Beckhoff integrates data and communication services efficiently into the cloud with support for third-party IoT technologies

Where these IIoT platforms/ecosystems end up is beyond my power to guess, but this is an interesting partnership of a couple of German control and automation rivals—Beckhoff Automation and Siemens.

Beckhoff has offered diverse IoT communication capabilities with its TwinCAT IoT product family since 2015. Transmitting data to the cloud or between networked machines in this way creates enormous potential for increasing production efficiency. MindSphere, the Industrial IoT as a service solution from Siemens, is now one of the latest solutions that can integrate with TwinCAT.

TwinCAT 3 automation software can communicate with HTTP(S) servers as an HTTP(S) client, for example for exchanging data via a REST API. Establishing a connection with MindSphere is now also possible via this HTTPS communication for exchanging telemetry data. This connection is secured by TLS (Transport Layer Security) and uses MindSphere-specific authentication mechanisms.

The sample implementations of the TwinCAT 3 Function TC3 IoT HTTPS/REST (TF6760) in the relevant documentation show how to establish connections with MindSphere. These examples provide a simple introduction to connecting TwinCAT with MindSphere and help users to adapt the program code to suit individual requirements.

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