While IIoT is highly recognised as a best practice within the enterprise sector, many companies struggle with its realisation. Physically connecting industrial assets to the cloud remains complex and time-consuming.
Today IIoT is significantly more accessible with 12,000 industrial-grade sensors that CloudRail brings to Microsoft IoT Plug & Play. With this collaboration, almost any industrial sensor from established vendors like ifm, Turck, Pepperl+Fuchs, Sick, and many others seamlessly integrate into Microsoft IoT services like IoT Central. Moreover, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) or System Integrators (SIs) can start building applications on top of Microsoft Azure which leverage the broad sensor support.
“Collecting data from machines which are sometimes 30 to 40 years old was always a challenge. With CloudRail and Microsoft IoT Plug & Play, it becomes simple,” said Felix Kollmar, CEO of CloudRail.
Previously, the process of connecting industrial assets to the cloud using existing solutions in IIoT projects took weeks or even months. With the CloudRail solution, industrial-grade sensors are mounted directly on the respective machine and connected with just a few clicks into Azure IoT or the respective business application.
“With CloudRail’s OT-to-Cloud solution, we were able to reduce the time to connect a machine to Microsoft Azure IoT to just a few hours,” said Kollmar.
CloudRail and Microsoft designed the system to be agnostic of both the used machine or equipment vendor as well as the realised IIoT use case. Besides the new IoT Plug & Play support for industrial sensors, the solution also supports industry standards like OPC-UA to connect modern equipment. This flexibility allows companies to standardise their IIoT architecture right from the beginning.
As a result, customers can realise any kind of IIoT use case on a scalable and secure platform. By combining Azure and CloudRail, companies can run and manage a single connected machine — or millions.
“CloudRail changes the way IIoT projects are realized. Companies can start small, prove value fast and quickly scale based on their learnings. Businesses around the world will benefit from faster results and lower device onboarding and management costs,” said Tony Shakib, GM/Partner, Microsoft Azure IoT.