Purchasing Guide on IoT Gateway
Choosing an appropriate IoT Gateway can be confusing and daunting for factory owners, manufacturers, or any industry. However, the right gateway will enable you to leverage the potential of IoT in your processes while still being cost-effective. This article reviews ten critical steps involved in selecting the perfect gateway for your needs!
Ten essential factors to consider while selecting an industrial IoT gateway
What is the purpose of the gateway?
One of the first steps in implementing an IoT gateway is determining what functionality it will provide. To do this, evaluate your main objective and then use that as a guide to help decide which features you need from the device. For example, if someone wanted their factory’s machines to have sensors on them so they can schedule preventative maintenance before breakdowns occur, something essential for both productivity and safety purposes. Those are considerations when choosing between different devices with varying price points or capabilities.
Any owner of an industrial plant would love to know how their machines are performing. The gateway in this case has built-in alerts and a secure way to collect data of the factory’s performance from all over its premises. Then it is transferred back through the cloud, where it can be evaluated by analytical processing units that will tell you which machine is overheating or about going offline.
How much information does the gateway have to get from the sensors?
When choosing the best gateway for your data, it’s essential to consider a few key factors. For example, some situations might only involve deploying 100 sensors, but others may have more than 10 thousand at one location, each taking readings of 30 per second.
Additionally, analysing what type of environment you will be using is also an essential factor. If there’s not enough internet connection or power, having multiple gateways would come in handy as they can alternate sending and receiving information. Hence, no single point goes down, which could cause real problems like delayed response time from emergency personnel onsite.
Is it necessary to filter the data gathered by the sensors?
In such IoT projects, it is important to filter the sensor data and pre-process it before it reaches the analytical processing unit in the cloud. For these diverse scenarios, a manufacturer would have no other choice but purchase a more advanced gateway capable of performing extensive filtering or multiple pre-processing operations on its own.
Installing the Gateways in the right place
A gateway needs to be robust and able to operate in extreme conditions. Some models can withstand harsh, high-altitude environments with a temperature range from -30° C to 70°C as well as an altitude range of 15 m-5000m. The factory owner should consider which environment the gateway will have within its operating space before selecting the appropriate one for their situation.
Which connectivity options, interfaces, and protocols does the gateway provide?
An IoT gateway is an essential piece of the puzzle for any company that wishes to monitor its operations remotely. To function as a hub between multiple devices, gateways need to have some wireless connection such as Wi-Fi or Wireless LAN. It also needs long-range connectivity options like LTE M for monitoring from afar. This has become more relevant with manufacturing plants where companies choose remote control over onsite management by utilizing their smartphones depending on your budget. You may not get all these features when purchasing a less expensive model.
The new industrial gateway should include standard protocols like HTTP and TCP/IP, plus newer standards like Modbus, MQTT, and OPC UA. It also needs to have multiple serial interfaces for different purposes, including one that supports RS-232 connections to talk with older equipment.
How much information can the gateway store?
These are usually designed for the typical factory setting where there is a reliable network. However, in cases of network failures, these devices will need to store data. Unfortunately, they typically only come with limited storage capabilities or none at all – this can create an issue when it comes to storing large amounts of information that may be needed if repairs take some time. Therefore, you should invest in one that has expandable memory capacity and slots for additional micro-SD cards so your gateway doesn’t run out during essential times like periods of high activity onsite.
Are there any built-in security features or settings on the gateway?
Securing your gateway is the first step to ensuring the rest of your IoT platform. Modern gateways have built-in security options. So make sure you know what encryption standards it uses and whether or not authentication processes are also in place before deciding on one for yourself. Also, if tampering detection features do not come in-build with a new purchase, be sure to add them later; this will protect against any potential attackers trying to break into networks by taking advantage of vulnerabilities that might exist within outdated systems.
Is the gateway approved?
The gateway model should fulfill FCC/CE/IC requirements. This is the standard compliance required for electronic products. In addition, more certifications like PTCRB mobile or GCF are available that may assist you to know whether you are using this device in a mobile company…
Is the IoT platform necessary to integrate all current devices, machines, and legacy equipment?
A factory that is still using old equipment and machinery to produce its goods may not upgrade to connect directly with the cloud. In these cases, a legacy management gateway can help ensure data integration into one place for viewing on any device or screen size.
Are there any more customization choices?
Every company wants to make its products efficient and technologically advanced, but is it necessary? When you find a product that fits your needs in terms of size or specifications, such as LTE connectivity, the last thing you want is extra features. On the other hand, the manufacturer may need additional customization options like energy-saving options, so be sure not to ignore any special customizable requirements when searching for an optimal model.
With the IoT market booming, it’s essential to find an IoT Gateway capable of dealing with all this data streaming in. With so many projects dropping due to incorrect choice of gateways and other problems. There are clear guidelines for companies when choosing one – they need something that will be able to process industrial data without any hiccups and handle an increasing number of devices.
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