TE News: IIC Testbed on Sensor-to-the-Cloud Connectivity

TE Connectivity, SAP, ifm and the OPC Foundation Announce New IIC Testbed on Sensor-to-the-Cloud Connectivity


October 20, 2016

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Jonathan Graham
TE Connectivity
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Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brown-field Sensors Testbed” approved by the Industrial Internet Consortium enables easy integration of sensors with IT systems in existing facilities

DARMSTADT, Germany – October 20, 2016 – TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors has received approval by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) for an IIC testbed on sensor-to-the-cloud connectivity called “Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brown-field Sensors Testbed”. This testbed led by TE is being carried out with fellow IIC member SAP, ifm and the OPC Foundation. The idea for the testbed was publicly unveiled at the Hanover Fair in April of this year.

The objective of sensor-to-the-cloud connectivity is to make sensor data available to information technology (IT) systems in near real time, enabling advanced analytics. This is of particular interest to operators of existing manufacturing facilities, as it provides them with opportunities to increase efficiencies, e.g. through reductions in energy consumption. Unlike new deployments, where the appropriate connectivity may be designed in from the beginning, smart solutions are required for these "Brown-field" installations in order to enable easy integration at both the operational technology (OT) and the IT level to reduce downtime and save costs.

"Working with partners within the IIC, TE has once again demonstrated its expertise in the field of intelligent solutions for future industrial data communications," says Ulrich Wallenhorst, vice president & chief technology officer, business development & strategy at TE. "This testbed is an excellent demonstration of how our smart technology can be used to connect devices, sensors and communication architectures that exist at different levels in existing industrial infrastructures to ensure a smooth flow of information from the field to the cloud and to enable data analytics."

The Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brown-field Sensors Testbed will:

  • Introduce a retrofit hardware solution (the "Y-Gateway") that makes use of existing physical connectivity
  • Extract sensor data from the automation system without impacting operations
  • Deliver the sensor data to SAP's IT platform through a secure OT/IT communication based on OPC UA (IEC 62541)
  • Define and implement a common device model based on an available open standard to allow for the easy integration of an IO-Link sensor with IT, enabling the remote configuration of the sensor


“Testbeds are a major focus and activity of the IIC and its members”, said IIC Executive Director, Dr. Richard Soley. "Our testbeds are where new technologies, applications, products, services and processes - the innovation and opportunities of the industrial Internet - can be initiated, thought through and rigorously tested to ascertain their usefulness and viability before coming to market.”

About TE

TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) is a $14 billion global technology and manufacturing leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. For more than 75 years, our connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, have enabled advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home. With 80,000 employees, including more than 8,000 engineers, working alongside customers in approximately 140 countries, TE ensures that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS.

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