IIoT development box prepares for industry 4.0, says RS Components

Distributor, RS Components has introduced the 4ZeroBox IIoT development box, from Italian manufacturer TOI (Things on Internet). The kit integrates sensors, actuators and cloud services into new and legacy industrial equipment.

4ZeroBox is the hardware component of TOI’s 4ZeroPlatform, a data gathering, processing and reporting system designed to optimise industry 4.0 smart manufacturing and factory-maintenance processes.

Industrial internet of things (IIoT) requires manufacturers to capture and process data from new and old machines produced by different vendors. Machine developers and system integrators aim to differentiate their designs with diverse IoT communications functionality. Complex interfacing and data management issues have to be addressed for full process visibility, lower maintenance costs, and effective integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) software.

The modular IIoT unit can be installed into both legacy and modern industrial equipment, allowing rapid integration with sensors, actuators and cloud services. The 4ZeroBox is based on a 2.4GHz Espressif Systems ESP32 microcontroller with 4Mbit of flash memory, it comes in a DIN-rail mountable case with industrial-grade sensor channels and support for wi-fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, LoRa, CAN, RS485, RS232, SD card, JTAG, I2C and SPI. 4ZeroBox can be extended using MikroElektronika click boards via two onboard MikroBus sockets.

The 4ZeroBox includes a Zerynth Virtual Machine premium licence so it can be programmed in Python or hybrid C/Python. Zerynth includes a compiler, debugger and editor, as well as tutorials and example projects for easy learning.

Also included with 4ZeroBox is a one-year subscription to TOI’s 4ZeroManager, a cloud-based or on-premises device management service for organising, monitoring and remotely updating connected devices at scale. 4ZeroManager includes a web interface to control connected devices and customise data forwarding to other services such as ERP and MES.

4ZeroBox is suitable for a variety of industrial contexts, from production plants to industrial refrigeration, waste management, precision agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy and utilities, retail, and smart homes and buildings.

RS ships 4ZeroBox in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.


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