available Ethernet installation options, such as copper, fiber, fiber ring and wireless.

Since the IIoT ultimately fulfills its promise through real-time data exchange across the plant, encoders that forward data from the physical layer to the cloud while allowing developers to freely integrate them into the larger network will lead the way to the smart factory of the future.

To learn more about our IIoT-ready encoders, visit our IIoT product page.