Boss Mode: Automated Tag Imports

Everyone once in a while you stumble upon something that is so great you just sit there in silence. Your head metaphorically explodes… Sometimes when you’re on a call, you need to say something otherwise it could be considered rude.

That very thing happened on Tuesday for (almost) everyone at Corso. The amazing folks at Cirrus Link were running us their their AWS Injector module. We’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in 2018 that will really benefit from this module.

In fact it’s so top secret, we redacted it from the first blog post. Alex described this module as something that “just works.” Talk about huge praise from an Engineer. Then we went on and started talking about some of the newest products/projects that Cirrus Link is working on and we got really excited. Twenty minutes in and we’re all wondering where to sign up and if they offered training classes. (It was going to be a fight to the death for who gets to go first.)

We’d Have to go back to the tape….

To figure out how exactly we got off topic of AWS, new opportunities, and everything else. At some point Arlen Nippe (co-creator of MQTT) asked up a rhetorical question: how long does it take you to set up 40,000 tags? I’m pretty sure John started crying thinking about all the work. Ten seconds later, it was done.

HOLD. UP. We need the slow motion replay.

40,000 TAGS IN 10 SECONDS!

The inflection point, pulling tags that have been set up. There are more technical ways to describe what MQTT does, this isn’t that post. Think of it as Ctrl + F only more efficient and automated.

This is when all of our collective minds exploded. There was silence and Dave needed to unmute himself to tel Arlen and everyone at Cirrus Link know that we were still with them, just in amazement.

The super quick version is that many pieces of hardware come ready out of the box MQTT ready. At this point neither Allen Bradley, nor Siemens, offer this functionality. As those platforms cover most of our clients installations you can use an Ignition Edge gateway to gain basically the same functionally.

The Aftermath,

Within the hour, we ordered some Test PLC’s that have MQTT Functionality out of the box. Plus it shipped almost immediately, and was one of the lowest cost PLCs we have purchased! We’re working on launching Ignition Edge Clients on Raspberry Pi’s, and diving head first into MQTT.

Inductive Automation’s Edge Clients, are now a much more valuable, and for some integrations, and invaluable tool. Dave’s going to make Alex tape installing Ignition on a Pi. Here’s a guide from Inductive Automation made for installing Ignition Edge on a Pi. Now, someone at Corso is going to have to make that video.

Fun fact, it appears that we can use MQTT on Siemens WinCC OA and we’re hopeful that Siemens and Rockwell will add the protocol to their hardware in the near future.

After we’ve done that, someone with much more technical prowess that Dave can make everything work.

We all want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone we talked to at Cirrus Link! Alison for setting this up, Chris, Chad, and Kurt for your expertise, and Arlen for forever changing our lives. This will probably be the first of many posts talking about the amazing things you folks do!


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