inray Industriesoftware GmbH is an industrial software company located in northern Germany, over 20 years in the market and with 70 employees. Inray is creating a distribution network for OPC routers, and has some 50 partners in more than 30 countries and several thousand software licenses implemented worldwide. inray works for manufacturing companies of all industries in the food- and non-food sectors. Thanks to extreme scalability, small manufacturing companies appreciate inray’s products and international scope, with its project engineers traveling across Germany and Europe. inray is a specialist in the industrial sector, providing software solutions that enhance MES/SCADA, LIMS, and MDE/BDE-systems. inray’s speciality is the segment of data communication between software systems and components, in the fields of Industry 4.0, IoT and IIoT.

Customer Success Story: inray

inray wanted to provide its customers (well-known production companies in the manufacturing and process industry) with optimal software for solving their optimization needs, in a way that customers themselves can independently support and expand the implemented application. Using the OPC Router that it built, inray provides an easy way to connect InfluxDB with almost any industrial and commercial system. OPC Router collects time series data — using the OPC protocol — from PLCs, sensors, and controllers and stores this data into InfluxDB.

OPC Router is able to interface with commercial systems like ERPs, MES, and cloud systems to help automatically link data together in a meaningful way for inray’s customers. The data collected through OPC Router can be used for data transfer, analysis, reports, and executing powerful workflows to increase efficiency and quality while lowering production costs. For its Industry 4.0 clients, and via standard interfaces, inray connects existing systems without programming effort and guarantees continuous, immediate availability of data and evaluations.

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The Problem

For industrial customers, continuous optimization of production processes is crucial for product quality and ultimately for business success. Optimization requires collecting data, which creates added value when data can be collected cost-effectively and easily and when the collected data is used to support operational decision-making and business goals. Yet the challenge in collecting data from various sources in a factory environment is to connect and set up data exchange between different types of automation systems and devices that often speak different languages. This is why inray set out to build a central communication platform, based on OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) protocol, for industrial projects: OPC Router.

The Solution

Since IoT, monitoring, and alerting data are all time series data, inray needed to connect OPC Router to a scalable, high-performing database designed for time series data. So they developed a plugin for InfluxDB, the purpose-built open source time series database, to ingest data from the OPC Router. inray chose to integrate InfluxDB into OPC Router because InfluxDB met their data processing and exchange needs. OPC Router connects OT and IT systems through its powerful communication plugins, from Shop Floor to Top Floor. The OPC Router enables inray customers to optimize and digitalize production processes. Data is automatically exchanged by integrating systems such as OPC UA, SAP, SQL, MQTT, REST, SOAP, Excel, labellers and others. The acquisition of process data provides a continuous overview of your production.

“There’s the need to connect different kinds of systems today. This is where InfluxDB as a component fits in very well.”

Thorsten Weiler, Head of Sales and Marketing, inray

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