Gain greater efficiency with enhanced industrial data connectivity

Posted: April 29, 2024

It’s no secret. When industrial enterprises reliably collect and analyze real-time data from their assets, they can improve their operational and business decision-making. The pressure is on to scale data connectivity to more assets across more sites, all while reducing operational costs.

Understanding remote data connectivity efforts and their business impact

As your company grows and technology evolves, more assets live in remote, unstaffed, or mobile environments that have little to no automation. These assets are often distributed across geographic locations—cities, wind farms, solar farms, and the powerlines they feed. For example, Enel’s hydro- and geothermal power generation plants have many difficult-to-access pipelines, aqueducts, wells, and weather stations.

Manually managing robust data connectivity components across so many disparate and sometimes difficult-to-access sites is technically challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. For many industrial companies, it has never been feasible to extend industrial data connectivity to these kinds of sites. You might have accepted that some of your assets are in the dark.

Many of your peers are lighting up all their assets, from their central site to the very edges of their enterprise with scalable data connectivity platforms. They’re not only collecting data from those assets, they’re also using it.

Recent releases: Tackling common data connectivity challenges

Our customers use AVEVA’s latest lightweight data connectivity product suite for capturing real-time operations data: AVEVA™ Adapters. AVEVA Adapters can collect data from industrial IoT devices to large assets. They reflect the industry’s continuing need for seamless, hybrid data management from edge to plant to cloud to community.

Enel used AVEVA Adapters to increase data availability without changing real-time data flow and to unlock previously inaccessible value. Recent releases of AVEVA Adapters include several capabilities that help you gain greater value from your assets.

Advanced tools for data connectivity integration and management

AVEVA Adapters provide you with flexibility for where and how they are deployed. Send data to various AVEVA data management solutions, including to AVEVA Edge Data Store at the edge, AVEVA™ PI Server on-premises, and CONNECT data services (AVEVA™ Data Hub), the cloud-native data management layer within CONNECT, our industrial intelligence platform.

You can use AVEVA Edge Management, a software service available via CONNECT, to remotely configure, deploy, monitor, and update AVEVA Adapter edge module versions of the software. When you deploy an edge module, you simply select the data connectivity solution you want and deploy with the push of a button.

With CONNECT, you can create and manage the configuration of AVEVA Adapters as well as remotely monitor the status of the software, including health and diagnostic data about the software, its device, and its connected data source. 

These scalable, real-time data connectivity solutions save you from manually deploying each data collection product and allow you to easily adjust the consumption of your data collection software. You can manage and scale your data collection across your entire fleet of legacy, remote, and mobile assets.  

Customers using these AVEVA solutions have saved up to a week of work on a deployment and up to five hours a week for regular asset maintenance. They’ve deployed 10 times the amount of assets with the same IT resources.

High availability: Ensuring continuous data connectivity

Many events can threaten data connectivity failure, including scheduled maintenance, power interruptions or hardware failures. AVEVA Adapters now include failover support to help you eliminate single points of failure, protect against potential data loss, ensure access to current data, and decrease downtime. 

As of April 2024, edge modules and failover support exist for the following AVEVA Adapters:

  • Client- and server-level failover
    • AVEVA Adapter for MQTT
    • AVEVA Adapter for OPC UA
  • Client-level failover
    • AVEVA Adapter for BACnet
    • AVEVA Adapter for DNP3
    • AVEVA Adapter for Modbus TCP

Expect edge modules and failover support for other AVEVA Adapters in future releases.

The following video demonstrates how failover works with AVEVA Adapters. 

Promoting accurate and timely data connectivity

Accurate, timely data is critical to your operations. For example, in power generation, knowing the total power generated at exact times is crucial for accurate reporting, operational analysis, and for meeting industry and regulatory standards. You need data transmission options that help to ensure this data quality.

The AVEVA Adapter for OPC UA has previously enabled customers to collect advised data, meaning that the OPC UA server sends updates to the adapter based on certain condition or events, reducing unnecessary data transmission. With the upcoming release, you have the option to collect polled data, whereby the adapter actively requests data from the OPC UA server at regular intervals. This ensures that you can collect data at exact times, when needed. It also helps to address data quality situations, like ensuring that the adapter actively checks and updates the latest data status on data streams previously marked “bad”, which can lead to quicker recovery of accurate data transmission, improving overall data quality management.

Next steps: Using AVEVA’s data connectivity solutions

The integrated, hybrid-ready offering for edge-to-cloud operations data management AVEVA™ PI Data Infrastructure provides a nice entry point for all the data connectivity solutions and recent capabilities discussed in this blog.

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