Software upgrade meet industry 4.0 with open platform communications

The latest version of Belden’s Hirschmann Operating System (HiOS) enables open platform communications for factory automation.

The software has an embedded Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) server and provides a seamless, brand-agnostic solution as industrial automation moves towards industry 4.0. Belden says it is the only manufacturer to offer switches that can natively run this communication protocol.

Universal communication capability allows customers to reap the benefits of a more tightly integrated network within the factory automation system, including openness, interoperability and scalability. OPC is the de-facto communications standard for industry 4.0; it provides a communication bridge between all levels of the automation architecture, from embedded components on the factory floor to the enterprise.

“Industrial communication is extremely fragmented with various manufacturers or user groups promoting proprietary solutions,” said Mark Cooksley, product line manager at Belden. “We’ve embedded OPC UA directly into our HiOS software to promote interoperability between manufacturers. Now, our hardware speaks a common communication language and can be managed directly within existing industrial applications,” he explained.

The upgraded HiOS software is industry 4.0-ready, providing a future-proof system that ensures existing products will continue to support future technologies. It also offers seamless integration into existing OPC UA-based applications. It is also less complex and provides higher network availability as there is no requirement for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to OPC gateways.

HiOS is suited to any industrial setting that requires immediate, reliable communication between devices, especially for machine-to-machine (MM) communication and motion control applications. Comprehensive security features also make it ideal for high-risk industries, such as power transmission and distribution, oil and gas, general manufacturing, automotive, transportation and mass transit, rail-rolling stock, and aerospace markets.

Belden offers a portfolio of interoperable products for seamless, secure and future-proof solutions that address the challenges of its industrial customers.

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