For data communications, netDNA takes advantage of the EPIC’s ability to use MQTT with Node-RED. MQTT is a publish-subscribe (pub-sub) method of communication originally developed for the oil and gas industry, and it has huge advantages for remote or wireless networks. If a network is low-bandwidth, unreliable, or expensive, or if distance makes a direct connection impossible, a pub-sub method is ideal.
Each client initiates communication to a central broker/server and then publishes data, subscribes to data, or both. The broker/server does not store data, but simply accepts and forwards data packets as required. Network traffic is reduced overall, because data is communicated on a report-by-exception (RBE) basis—that is, only when the data changes—rather than at regular intervals.
netDNA is also interested in looking into using Sparkplug messaging with MQTT, available in the groov EPIC with Ignition Edge® from Inductive Automation®. Sparkplug encodes the data payload and compresses it. It also tracks the state of clients to make sure all clients can deliver and receive data.
The EPICs on each trailer, tank, or pit publish data to the MQTT broker, and other EPICs subscribe to the data. For their broker, netDNA uses their own hosted secure MQTT server.
Each EPIC contains its own device firewall for data security
. The data the EPIC publishes is device-originated behind its firewall, so no inbound port modifications to the firewall need to be made. Once the EPIC makes the connection with the broker, any return data the EPIC subscribes to is received securely over the same connection.
The system works remarkably well for remote, wireless control. Multiple pumps respond to sent commands within a second. To save bandwidth, netDNA sends data in tables instead of individual data points whenever possible.
With groov EPIC and modern IIoT tools at his disposal, Arbeau spent only three weeks from initial hardware design to having a full system ready for pump control. And thanks to netDNA, New Wave Energy Services can now offer their customers monitoring and control that’s faster and less expensive than their competitors.
“It’s not that hard to outshine the competition,” says Arbeau. “EPIC is helping me be successful.”
For the future, Arbeau’s dream is a multi-use automation black box: an open-chassis skid with EPIC “in the middle” and SignalFire connecting to wireless sensors. Arbeau envisions the skid used for projects not only in oil & gas, but also in agriculture, mining, and other industries with far-flung assets that need automation and data communications.
netDNA provides reliable real-time control where and when you need it. As our name suggests, netDNA uses the building blocks of the internet to fuse hardware and software to build the next generation of solutions, services and products. Just as DNA is used as the foundation to create life, we apply the same principle to our work.
The business is a tech-based company offering a range of products and services to help enable industrial automation, providing tech-based support and services, security, and wireless instrumentation.
For more information, visit netDNA.io or contact us:
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