Exploring Vortex Edge Connect: Web UI Tutorial

Following the successful launch of Vortex Edge Connect in May 2017, we produced a series of tutorials to assist system developers evaluate the software. Vortex Edge Connect enables data interoperability and connectivity between industrial data sources and applications, independent of whether they are deployed on local edge networks close to machines or in the cloud.

In this first tutorial, we feature the web-based User Interface attribute of Vortex Edge Connect which is running on Vortex Edge Smart Gateway connecting a ModBus, potentiometer and LED lights. Vortex Edge Connect is pre-configured on the Vortex Edge Smart Gateway which collects and processes data from the sensor, then is shared with other communication endpoints.  Vortex Edge Connect is an extensible and scalable framework for connecting different endpoint technologies together in an Industrial Internet of Things system.

The Vortex Edge Connect is available for evaluation. For inquiries, contact PrismTech.

Vortex Edge PMQ featured at the 2017 Industrial Summit in Taiwan

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ADLINK and PrismTech presented the Vortex Edge Predictive Maintenance & Quality (PMQ) at the Intel Industrial Event held in Le-Meridien, Taipei on July 18, 2017. The event showcased various Industrial IoT applications and demos from robotics and automation, to asset and logistics management.

Both ADLINK and PrismTech team featured a Conveyor Belt system that detects excessive weight, abnormal temperature and vibrations that are usually early symptoms of a potential asset problem. The conveyor belt system includes weight, temperature and vibration sensors that feed data into the Vortex Edge Smart Gateway – a small footprint ruggedized computer that is preconfigured to support asset data capture and PMQ results deployment at the edge, especially within harsh environments.

“It’s been such a good experience to meet many people from different IIoT areas and presenting our amazing technologies such as the Vortex Edge PMQ. I’m excited that this will be a good start to collaborate with many key players in the Industrial IoT space particularly in Asia.” says Janet Peng, Account Manager (APAC) at PrismTech.

PrismTech in collaboration with ADLINK, IBM and Intel developed Vortex Edge PMQ – a fully integrated hardware, data connectivity and predictive analytics solutions that addresses the challenge on predicting and identifying system problems that can cause disruptions and unplanned downtime.

Since its launch in October 2016, the Vortex Edge PMQ has gathered significant interest from businesses within manufacturing and logistics industry. Following the success at the Intel Industrial Event, PrismTech and ADLINK will be showcasing the Conveyor Belt demo at the VM World events in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) and Fira, Barcelona (Spain). The details of these events will be announced shortly.

For more details about the Vortex Edge PMQ, contact PrismTech

FACE listed Vortex OpenSplice as one of the 3rd-party tools for FACE Applications

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The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium has added Vortex OpenSplice to its list of third-party tools for FACE applications.

PrismTech recently released its DDS Community Edition v6.7 that comes with a Free Open Source TSS aligned with the FACE Technical Standard that uses DDS as the underlying transport layer and is fully compatible and interoperable with the commercially supported Vortex OpenSplice V6.8

PrismTech’s TSS reference implementation provides a mapping-layer between the FACE Transport Services API and the standard OMG-DDS API. The new TSS implementation supports both C++ and Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and enables portable components to share and exchange data using DDS. PrismTech’s TSS is being made available under GNU lesser General Public License (LGPL) v3 and Apache V2.0 Open Source license terms.

 

Reflections on DDS at Undersea Defense Technology (UDT)

I’m writing this blog tonight whilst traveling home from exhibiting at the Undersea Defense Technology (UDT) conference in Bremen, Germany with my PrismTech colleagues Peter Steele and Gregg Shenton.

It’s always good to catch up with the latest innovations and tech in the naval and subsea industry – and of course the major suppliers were all in attendance.  A lot of interesting things were going on.

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UDT is a particularly appropriate event for PrismTech.  We have many customers in this industry, with DDS (the Data Distribution Service) already being widely applied and often even mandated by the standards bodies and organizations.  Our leading DDS implementation, Vortex OpenSplice has many successful naval deployments and a long history in this market.  Many people will know how its early version was initially designed to address the specific problem of moving data around a complex, real time, combat management system.  The middleware aspect was standardized to form the DDS specification, which of course addresses a lot of those problems – namely delivering time critical data to the applications that need it in an efficient, fault tolerant and scalable manner.

The benefits of DDS, though, are perhaps quite abstract, and for non-software developers probably initially difficult to appreciate.  Because of that, we wanted to provide a visual demonstration at the event that would be interesting for the passer-by yet allow them to relate to what the technology can provide.

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We came up with a mini simulation of a combat system whereby data from the raw environment is captured, processed and delivered to where needed for further analysis.  Our demo used a webcam to capture the raw environment – which in real terms could represent a radar, sonar or video system.  The demo then performed some local analysis, in our case some image processing to track specific colours as they move across the camera.  We had some different colored balls that people were encouraged to wave around (or if brave, juggle) in front of the webcam.  These moving colours were tracked, with their positions published into DDS.  We had another computer which subscribed to that data and presented it to a would-be operator on a mocked-up Blue Force Tracking system, i.e. naval symbols on a sea chart.  We were simulating how position and routes of other vessels and obstacles could be tracked within a networked system in real time.  Of course, DDS is even more valuable when you have to deliver the data to potentially hundreds of machines that might exist within a ship or vessel but there is only so much you can show on a stand!  Still, people appreciated the demo and we had some very interesting discussions.

