Modbus Edge Compute with Lanner
In this Webinar You Will Learn
- See Losant’s Application Template, Modbus Edge Compute with Lanner to read and securely transmit Modbus TCP & Modbus RTU data.
- Learn how Lanner gateways are preinstalled with our Edge Agent to extract Modbus data from your industrial controllers easier.
- See example Edge Workflows, real-time Event creation on sensor thresholds, and dashboards to visualize Modbus TCP & Modbus RTU data.
Go Deeper with Even More Losant Assets
Access Lanner’s Modbus Edge Compute Application Template
- Get technical details on how to get started with Lanner’s Modbus Edge Compute Application Template.
- See required components, key features, gateway setup, and Losant Edge Agent configuration.
- Get step-by-step instructions on how to install, run, and use the Modbus TCP simulator script.
Modbus Edge Compute with Lanner Application Template
Nugeen Aftab: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining the Deeper Dive webinar. It's now 1:02 Eastern, so we're going to go ahead and get started. My name is Nugeen Aftab, and I am the senior partnerships growth manager at Losant. Today, I'm really excited to have one of our partners, Lanner, with us. Their head of Americas business development for IoT, Ahmed Khalil, along with our own CPO, Brandon Cannaday, will be going through the dev kit and application template they built using the Losant platform. Our senior software engineer, Erin Thompson, and I will also be here to answer questions at the end. Before we get started, I want to address a couple of housekeeping items. This webinar is being recorded. And the replay will be made available to you in a few ways. After the webinar, it will send you an email with the link to the replay. And the webinar will also be made available on Losant's YouTube page as well as on our Deeper Dive web page. Throughout the webinar, you may have questions that you'd like to ask. I would like to point out a couple of key features in the Zoom conference. You can use the Q&A feature or the chat function to post questions, and I'll be monitoring those throughout the call. And at the end of the call, I'll moderate a Q&A session with the post questions. So, before we get into today's topic, let's do a quick review of Losant and our enterprise IoT platform. Losant is an application enablement platform. What that means is that we provide enterprises with the building blocks to create their own IoT applications. Our platform consists of five key components to help customers achieve that, end user experiences, visual workflow engine, data visualization, devices and data sources, and edge compute. Our customers and partners utilize these tools to create the robust IoT applications they put in front of their end users. Losant is a leader in the industrial telecommunications and smart environment spaces. We've offered this platform for all sorts of customers ranging from startups to companies in the Fortune 100. So, if you're interested in learning more, please reach out and we would be happy to set up some time for a much more in-depth conversation. Now, let's get into today's deeper dive, Modbus Edge Compute with Lanner. Great. So, while Losant provides the software foundation for IoT, there are many other components that have to come together to create an IoT application. So, we've surrounded ourselves with a great ecosystem of partners. This includes strategic partners with whom we share sales and go-to-market strategies, solutions partners who work with clients to develop end-to-end IoT applications. And lastly, technology partners that can provide hardware, connectivity, and other services to complete an IoT solution. That is where Lanner's application template comes in. In March 2020, we released significant functionality to our platform, application templates. These are pre-built templates to help a customer get their application to market more quickly. In previous Deeper Dives, we have showcased asset tracking, equipment monitoring, overall equipment effectiveness, and multiple other partner templates. If you've kept up with Losant's growth, you'll know that our template library including the full-fledged application templates are pivotal part of our IoT platform. Our vision is to make the process of creating end applications as easy as possible, which is why support from our partners is crucial. As we've continued to build out these application templates, we've also asked our partner ecosystem to contribute. Partner application templates are meant to simplify the integration process between Losant and our partners. This means having vendor-specific device recipes, workflows, and dashboards that make getting up and running much easier than ever before. Leveraging the integration work that Losant and our partners have already done helps you get your project started and finished even quicker. Today, we'll be discussing the application template that we've built with Lanner along with the accompanying Lanner development kit. This application template is now available for you to import into your application in Losant. Just click add to create a new application and you'll see the Lanner application template available. Now, I'm going to turn it over to Ahmed to tell us more about Lanner.
