SmartDFE™ enables secure, efficient communication within printing presses and to external systems like the Cloud. It helps manufacturers quickly launch products with either standard or custom front ends, integrating smoothly with existing setups. The Smart Connectivity layer using OPC UA ensures safe interactions across devices and supports advanced functions like remote monitoring. Additionally, SmartDFE is compatible with standard print communication formats like JDF and JMF, enhancing workflow efficiency.
The global impact of OPC UA in industrial automation
Global Graphics Software, a member of the OPC Foundation, uses OPC UA, a platform-independent solution with full encryption and security, ensuring high performance and safety. Adopted in over 50 million machines and backed by over 750 members including major industry players, OPC UA allows secure data communication to the Cloud while keeping firewalls intact. It also supports various Fieldbus standards like ProfiNET and CAN, showcasing its adaptability and strength in industrial applications.
SmartDFE's OPC UA-powered API
SmartDFE allows operation through its Graphical User Interface (GUI) or in a headless server mode without the GUI. This means all functions available to a press operator via the GUI can be managed programmatically through the OPC UA interface. Users can choose the standard GUI, develop a custom one or use both. OPC UA support ensures compatibility with various programming languages, enhancing adaptability in different development environments. The OPC UA Foundation offers 16 Software Development Kits (SDKs) for client creation in languages like C, C++, C# (.NET), Java, Python, and Delphi. The following videos show simple operations being driven in code via the OPC UA interface.
Streamlining advanced front end development without writing code
SmartDFE's OPC UA interface allows the creation of advanced front ends that easily integrate with larger factory control systems, eliminating the need for custom coding. Users can utilize common integration software like SCADA, HMI and dashboard tools. For example, our "Colossus" Performance Regression system uses an industrial automation SCADA package to manage six SmartDFE units for ongoing performance testing, enhancing product quality. This process is monitored and controlled through a dashboard powered by Ignition, providing real-time management of the SmartDFE servers, all set up without requiring any coding.
Enhancing Cloud integration with OPC UA connectivity
The OPC UA connectivity layer in SmartDFE not only facilitates on-site communication but also extends its capabilities to numerous cloud services, such as AWS Sitewise and Microsoft Azure IoT. These platforms are adept at capturing data for further analysis, using AI and other advanced techniques for applications like predictive maintenance.
Examples of connecting to SCADA and AWS Sitewise
In the accompanying video, we showcase examples of how SmartDFE OPC servers can be efficiently managed through SCADA systems, like Ignition, and integrated with cloud services including AWS Sitewise, demonstrating the versatility and power of OPC UA in modern cloud-based ecosystems.