On reflection, those discussions were generally centred around two key areas.  Firstly, how companies can simplify and optimize their own internal data communication systems.  They usually have some existing solution to deliver data around the network but they are often quite legacy and difficult to extend, enhance or deploy to different scenarios.  DDS is great for that purpose.  Secondly, we spoke about easy integration with other vendors in the naval supply chain.  DDS has strong yet evolvable typing that allows for the clear definition of what data is and represents, while also providing an interoperable wire protocol so applications can automatically discover each other and share data with little integration effort.

Getting Started Tutorial with Vortex OpenSplice Tester Video

In this tutorial video presented by Nate Wieselquist, you can learn about how to get started using the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool in order to help you automate the process of testing and debugging your DDS system. Both passive and active benefits of the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool are covered in this video as well as an example walkthrough.

DDS at the Tactical Edge

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The Department of Defense’s (DoD) next generation “Third Offset” initiative will target promising technology areas, including robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, and big data, whilst also seeking to improve the military’s collaboration with innovative private sector enterprises.

The latest innovations in real-time data-centric network edge computing based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard will be key to delivering on some of the key priorities.

A key DoD objective is to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing. The aim is to move from a state of duplication, cumbersome and costly application siloes to a much more cost effective and agile service environment that can rapidly respond to changing mission requirements. Cloud computing can enhance battlefield mobility through device and location independence while providing on-demand secure global access to mission data and enterprise services.

Whilst cloud computing carries data back to a central server for storage and analysis with resultant issues in bandwidth capacity, connectivity and latency common to hostile environments; new fog computing and Tactical Cloudlet technologies enable real-time analytics and other functions to be performed at the tactical edge of a network, right at the data source – for example soldiers on the battlefield. This will help enable smart autonomous systems to send, receive and process information when and where it is needed, so ensuring speedier and optimal mission-critical decision making.

Tactical Cloudlets are a means to make cloud services and processing available to mobile users by offloading computation to servers deployed on platforms closer to the users. Cloudlets leverage capabilities such as automatic discovery and VM based provisioning, combined with peer-to-peer communications. Tactical Cloudlets, fog and edge computing will impact the way that the defense community builds the next generation of C4SIR and related military simulation systems.

PrismTech’s Vortex is a proven DDS standards-based technology for efficient, ubiquitous, interoperable, secure and platform independent data sharing across network connected devices. Vortex naturally fits with the fog computing and Tactical Cloudlet paradigm and is the only fog-ready data-sharing infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of defense and aerospace companies – connecting soldiers, unmanned machines, devices and commanders in the field with the intelligence community, and helping to improve decision-making.

Read out latest white paper to find out more >>>

Getting Smarter at the Edge

With over 2 billion people around the world now users of a smartphone, we have more computing power than ever right at our fingertips than ever before. Our cars, houses, factories, cities, etc. are all becoming smarter too. With all of this distributed computing power and applications, we’re producing and consuming vast quantities of data … but are we using this data effectively?

As systems grow in complexity and the number of connected devices/sensors increases, so too does the sheer volume of data produced. That is a lot of (potentially sensitive) data to be sending to the cloud to be analyzed for faults/abnormalities. Then there is the issue of network connectivity: what if the network goes down? What if the latency is too high for the safety/mission/business critical scenario? There are many single points of failure in a cloud-reliant solution. Local computing is therefore still vitally important to many industries, but this data still has value. Aggregating this data at the edge for cloud analysis is one way in which companies can derive massive business benefits without overburdening network communications. This aggregate data can be analyzed for insights, and results deployed back down to the edge.

Automation is an area in which edge computing plays a vital role: when you need an action to be taken immediately should something happen; you require a low-latency instantaneous response. Running edge based analytics enables companies to perform reactive, predictive, and prescriptive actions in real-time with no bandwidth costs or WAN networking issues to worry about. Automating decisions at the edge enables geographically isolated systems to benefit from big-data analytics without requiring high-bandwidth, low-latency connections to the cloud.

Edge computing is enabling many areas of high interest: self-driving cars, factory automation, autonomous drones, predictive maintenance, and the list keeps growing. Unlocking the potential of the ever-growing volume of data being produced means greater efficiency, more effective and timely actions, and valuable insights.

The recently announced Vortex Edge PMQ solution utilizes the power of PrismTech’s Vortex data-connectivity software, ADLINK’s ruggedized industrial hardware, and IBM’s advanced Predictive Maintenance and Quality analytics. Vortex Edge PMQ provides an edge analytics solution designed for Industrial Internet of Things environments where cloud computing access may be limited or otherwise not desired.

For a more detailed look at Vortex Edge PMQ and implementation examples, visit http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/vortex-edge-pmq