Ahmed Khalil: Thanks, Nugeen. And thank you, everybody, for joining us today. I think there's one slide for the introduction, Nugeen.
Nugeen Aftab: My bad.
Ahmed Khalil: Yeah, no problem. And just a quick overview of Lanner. So, Lanner is a global hardware manufacturer of networking products and industrial-grade edge computing systems. Company has about 35 years of experience designing, developing, and manufacturing custom-built hardware for well-known names in various industries including 500 Fortune-listed companies. Our manufacturing is in Taiwan with a global footprint through regional hubs. So, in North America, we have local sales engineering, project management, customer service, and distribution centers in Canada and US. And we do have a satellite office in Mexico. And we obviously comply with the internationally recognized quality certification standards that you would expect from a global manufacturer. Next slide, please. So, all the Lanner industrial-grade edge computing appliances are Intel-based. We are one of their IoT strategic alliances. The product is multifunctional, and it can support a broad range of use cases and different applications. So, Brandon today will show you a live example of the Modbus Edge Compute application template with the Lanner gateway. And what you see here in the slide, just some of the markets that combines different solution, the Lanner gateway and the Losant Edge application can be used for, for example, in process industries or asset-intensive industries like oil and gas. Very common use case using the Modbus communication, remote asset management, oil rates monitoring to optimize assets utilization, power utilities. Very common now with the advancements in the communication, the IEC-61850. You see an IPC-based substation automation. Workload consolidation and virtualization also using the custom-built hardware with a software to do electrical equipment monitoring, advanced predictive maintenance. One another example is the wastewater to use, again, the Modbus communication to gather vibration analysis data for tank [Inaudible 00:07:36], for example, to have a continuous monitoring of the structural integrity of the tanks. Manufacturing, so many use cases. The common ones are the vision systems, condition-based maintenance, overall equipment effectiveness. And then, now you see as the IoT can get expanded into industrial automation, you see those modern application like the digital twin. So, for example, that you could use now the Losant Edge Agent to aggregate the data. The Lanner hardware to run, for example, your virtual reality application or your digital twin for the process control, design, and simulation. Smart series, building automation, control security, video management system. And now, it's a lot more common now to see artificial intelligence-based capability built into the cameras for analytics and whatnot. And finally, in the transportation. Onboard computers for the mass transportation whether that public buses or a railway and a fleet management system. So, like I said, the devices and with the Losant application that you could do so many things as support and so many use cases. So, once we do the deeper dive in the application and understand the use case specifics, we can recommend the hardware solution with the Losant Edge Agent pre-installed as a turnkey supply, like Brandon is going to show you right after I finish here. Next slide, please, Nugeen. So, this is a good example here, the model 7242. Like I said, we have different models. But this one, we've tested it. We've provisioned it on the Losant Edge Agent. It's a ready-to-ship solution that's powered by Intel Atom, the Apollo Lake platform. And it supports in a factory environment like the common interfaces, whether that's serial or Ethernet. And then, the communication side of things, it comes already prepackaged with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity. In this particular model is actually pre-validated to the AT&T network. And now, we hear a lot about the IT and OT integration in cybersecurity being a massive concern. So, this model here, 7242, if the software can take advantage of that feature, it comes with a built-in Trusted Platform Module. And what it does is establish that hardware root of trust to verify the complete software stack, starting from the firmware. Like I said, the 7242 is already been provisioned to the Losant Edge Agent, so it pre-configured, ready to ship. We have them in stock. And we currently sponsor demo programs to facilitate fielded trials, pilot projects. I encourage all of you to go to our website. We have a Lanner corporate website, a dedicated page for the combined solution where you can go and read more on it. And you can also order them or even purchase. And then, of course, as a global manufacturer, we provide end-to-end product