Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Using MQTT to Stream OPC data to Digital Twins in Azure IoT Hub

3 min read

By Win Worrall on Sep 3, 2020 2:00:00 PM


Cogent DataHub is always expanding its wide range of flexible connectivity options between different data sources such as MQTT, OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  With the advent of IIoT and its increasing adoption across industries, connectivity to various traditionally non-IIOT data sources via MQTT is key.

If you're not familiar with the concept of a virtual or digital twin, it's the idea of virtual modeling a physical asset or system.  Ultimately, the key motivators for creating digital twins is having the ability to accurately model and predict what will happen with the real-world physical equivalent of that digital twin.  Digital twins are extremely beneficial towards predictive analytics used for pro-active maintenance and process optimization across industries.

In this next installment of our Cogent DataHub Virtual Training series, we will cover step-by-step how to easily connect and push data from OPC data sources to digital twins in the Azure IoT Hub including how to optionally do so through a network DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone) using an additional DataHub as a proxy server for even greater security.

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Converting an OPC DA Server to OPC UA with DataHub OPC Gateway

2 min read

By Win Worrall on Aug 20, 2020 2:00:00 PM


Cogent DataHub enables a wide range of flexible connectivity options between interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, MQTT, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  This is why we commonly refer to DataHub as a "gateway", as it is frequently utilized for data integration by external software such as HMI, SCADA, MES, historians and other client applications, including for IIoT integration.

In Part 1 of our Cogent DataHub Virtual Training series, we will cover step-by-step how to easily connect OPC UA (Data Access Profile) client applications to your OPC DA Classic server data sources.

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5 Key Considerations For Choosing Tunneling Solutions for Remote OPC

7 min read

By Win Worrall on Jul 16, 2020 2:00:00 PM


OPC continues to be the standard of choice for interoperability between software and hardware in the multi-vendor real world, with wide adoption of OPC DA Classic still in the majority compared to OPC UA. Accessing remote OPC Classic data sources (i.e. OPC clients and servers are on separate machines and, sometimes, even networks) can be challenging due to a reliance on Microsoft DCOM technology for security and authentication on remote OPC connections.

Anyone who has ever heard of or dealt with configuring DCOM security for remote OPC connections knows it has its challenges.  The good news is that there is an alternative to DCOM for remote OPC Classic connectivity - a solution referred to as OPC tunneling.  In the blog post, we'll discuss five of the key considerations to remember as you're evaluating the best OPC tunneling solution for your projects.

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Connect Your Barcode Scanners to Barcode Printers

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on May 28, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Barcode scanners and printers are devices that are very common in a variety of industries, whether it's for use in a manufacturing process or a multitude of other possible uses.  But how do you go from scanning a barcode to printing that barcode?

In this video, we will cover how to connect to both a Datalogic barcode scanner and a Zebra barcode printer, as well as, transferring the scanned barcode data to the printer automatically.

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Accessing AVEVA (formerly Wonderware) from OPC UA Clients with DataHub

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 23, 2020 2:00:00 PM


Cogent DataHub supports a wide range of connectivity interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  With those interfaces, DataHub is a flexible gateway commonly used for data integration by external software such as HMI, SCADA, MES, historians and other client applications.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to access data from AVEVA InTouch (formerly Wonderware) or AVEVA System Platform (formerly Wonderware) from OPC UA clients supporting the Data Access profile using the DataHub OPC Gateway.

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The Benefits of Secure Remote Access to Industrial Process Data

6 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 2, 2020 2:00:00 PM

It can be tricky in this era of increasing cross-connectivity of anything and everything, from a lowly household appliance to IT/OT hybrid systems applying predictive analytics to an industrial process, to balance connectivity everywhere and the required security to mitigate cyber threats.  In the past, remote access to industrial process data often required network access to the actual HMI or SCADA system on the process network.  But why do you need network access to your SCADA system, when all you really need is just to access the data?

In this blog post, we'll discuss a few of the key benefits to having remote access to your industrial process data, which can be essential to making timely business decisions and discuss a flexible solution for enabling remote access without exposing your industrial process network to outside threats, including how to sign up for a free account for a limited time.

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Video Tutorial: Using Cogent DataHub with OPC UA Client Applications

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Mar 5, 2020 2:00:00 PM


Cogent DataHub enables a wide range of connectivity interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  As such, DataHub is a flexible gateway commonly used for data integration by external software such as HMI, SCADA, MES, historians and other client applications.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to make a secure OPC UA connection from OPC UA clients supporting the Data Access profile to DataHub for integrating process data from a myriad of data sources.

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DataHub Enables Modular Procedural Automation at Air Liquide

8 min read

By Win Worrall on Feb 20, 2020 2:00:00 PM


If you're unfamiliar with Modular Procedural Automation (MPA), it helps automate start-up, shutdown and other data-driven procedures in a process, increasing efficiency, optimizing production, and reducing wear and tear on equipment.  Additionally, MPA helps increase operator productivity and confidence.

Adapted from the case study in Control Magazine, this blog post covers how Air Liquide, a world leader in chemicals manufacturing, is migrating to MPA using OPC UA and OPC bridging to lower startup time by over 60% and increase production to over 500 additional tons of liquid oxygen (LOX) resulting in increased profitability.

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