Ignition, from Inductive Automation, is a very capable SCADA platform with broad protocol support for machine / PLC connectivity. We have a lot of customers that rely on Ignition machine connectivity and HMI functionality. L2L CloudDISPATCH works well with Ignition through our easy-to-integrate API capabilities allowing customers to leverage their existing Ignition investment to automatically populate data in the CloudDISPATCH production module. Additionally, Ignition can launch Dispatch events in CloudDISPATCH for a wide variety of workflow and processes from Code Red maintenance events, cycle-based Preventative Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance activities, and more.
Below is a list of general use cases for integration with MES/SCADA systems like Ignition. This information contains the general workflow and best practices we have discovered working with our customers.
General Use Cases
- Machine abnormalities that trigger Dispatch events and workflows.
- Predictive Maintenance based on Machine data
- Machine Cycle Counts for launching Preventative Maintenance (PM) dispatches
- Recording Line Level Production and Scrap Counts
Supported Versions Details
We support all versions of Ignition 8.1 and above. The current version is 8.1.11. Previous versions of Ignition may work with several of the methods described below, but we recommend upgrading to the latest version to take advantage of the latest features, security enhancements, and performance benefits.
Integration Methods and Best Practices
When it comes to Ignition and machine connectivity, L2L CloudDISPATCH integration API endpoints and use cases are well known and documented. Depending on your specific use cases and PLC tag standards, you will likely need to customize how your integration works. We've seen machine connectivity turn into ground warfare with heavy integration work on a machine-by-machine basis. Based on this experience we've streamlined our API endpoints to target only the most critical data to achieve the results our solution can deliver. For this reason, our integrations tend to be far easier and faster than your typical MES implementation, especially when combined with a platform like Ignition. This targeted data first approach means up to 1000x fewer data mappings and transfer requirements to CloudDISPATCH than you may expect. As a result, we don't become your "data historian" in the cloud. We become the shop floor management platform that drives improvement. A big distinction, with a faster ROI and a simpler implementation.
Ignition Connectivity Options
Ignition uses python as a scripting language. At L2L we love python. It has great support for web requests, which makes it perfect for calling a REST-based web service like the CloudDISPATCH API.
For more information on Ignition connectivity and integration please review the following links:
- Ignition Version 8 Documentation
- Ignition HTTP Methods
- Getting Started with Scripting in Ignition
- Ignition Python Scripting
- Scripting in Ignition
L2L Connect for Ignition
L2L Connect for Ignition is a gateway module that provides Ignition python scripting functionality for many of the standard CloudDISPATCH APIs. L2L Connect standardized your L2L connectivity for all of your Ignition projects. It provides centralized credential management and enhanced logging capabilities. This is the best solution for a standardized enterprise approach to L2L CloudDISPATCH integration.
To learn more about installation, please see our L2L Connect for Ignition Quick Start Guide.
Please see the Best Practices section below for more information about using this functionality in tag events.
L2L Ignition Scripting Library
Check out our Ignition scripting library on Github. This open-source library can be imported into your Ignition project. You can literally start sending data within minutes with this really easy-to-use method for sending data to the L2L CloudDISPATCH Smart Manufacturing Platform. The scripting library is a simple way to get started adding L2L functionality into an existing Ignition project. For more robust and standardized capability for multiple projects, we recommend using the L2L Connect for Ignition module.
Ignition supports tag events which allows you to monitor the changes for PLC/OPC tag data. This allows you to take integration actions based on data as it changes in the machine environment. These tag events can trigger integration code to send machine cycle counts to CloudDISPATCH, create open Dispatch events based on a measurement crossing a specific threshold, or record production counts to a database for aggregation.
The events supported are:
- Value Changed
- Quality Changed
- Alarm Active
- Alarm Cleared
- Alarm Acknowledged
Scripting CloudDISPATCH API calls is easy to accomplish using the Ignition Designer.
For more information on Tags and Tag Event Scripts:
Ignition has great SQL database support. This allows you to write data out to database tables in real-time for product completions, scrap details, etc. For production pitchboard integration use cases, you can then aggregate those production counts over a 1 to 3 minute interval to then be sent to the CloudDISPATCH production module to automatically record production actuals on the operator portal.
For more information on using databases with Ignition:
Depending on your established company's integration standards, you might develop this integration using an existing middleware solution by pulling data from a SQL database using a middleware SQL connector. We have customers that have successfully completed this using some of the following middleware solutions:
L2L API Code Examples
You might be asking yourself, I'm technical, can't I just do this myself? YES! Based on how easy it is to use our API, a lot of customers jump right in and write custom Ignition integrations using the tools, programming languages, and platforms they are most comfortable with. If this is you, we've created a number of API code examples in all of the most popular programming languages. Check out our Github repository at:
Use an L2L Partner
We have a number of Machine Integration partners with Ignition experience. Please contact support if you would like an introduction.