lifecycle management services from design, manufacture, to end of life. Next slide, please. This is here the last slide, just to give you an idea of the kind of products that we build for our partners. So, generally Lanner, a portfolio is organized in three different sets. The one that you see here in the top of the pyramid, this is more of platforms focused on virtualized computing and telecommunication environment, kind of more of the network function virtualization, software defined networks, telecommunication infrastructure, core data centers, those type of applications. And in the middle, this is your typical IT infrastructure appliances, also a lot of cybersecurity products, firewall. And one thing, actually, that differentiates Lanner from its peers that the company originally came actually from the cybersecurity business. So, as we work with our industrial customers and our partners, like Losant, we have very solid expertise in the cybersecurity side of things. So, it helps us that as we build the use case, also expand on that cyber security not only from a platform perspective but also at a fundamental level, like the hardware that you're using to run your application and integrate IT and OT. And then, the bottom here is what we're talking about, obviously, is the industrial computer for more demanding and harsh environment like manufacturing utilities. So, with that, I'm going to turn it over to Brandon to give you a quick overview of the Modbus and walk you through a live example of the edge compute application template.
Nugeen Aftab: Great. Thank you. All right. Thanks, Brandon. Thanks, Ahmed, for going through all of that today. We do have a couple of questions that have come in. Before that, I want to talk about this talk about the Save The Date for the next webinar. So, on May 25th, we have our next webinar. It's called Connect your PLC to Losant. I'm really excited for this one. But make sure to register for that on Losant.com/deeperdive. So, I'm really excited about this Lanner application template as well as the development kit as it really is an end-to-end IoT platform solution. With Lanner's extensive modular gateway designs and global scale, we're happy to be able to offer this integration to the Losant community. We do have a couple of questions that have come in around this offering. So, we'll get to those here in a second. If you do have questions as we're going through these, if you have more questions that pop up, please feel free to add them into the Q&A section or into the chat function. And I'll pass them on to the panelists. So, before we get into them, if you have any questions about this webinar or as you're getting started on your Losant journey, we have tons of resources to help. Losant University is a great starting point. And we also have great thorough documentation and active forums to help you on your journey with Losant. For reference on applications we have built, check out replays of our past Deeper Dives. And if you're ready to start building, try out one of our hands-on tutorials. So, now let's get into some of the questions. So, the first one that I have is actually for Erin. The question is, I noticed your Modbus node has a timeout field. How does that work when you have multiple read instructions?
Erin Thompson: Hey, guys, thanks for the question, Nugeen. So, when using a Modbus timeout on your node, first of all, it's always going to default to 30 seconds. I noticed that Brandon actually didn't have a template or a number in there. And so, by default, that would be 30 seconds for him. The Modbus node is slightly different than other nodes because you can pass multiple instructions for it. So, if you did have a timeout in there, that timeout is going to apply to each instruction, not the group of instructions. And that can be a little confusing. So, for instance, if my timeout is 10 seconds, it will wait a full 10 seconds to try and connect. And if it can't connect, it will timeout. But then if you had 5 instructions, then it will wait ultimately the full 10 seconds for each of those to actually complete and come back.
Nugeen Aftab: Got it. Okay. Thank you. The next question that we have... And actually, there are a couple of questions for you, Ahmed. The first is, are these devices Class 1, Div 2 certified? Can they be used outdoor without enclosure? Referring to, of course, the Losant 7242.
Ahmed Khalil: Sure. Good question. The 7242, which we now have pre-validated with the Losant Edge Agent, is designed for outdoor. And it can support the operating temperature minus 20 to 70 degrees Celsius. But it's not C1, D2. We have other models like the 6032, which is C1,D2. And the same concept, we can supply with the Losant Edge Agent pre-installed.
Nugeen Aftab: Great. Okay. And then, on that same line, what is the order of magnitude cost for the Lanner 7242 gateway?
