Home » A Web Broker Architecture for Remote Access
A Web Broker Architecture for Remote Access
A simple and cost-effective way to remotely maintain and service industrial machinery worldwide.
Providing industrial remote access systems for machine builders and OEMs has become a critical requirement for enterprises, often making the difference between companies that are successful and those that are not. Regardless of whether maintenance engineers work in the office or at home, they need easy and seamless access to machines and industrial assets in order to do their job, which primarily involves remote maintenance.
In the early 1990s, there were only limited options for worldwide access to machines and industrial assets. A modem communicating via the public switched telephone network was the prevalent option. Unfortunately, this required making long-distance calls, and the available throughput was so low that it was difficult to service machines in practice. As the Internet grew, it provided an opportunity for free or public long distance communication for remote access. Now combined with cellular technologies that provide wireless communication or DSL based technologies, this offers the market new communication media for accessing devices. However, DSL based technologies require installing a dedicated line to the machine location, while cellular technologies requires that wireless receivers are available in the vicinity of the machine providing adequate coverage for good communication.
An alternative approach is for machine builders to utilize the network infrastructure of their customers, assuming that the customerís machine can be connected to the Internet via a LAN connection point. This is the preferred way to access the machine, since it provides the lowest-cost connection, high throughput, and almost no deployment effort on the media side. Using Internet implies the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure secure IP connections. Using a LAN connection point requires the integration of these VPNs into the corporate LANs of the machine builders' customers.
With a remote access turnkey system approach, the machine builder must assume responsibility for the integration activities and will probably need to collaborate with the customer's IT staff in order to perform the integration. Although this is a viable approach, it has some drawbacks. For instance, each customer may require a different VPN configuration, which increases the complexity of the integration process and extends the installation and commissioning period, which of course impacts the cost of the machine installation.
It is therefore important to choose technologies which allow the installation cost to be kept to a reasonable level by minimizing the integration factor as much as possible.
Access the entire print issue on-line and be notified each month via e-mail when your new issue is ready for you. Subscribe today.
- Featured White Papers