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By Elian Zimmermann
14 December 2022

DLF Breakfast Get-Together – Gauteng

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The fresh morning air was heavy with anticipation. We had been prepping for this day for weeks, and our tired bodies were pumped with excitement. At dawn, we were putting the last things together, making sure all details were perfectly in place. Not long after, the first guests started arriving, singling that the event had officially started.

Everyone was treated to a delicious breakfast, and while our guests were enjoying their last few bites, we unleashed the surprise we had in store for them. A group of DLF demonstrators filed into the hall singing a song of liberation and holding up signs that read things like “DOWN WITH BLACK BOXES” and “MY DATA MY DECISION”.

And so, our workshop commenced with an invigorating introduction by Jaco Markwat followed by the actual reason everyone had gathered that day; a live demonstration of building a complete Industry 4.0 and IIoT application for smart manufacturing. Tebello MasediLaura Strydom and Leonard Smit had all eyes fixed on them as they systematically built the application using IgnitionCanary and Flow.

Here’s a short recap of the demo:

  • It’s easy to turn any panel PC into an MQTT-capable Ignition HMI solution. We demonstrated this, on a Turck Banner TX700 touchscreen, where our Ignition Edge application controls and collects data from various sensors via OPC-UA.
  • Using Canary’s Collectors, we seamlessly and quickly collected Modbus data from a Raspberry Pi and remote field devices with Tabateq’s Elpro MQTT – Sparkplug IoT Connectivity Gateway.
  • Cirrus Link’s MQTT Modules for the Ignition platform provided store-forward capability and an efficient and secure connectivity solution for OT data.
  • Our central Ignition SCADA provided enterprise control of our real-time and remote operations. While also historising data to our high-performance Canary Historian. Both were hosted on a zero-touch, secure, and highly-automated Stratus ztC Edge.
  • MQTT Automatic Tag Discovery combined with Canary’s Virtual Views made it easy to organise many tags into assets and wouldn’t require ongoing work even when new tags come into the system.
  • The Flow Analytics Framework added context to data from multiple sources, including MQTT, Ignition, Canary, SQL and manual data. One is able to serve valuable analytics-ready information via powerful dashboard, and also bridge OT data streams with IT and enterprise systems using industry-standard protocols and APIs.
Some of you might have been seeing the acronym floating around in our content, but you haven’t attended one of our breakfast events (yet), so you’re wondering what the DLF is and how it ties in with Element8. Well, what we do every day is Element8, and we do that with amazing people and partners. The Data Liberation Front is a thought; an idea; a movement. It’s a collective like-minded thinking around some of the challenges we’re facing in the manufacturing industry around data right now.

The purpose of this movement is to humbly serve our community and the industry. We want to create opportunity for us to exchange knowledge with each other and provide intuitive technologies that scale. By doing this, we hope to help ensure a data-driven and flourishing future.

Our third DLF Breakfast Get-Together was another raging success, and it was all thanks to the support of our partners and customers. These inspiring people that were fighting to protect the jobs of their employees during lockdown and other tough times, as well as System Integrators that have to make magic happen, often with very small budgets. We’re not the hero in our story, our community is.

We’ll be hosting more DLF events next year, and we hope to see you there. For the time being, if you’re interested in seeing more of the event, here is a photo gallery and an official after event movie put together by our team.

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