Networking IT and OT – INSYS icom Industrial Routers

Routers and gateways for industry – the control centres for the IIoT

Industrial routers play a key role as gateways between a company’s IT and its operating technology such as the machine network. They connect installations to the Internet, transfer data, convert protocols and monitor the status of machines. Accordingly they are a central component of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and play a decisive role in ensuring a company’s economic viability and success. This is because by acquiring and processing industrial data, companies can not only save money and optimise their processes, but also open up completely new business fields.

Basic requirements for industrial routers

Modern industrial routers have to perform convincingly in four areas in particular in order to meet the requirements and demands of industry in the 21st century:

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Quality & reliability

Gateways from INSYS icom are built for use in all industrial environments. They have powerful electronics, a housing that meets every requirement and an operating system that protects against attacks. In addition, our industrial routers are “Made in Germany”. The software and hardware development takes place at our facility in Regensburg and devices are manufactured almost exclusively in Germany.
The gateways comply with all established industrial standards: they are vibration and shock resistant and designed for large temperature ranges (-30°C to +75 °C, depending on the variant).

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Quick & easy start-up

INSYS icom gateways are characterised by their simple operation and setup. For example, integrated quick start wizards help with the initial setup of the devices and configuration with the VPN server. In addition, a plausibility check serves as an indicator for a stable configuration. Extensive debugging and monitoring functions ensure that the administrator always has the settings and configurations under control.

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Interfaces for every requirement

The MRX router series from INSYS icom offers the right interfaces for all requirements. The gateways feature a modular design and can be expanded via plug-in cards. The MRX series is available in four connection variants as a fibre, LAN, DSL or 4G model. The smaller version offers one free slot, while the larger version has three slots for MRcard expansion cards. This limits the investment to your current requirements, but allows you to upgrade flexibly and thus extend the life cycle of the unit.

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Secure communication

Industrial data communication requires a high level of security. That is why we only select high-grade components for the hardware of our industrial routers and use a secure operating system developed in-house. The basis for this is a hardened Linux system which is particularly stable and reliable. In addition, a number of security functions are integrated, such as network filters, a secure firewall, access controls with different user roles and rights as well as certificate-based authentication, including blocking lists. Industrial routers from INSYS icom also receive regular firmware updates, which further increase security. In order to control machines remotely, the gateway is accessed from outside via encrypted VPN access. Thanks to these features the INSYS icom industrial routers are suitable for use in critical infrastructures (KRITIS).

Applications implemented with industrial routers

Industrial routers from INSYS icom are accordingly reliable, secure and flexible. But what specific applications can be realised with the devicesAs mentioned at the beginning, industrial routers are elementary nodes in M2M communication in the Industrial Internet of Things. They are therefore used in very many application areas, the two largest of which are:

remote diagnosis & maintenance
condition monitoring

Remote diagnosis & maintenance

The main advantage of remote maintenance and remote control is obvious: the cost savings they offer. This is because you can take care of configuration, updates and maintenance from anywhere – without the need to send out a technician. Remote maintenance and remote control can also prevent or reduce downtimes. Because the costs for remote maintenance and diagnostics repay themselves after only a short time, you save money. For safe and reliable remote maintenance and remote diagnostics, users primarily need secure remote access, a reliable, fail-safe connection to the Internet and hardware that can be put together as desired. Industrial routers from INSYS icom excel in precisely these areas with the following features:

VPN service: icom Connectivity Suite – VPN

VPN tunnels not only increase security against access from outside, but also the reliability of the tunnel, which is extremely important for secure data transmission. This is why in addition to gateways with VPN functions, INSYS icom also offers the icom Connectivity Suite – VPN. This managed service is set up particularly quickly and easily on the router and offers a secure, high-performance communication service that can be used worldwide.

Modular hardware

In addition to redundant WAN communication, gateways from INSYS icom offer further modular adaptations. For example, you can expand the routers modularly with additional connections. In addition to the plug-in cards for WAN communication, the MRX series offers space for interfaces such as RS 232 and RS 485, Gigabit SFP, digital and analogue inputs or Wi-Fi. This makes the configuration of the devices much easier and you save space in the control cabinet.

Redundant WAN communication

INSYS icom industrial routers offer redundantly designed connection channels for a high level of connection security. Fibre, ADSL / VDSL or mobile radio – you decide which channel is to be the primary one and which connection is to act as a fallback.

Condition monitoring

Condition monitoring checks the pulse of your machines. With industrial routers from INSYS icom you have an overview of the condition of your plant and machinery at all times and everywhere. This gives you full transparency in your value creation chain and allows you to intervene as necessary in the event of problems. In addition, it enables you to implement modern IIoT concepts such as predictive maintenance. Maintenance measures, personnel deployment or the procurement of spare parts can be planned at an early stage and at a favourable price. Crucial for condition monitoring with real added value for your company are above all monitoring of the status of your systems, a connection to the cloud and the evaluation and processing of data directly on the device. Thanks to the following features, industrial routers from INSYS icom are ideal as pulse meters for your machines:

Edge computing

In the IIoT, data accumulates from different sources and in different formats. Edge or cloud computing is particularly suitable for collecting and processing this data. With the icom Data Suite application, your industrial router becomes an edge gateway that fundamentally pre-processes and aggregates data. In this way the gateway additionally performs the tasks of an industrial PC – and you save both costs and space in your control cabinet. Accordingly, data is transformed into real information. In addition, you can run your own applications completely separated from the router firmware in a container environment.

Cloud connection & multi-protocol environment

Thanks to the icom Data Suite, INSYS icom routers easily transfer data to pre-integrated cloud systems using plug & play or generically using MQTT. In addition, INSYS icom industrial routers support many machine protocols such as IEC-60870-5-101 Master, IEC-60870-5-104 Server, Codesys, Modbus, Modbus Client or Siemens S7. Accordingly, the industrial routers also network heterogeneous plant environments.

Monitoring & alerting functions

INSYS icom routers provide many ways for you to monitor the status of your machines. Changes to ports, change of WAN accesses or even integrated counters or expiring timers – all this can be retrieved by users by individual event. In addition, industrial routers can also react to events, for example when a threshold value is exceeded or other anomalies. If this is the case, alarms can be sent via various channels, for example MS, SNMP traps and email.

The IIoT opens up new possibilities

The applications enabled by INSYS icom industrial routers save you money, time and nerves. However, the networking of machines and the collection and evaluation of large amounts of data offer you many more possibilities to make your company fit for the future. By using industrial routers you can open up new sales fields, offer new service models and even put older systems online.

New sales fields

Industry routers create completely new business models, such as “pay per use”. The customer no longer buys the machine from you, but pays according to the amount of use. In return, you commit to guaranteeing availability at a certain level via a service level agreement (SLA). In addition, INSYS icom routers offer a container environment for your own software, which enables you to sell it as a service (software-as-a-service). Industrial routers from INSYS icom therefore ensure that you generate recurring revenues instead of selling a system only once.

New service models

Industrial routers from INSYS icom offer much more than just remote access. Service providers and manufacturers can provide customers with completely new service models, such as continuous condition monitoring (remote monitoring). This enables changes in the customer’s systems to be detected in good time and critical situations to be avoided. This service model, in turn, offers you as a service provider the opportunity to generate recurring revenues instead of just one-off earnings from an individual sale.

Retrofit

Are your machines getting a bit long in the tooth? No problem, you can still integrate them into the Internet of Things (IoT). This is because the industrial routers from INSYS icom support a wide range of interfaces and protocols from different manufacturers – even for older machines. The gateways act as translators between the machines, which saves you expensive upgrades or the purchase of new systems.

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