Ahmed Khalil: For the 7242, it really depends on the final configuration in terms of the RAMs, the storage, and all other features. But a rough estimate is around the $600 per unit.
Nugeen Aftab: Okay. And lastly, around the actual hardware, what are the cellular capabilities of the Lanner 7242? Does it have support for LTE Cat 1 or LTE Cat M? What carriers are supported, the cellular option pre-certified, etc.?
Ahmed Khalil: Okay. 7242, 4G LTE. It's Cat 4. And it's pre-certified to AT&T. We have other models that could support Cat 6 and Cat 12. And they could come pre-certified to a PTCRB, Verizon, AT&T. But specifically, the 7242 is Cat 4, and it comes pre-certified to AT&T.
Nugeen Aftab: Great. Okay. Thank you very much. So, we don't have any other questions around the actual gateway itself. But we do have a couple of more questions for Erin. Are there any other Modbus features or updates coming down the line, Erin, that users should be expecting?
Erin Thompson: Yeah. So, we are actually reworking the Modbus node a little bit to make it more efficient for when you're connecting to the same Modbus instance across multiple workflows. So, now instead of every time that you use the Modbus node, it would make a new connection. It would run your instructions, whether it's reading or writing to registers. Now, it's going to actually share a connection between the nodes. So, if you have two workflows on the same edge agent and both are using the same Modbus connection, those will actually be shared between the nodes. So, it'll make your nodes or make the Modbus node a little more performant.
Nugeen Aftab: Fantastic. And then, one last question. What is the difference between MBUS and Modbus? Do you have any resources on that? And MBUS is used more on water meters, supposedly.
Erin Thompson: Yeah. So, I haven't done like a ton of research into MBUS as I have into Modbus, so I can't really get into the very technical details. But from my understanding of it is that MBUS is used particularly on meter readings. And it's particularly used a lot outside the US. And so, Modbus is used more widely across applications, as Brandon said earlier. So, I think that's why we started with Modbus on our edge agent but that doesn't mean that we couldn't add MBUS as a node onto our Docker edge agent.
Brandon Cannaday: Yeah. I can provide a little more clarity into that. So, MBUS is... For everyone out there that is familiar with the layers of networking one through seven. MBUS is layer one physical. So, it's really, really low down there on the stack. Really, it's kind of the physical layer, how do bits and bytes get over a wire between two pieces of equipment. Modbus is basically all the way at the top. It's an application layer. So, it describes registers in the protocol. And it can live on multiple transport protocols. So, we just showed TCP and RTU as transport protocols. So, MBUS has no defined transport application layers or something like that. So, it's really, really low level. So, slightly harder to work with than something like a Modbus since a Modbus is pretty high level. It's well-defined protocol that can run on lots of different transports on lots of different physical layers.
Nugeen Aftab: Thanks for that context, Brandon. The very last question we have is for Ahmed. How do we get in contact with you? Or if we want to go ahead and get a gateway, what's the best place to go?
Ahmed Khalil: Sure. I mean, we can share our contacts after the webinar with all the attendees. And to get the pre-validated gateway, I don't think we had the link, Nugeen, in the slides. But we can share that with the audience as well where they can just go order the unit online.
Nugeen Aftab: Yep, absolutely. I think Brandon just put into the chat as well...
Brandon Cannaday: Yeah.
Nugeen Aftab: ...a link to the bundled solution. So, you can reach out through there. And you can also buy the gateway from there as well.
Ahmed Khalil: Yep, if you just go to that link and there's a button up top that says buy now. And that way, they can just order one right away. And if we have it in stock, we should be able to deliver in one or two weeks.
Nugeen Aftab: Okay, fantastic. Thank you, everyone, for joining today. And thank you, Ahmed, Erin, and Brandon for providing some great insight into this application template. Once again, look forward to today's webinars replay. And thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you on the next Deeper Dive.