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Newsletter Issue # 31

Real Time Automation's - Best Darn Newsletter 

A Recollection from my Military History Tour in Europe
Iot Protocols for the Best in Analytics and Compute Services
Fun Facts and Trivia

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June 27, 2016
Celebrating Next Chapters in a Building Worthy of Our Great Team
June 22, 2016
Options for AOP and EDS
June 14, 2016
Why Toyota Moved to EtherCAT
June 14, 2016
CiA… Not That One
May 31, 2016
Profibus DP: A History of Speed
May 26, 2016
DeviceNet Changed Everything



Practical tips and information for young engineers. This issue, featuring:

- What Happens When Technology Makes IoT as we Know it Irrelevant?



A Recollection from my Military History Tour in Europe

A Column of personal opinion by John Rinaldi, Founder and Owner of Real Time Automation.

It wasn’t easy to find. A long bus ride from our hotel in Bastogne. A long, wet march through the fog and cold, through a rainy Belgian wood until we reached a secluded but well-maintained memorial to one, Captain Eric Fisher Wood. His memorial is where his body and those of seven German soldiers were found when the Americans liberated Belgium.

Unfortunately, today, we frequently take our freedom for granted. It’s become passé to give lip service to those who have pledged their lives for our safety and security. I met one of this sort a few weeks ago—she told me she stays in the house on Memorial Day, because she’s opposed to everything and anyone military. Can’t stand the sight of a soldier in uniform.

That’s an uncommon attitude in Eastern France and Belgium, though. It seemed to me that each town had not just one but two meticulously maintained memorials dedicated to the Americans who liberated them. Mostly, I saw names of the infantry units that fought there. But sometimes, the names of individual soldiers were listed, men, who, as Lincoln said, “gave their last full measure of devotion.”

Those European towns refuse to forget. Refuse to slip into apathy and not pay homage, not honor those men. Many were liberated multiple times—first during the initial allied advance, then again after the Battle of the Bulge. Even today, the people living in these towns have a completely different take on what the American uniform means.

They remember soldiers like Captain Wood and the unknown heroes who gave up their lives for freedom. They honor the men who sacrificed their lives for people who they didn’t know and had never met. Captain Wood’s story, in particular, could easily have been a Hollywood movie—a fiction—if he hadn’t actually lived it.

Born into the family of a prominent architect and career army officer, educated at Valley Forge Military Academy, Captain Wood was an executive officer, Field Artillery Battery, 106th Division. Upon arrival to the European WWII theatre, the 106th was assigned to a “quiet” sector of the front, where the division could get used to soldiering in a war zone. Quiet it wasn’t. On December 16, 1944, Adolph Hitler unleashed 250,000 troops and vast numbers of Panzer tanks right into that “quiet” sector, manned by that green, unprepared and inexperienced 106th.

With his commanding officer missing, Captain Wood took command and ordered his Artillery battalion to retreat. But hearing that one of his units had a Howitzer stuck in the mud, he hurried to help. They freed the gun but were soon engaged in battle with enemy troops. Hopelessly encircled, with his men starting to surrender, Captain Wood refused to give in. He sprinted to the relative safety of the woods through a battery of machine gun fire.

That’s where the story gets interesting, where a legend was born. For a whole month, there was sporadic gunfire in the woods. German patrols either never returned or returned with wounded. Heavily armed vehicles became the only way to venture there. Today, it’s hard to know exactly what happened, but it’s clear that Captain Woods, and possibly other stragglers, ran a month-long guerrilla war with no support, no food, no ammunition and no shelter in the dead of freezing winter, in a forest in Belgium.

His struggle ended where that memorial stands today. It ended in January 1945, only days before American forces liberated those woods and freed the Belgian people.

This month, while you’re grilling, parading or relaxing, I hope you’ll take a moment and join me in remembering and honoring the men and women who wore the uniform, who paid the ultimate price for your freedom and the freedom of millions of others around the world.



- John





· How hot does a sparkler burn?

· How many words are in the Pledge of Allegiance?

· The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are familiarly known as?

· When the Liberty Bell was cast, how much did it weigh?

· What is the name of the oldest commissioned US naval vessel?


Answers located on bottom of page.


IoT Protocols for the Best in Analytics and Compute Services

I can’t think of any term in the history of technology that is so misused, so misunderstood and overhyped as the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

In this article we are going to introduce the IoT systems that Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle have in place, and how they’ve organized these systems to entice manufacturing companies to capture data and send it to their IoT systems.

Microsoft IIoT
Microsoft builds its approach to the Industrial Internet of Things around Microsoft Azure, its cloud application platform. Azure is a massive collection of capabilities: Compute services that provide virtual machines, traditional data management services (SQL), big data analysis, mobile services, backup site management, streaming analytics and much more.

Though most of these services are important to industrial applications, Microsoft is hoping that manufacturers will want to connect their machines to Azure to take advantage of the analytics services—either HDInsight big data services or streaming analytics, available in the Stream Analytics service. These services are designed to look at data and provide insight into reliability, product quality, maintainability and more.

