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Breaking Down Industrial Gateway Solutions: NeuronEX vs. PLC4X, Kepware, and Monkot Server

Joey
May 16, 2024
Breaking Down Industrial Gateway Solutions: NeuronEX vs. PLC4X, Kepware, and Monkot Server

Introduction

In industrial automation, the seamless exchange of data between disparate systems is paramount. Industrial gateway solutions are the key to this exchange, facilitating communication between different devices, protocols, and applications within industrial environments. By translating data formats and protocols, they enable seamless interoperability, thereby enhancing operational efficiency, productivity, and decision-making.

Among the myriad options available, PLC4X, Kepware, and Monkot Server stand out as key players in the field. In this blog, we delve into these industrial gateway solutions to help you make informed decisions for your automation needs.

PLC4X

PLC4X is a suite of libraries designed to communicate with industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs) using a variety of protocols, all accessed through a common API. To use PLC4X, you need to integrate it into your application. Its main feature is that it provides a common API that allows applications to easily connect to different devices through consistent interfaces. However, it's important to note that PLC4X functions primarily as a library module for applications and does not include built-in data filtering and processing capabilities for your application's specific requirements.

Kepware

Kepware has established itself as a top-tier provider of OPC servers, known for its reliable gateway solutions designed for diverse industrial needs. With the introduction of Kepware+, the company has elevated its offerings by enabling remote monitoring and configuration across the entire enterprise from a centralized access point. This innovation addresses the previous gap in cloud management tools for Kepware system configurations, allowing users to dedicate more time to value-adding activities. However, Kepware+ operates on a SaaS environment, requiring users to pay a subscription fee for access.

Monokot Server

Monokot Server, a newcomer in the industrial gateway landscape, distinguishes itself with its innovative approach and emphasis on simplicity and efficiency. Designed with a focus on ease of use and rapid deployment, Monokot Server offers plug-and-play connectivity for a variety of industrial devices and protocols. Its lightweight footprint enables seamless integration with existing infrastructure, facilitating real-time data exchange and analysis. Nevertheless, it falls short in offering Docker and Kubernetes support necessary for integration with modern cloud-native applications.

NeuronEX: A Superior Solution for Your Industrial Automation Needs

What is NeuronEX

NeuronEX is a specialized software for the industrial sector, focused on collecting device data and performing intelligent analysis at the edge. Designed specifically for industrial environments, it excels at collecting industrial protocol data, integrating system data, filtering and analyzing data at the edge, integrating AI algorithms, and connecting to IIoT platforms. With a focus on low-latency data access management and intelligent analytics services, NeuronEX enables rapid understanding of business trends, improves operational efficiency, and promotes sustainability in industrial environments.

Why NeuronEX Stands out

First of all, NeuronEX goes beyond the limitations of mere protocol conversion. Unlike PLC4X, which serves primarily as a library module for integration into applications, and Kepware and Monokot Server, which act as OPC servers to facilitate protocol conversion, NeuronEX stands out as a robust streaming processing engine at the edge at scale. Its sophisticated suite of edge streaming features provides users with unparalleled capabilities for data filtering, cleansing, standardization, data normalization, analytical inspection and real-time alerting using modern streaming SQL techniques, just like Flink or Spark applications with protocol conversion capabilities running at the edge.

A Superior Solution for Your Industrial Automation Needs

Designed for Cloud Technology

Another key difference of NeuronEX is that it is designed from the ground up for seamless integration and collaboration with cloud platforms. Unlike its competitors like Kepware and Monokot Server, which rely primarily on OPC UA/DA client/server protocols for data transfer, NeuronEX offers a variety of cloud-based protocols such as MQTT and RESTful API, and AWS IoT Core and Azure IoT connectivity modules. This key difference not only simplifies data access for cloud applications and databases, but also future-proofs industrial ecosystems against evolving technology landscapes.

Best Lightweight Design for Deployment

Furthermore, NeuronEX offers unmatched deployment flexibility. Its lightweight design and minimal memory requirements guarantee compatibility across various CPU architectures, making it effortless to deploy even on hardware-constrained platforms. With built-in support for Docker and Kubernetes, NeuronEX enhances its cloud-native adaptability, enabling organizations to harness state-of-the-art edge processing capabilities regardless of hardware limitations. This level of flexible deployment capability surpasses that of Monokot Server.

Better Configuration Tools

Kepware faces a challenge due to the absence of a centralized tool for configuring remote instances, leaving users to manage dispersed configurations. Although Kepware+ has tackled the issue of distributed configuration within organizations, it lacks robust cloud support capabilities compared to NeuronEX. NeuronEX not only offers a centralized configuration panel across the entire enterprise but also provides a comprehensive set of APIs for controlling gateway behaviors and configurations. As a result, NeuronEX emerges as the definitive solution, offering comprehensive configuration and data modeling capabilities for data collection and edge processing tailored for modern AI analytics applications.

Conclusion

In summary, NeuronEX transcends the limitations of its competitors to deliver a transformative approach to edge processing that redefines industry standards. With unparalleled stream processing capabilities, seamless cloud integration, flexible deployment options, and intuitive remote configuration tools, NeuronEX is a beacon of innovation in industrial automation.

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