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Navigating IoT: Safeguarding Assets and Data in the Digital Era

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

In today’s digital landscape, the importance of monitoring and safeguarding your assets remains as crucial as ever. Cloud monitoring services have gained prominence in our industry. Our clients have a growing need to monitor and maintain their assets, but ensuring the acquisition of essential data while safeguarding against cybersecurity threats is a challenge worth addressing.

Enter Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT)

MQTT stands out as a lightweight data exchange protocol for IoT. Currently, MQTT ranks as one of the most widely used messaging protocols. Establishing a one-way data transfer from assets to cloud services proves to be an effective solution for fulfilling your data requirements.

Key Role of RTU in Substation Design

Within our substation design framework, the Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) serves as the central data hub for all Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs). Crucial metrics like meter data play a pivotal role in asset monitoring. The RTU communicates with multiple devices and consolidates the data, allowing any client to access it. However, the commonly used communication protocol within the substation, Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3), may not be the ideal choice for connecting your cloud services to your assets. This is where MQTT comes into play. MQTT, by itself, requires a predefined framework for topic structures. Enter Sparkplug B, a specification that outlines how to structure MQTT messages in a way that is both easily optimized and definable.

Translating Data to MQTT

Whether you opt for a software-based solution like the Inductive Automation Ignition SCADA MQTT driver or a hardware-based one, NEI possesses the expertise to translate data from various sites to MQTT. Examples include converting OPC UA to MQTT or DNP to MQTT. NEI is actively exploring the utilization of the SEL MQTT Library within the Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC) and is working on creating a Sparkplug B framework compatible with the RTAC.

Recognizing the industry’s shift towards IoT, NEI is committed to being at the forefront of this technology. Get in touch with our team today to connect with our experienced SCADA engineers, and explore the innovative solutions NEI has to offer!


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