There are several ways for factory floor devices to get data into Microsoft’s Azure, but they all revolve around a virtual device called the IoT Hub. IoT Hub is a fully managed service that provides reliable device-to-cloud messaging for any sized application. It can scale from a few devices with only a few data transmissions, to hundreds or thousands of devices with many transmissions.

Factory floor Ethernet-enabled devices supporting IoT Hub protocols (MQTT, AMQP, HTTPS) can directly send their data to the IoT Hub. Other Ethernet-enabled devices that don’t support those protocols might use Microsoft’s protocol gateway, which connects other protocols to the IoT Hub. In order to connect to an IoT Hub, Non Ethernet-enabled devices must use some sort of field gateway to move their data onto Ethernet.

Amazon IIoT
Amazon first offered web infrastructure support to businesses in 2006, providing a better way for any business to host its computing resources. Instead of building and maintaining installations hosting servers, businesses could use Amazon’s servers without maintaining the expense on their own. Additionally, they could benefit from the ability to scale up or down as compute resource requirements varied.

The web infrastructure business has now evolved into Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) business. AWS also provides IoT infrastructure support to businesses and accounts for a very significant portion of their operating profit. It has capabilities similar to Microsoft Azure, but is organized differently and uses an entirely different mechanism to ingest data processed by its IoT services.

Amazon describes its AWS Cloud services in terms of building blocks:

  • Global Infrastructure - The building block responsible for the global network of servers and computing resources located around the world.

  • Security - The mechanisms built into AWS that provide authentication, authorization, and encryption of data maintained by AWS.

  • Foundation Services - The basic services needed by every IIoT application composed of Compute services (ability to provide compute resources as needed), Storage mechanisms, and Networking services.

  • Application Services - Services available for use by applications including Email, Workflow, Language tools, Databases and Advanced Analytics including Big Data services.

  • Deployment & Management - Services that provide managers the ability to monitor the operation of their AWS services.

Oracle IIoT
Whereas Amazon and Microsoft overwhelm the user with IoT services and complexity, Oracle has created an IoT Cloud service that is simpler, easier to understand, and generally speaking much easier to implement. That is not to say that Oracle’s Cloud Service is any less functional; it has all the key features that the vast majority of IoT customers might want.

The ingestion of IoT data is identical to what we find for Microsoft and Amazon: there’s the mechanism for ingestion from directly connected devices; a virtual gateway in the cloud for devices sending Ethernet messages; and a provision for third party gateways (for devices that aren’t Ethernet enabled).

Compared to Amazon and Microsoft, Oracle uses a different technology for ingestion of IoT data. Oracle uses the RESTful architecture. The RESTful architecture, or RESTful interface, is a flexible design that’s usually built on top of HTTP for Client devices that make requests of Server devices. A well-defined and simple process, the RESTful architecture is resource-centric instead of function-centric. In the RESTful architecture, a Server is viewed as a set of resources—nouns, if you will—operated upon by a simple set of verbs: like GET, POST, UPDATE, etc. This architecture yields a much more flexible mechanism for retrieving resources compared to the more limited, function-centric technology.

Once data is ingested, it is stored in the Oracle IoT Event Store, where it can be accessed by Oracle’s Business Intelligence services, Visualization, Mobile services and Enterprise applications developed by users.

None of these services are inexpensive, but if you need the best analytics and massive computer bandwidth, then they might be a good choice for you. In a future article I’ll detail the “poor man’s approach” to IoT. Stay tuned!







Fun Facts

·Although Minnesota’s official motto is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Wisconsin's DNR modestly publishes a listing of 16,692 lakes.

·About 90 percent of the milk from Wisconsin cows is used to make cheese.

·In 1982, Bryon Preiss wrote a book called The Secret containing clues to casks he buried in 12 cities in North America - one of which is somewhere in Milwaukee yet to be found. Each cask contains a key to claim a jewel prize.

·Although we are known for dairy, Wisconsin actually leads the nation in exports of cranberries, whey,root and sweet corn.



Two-Day Protocol Mind Meld Event

Know one protocol really well, but feel lost when you run into new unfamiliar ones? Wish you just had a better basic understanding of all the industrial and building automation protocols? This is the event for you - two days of training with our team of protocol experts.

Key Learning Areas

  • In depth overviews of leading protocols such as: EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, Profinet, Profibus, EtherCAT, BACnet, Modbus, DF1, OPC UA, a highlight of emerging IOT protocols and more

  • Learn best practices and helpful tips to configure, use and optimize our products in your application from our expert support team

  • Take part in hands on demonstrations and leave with a great test tool

Date & Location

September 20 - September 21, 2016

Pewaukee, WI

This two day training will include hotel, meals, and an authentic Wisconsin Brewers Game complete with tailgate party!</p>

To reserve your place, please register at:



  Trivia Answers: 1,200° F; 31 Words; The Bill of Rights; 2,080 Pounds; The USS Constitution

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