Flexible Automation with OnPing

Flexible Automation starts with well constructed communication

Communication is a skill. It’s easy to overlook the intricacies of communication, especially when there is some familiarity between the people involved. But it’s arguably very clear when developers begin to make equipment communicate with programs it was never designed to interact with. Structure and common understanding is required to make inter-system communication possible. Structure, counter-intuitively to some, creates freedom required for flexible automation. For example, the Lumberjack edge computing devices OnPing uses must communicate effectively with OnPing.

The Lumberjack is an Integral Part of What Makes OnPing an Adaptable Automation Platform

The Lumberjack devices OnPing uses to send and receive information is where a lot of the magic happens to make communication possible between systems and devices. Without getting too into the weeds on the process, the Lumberjack is where all the rules of communication are stored, such as protocols and program or application specific information.

The modular nature of the Lumberjack ensures it remains easily adaptable to any device, but there is always one rule that remains the same – a Lumberjack can communicate with OnPing. So, from a conceptual view, if OnPing can always communicate with a Lumberjack, any device; or more specifically, system; that a Lumberjack can be configured to communicate with becomes compatible with OnPing. 

Flexible Features

Lumberjack Local

Adaptability is already a key component of the OnPing communication system. Lumberjack Local leverages the flexible nature of OnPing to open doors to remote telemetric opportunities that were gated by distance and local connection, giving users more timely control over remote locations.

Protocol Agnostic

Moreover, OnPing is a protocol agnostic platform, relying on the adaptability of the Lumberjack to handle the heavy lifting in conversion and reducing the transmission load when communicating through the cloud. The service can just as easily operate using MQTT as it can OPC UA or any number of case specific protocols.

The Lumberjack application system makes this possible because of it’s unique symbiotic nature with the OnPing cloud service and onsite access to equipment and programming. An exciting new development has even allowed OnPing users to deploy changes to devices remotely through the OnPing/Lumberjack connection!

External Information Gathering and Submission

OnPing is now also used to scrape information from external sources to integrate with OnPing enabled devices and services. An agile communication structure, combined with our continued development within the framework of products like Twilio, has enabled the creation of a robust alarming system using inter-system actionable events. 

OnPing as a Bridge

In a broad view, OnPing is a bridge between information sources. The sources can be as small as a single device, as large as any location, or they can be abstract, such as an external 3rd party accounting software or another SCADA system within the company.

The re-envisioned status of OnPing as not a single product, but a platform upon which to grow automation efforts has coincided with the opportunities we have found to extend applications of our flexible automation infrastructure. 

Widgets have been improved by a focus on Flexible Automation

Entrenched applications are greatly benefitted by the platform’s flexibility as well. Take the Event Table widget for example. Event Table is one of the singularly most used applications in OnPing. Event Tables can now be used to create future projections based on external data, alongside the usage it saw previously. 

Mass Writes, an exciting feature in it’s own right, can utilize the adaptable automation infrastructure of OnPing to import data from Spreadsheets using relative positions. Spreadsheets get changed, information gets moved. It’s important to our users to feel confident that keeping up with important information manually will matter, and the new changes to this Mass Writes feature will surely be a huge convenience moving forward!

The OnPing platform contains the best, most flexible automation tools in the industry, and it continues to evolve on a daily basis. These are only a few examples of some of the many exciting recent developments on the platform.

Contact Us

Contact us at info@onping.net if you would like to learn more about how the flexible automation environment within OnPing can help realize your automation goals.