Comtrol’s EdgeWare ® Edge Controller Integrates RFID Readers, PLCs and SAP

RFID World 2006 Conference, Dallas, TEXAS — February 28, 2006…

Comtrol Corporation today announced the limited release of their EdgeWare edge controller that facilitates real-time communication and transparent integration of controls infrastructure and plant floor devices such as RFID readers with enterprise applications such as SAP

Comtrol’s EdgeWare edge controller is making its debut at the RFID World 2006 Annual Conference and Exhibition. Comtrol is working with Sun Microsystems, as the software provider, who today announced the general availability of Sun Java (TM) System RFID Software 3.0, the newest version of Sun’s powerful RFID software solution that simplifies and speeds the deployment and administration of RFID networks, supports high-volume data management and integrates easily with enterprise business systems. The EdgeWare controller extends the reach of market-leading enterprise applications such as SAP to variety of plant floor devices within industrial and building automation, retail, and transportation environments. By embedding and integrating Sun’s RFID software and distributed architecture with industrial Ethernet protocols, on-demand business decisions can be made based on real-time information that is gathered from RFID readers, bar code scanners, sensors and other devices. Comtrol’s EdgeWare controller is easily integrated into the existing and future controls infrastructure by communicating to PLCs via their own industrial Ethernet protocol. The EdgeWare edge controller bridges the device-to-enterprise gap by making devices “speak-up” to enterprise applications.

“We partnered with Comtrol Corporation and selected the EdgeWare controller as a platform for device-level connectivity solutions,” said Sam Liu, director, RFID Products, Sun Microsystems. “Comtrol’s solid-state EdgeWare embedded device controller allows data from plant floor devices to integrate into an SAP system via the Sun Java System RFID Software 3.0 we announced today.”

EdgeWare Edge Controller Benefits:

  • Make business decisions as plant floor information is gathered and communicated in real-time
  • Leverage existing PLCs by communicating via industrial Ethernet and serial protocols
  • Maintain low cost-of-ownership through flexible and reliable solid-state design
  • Easy and transparent integration of controls infrastructure, plant floor devices and enterprise applications
  • Increase compliancy with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements

“There has been an enormous explosion of small devices controlling everything from automobile engines to water systems,” said Jim Wright, senior solutions architect, Sun Microsystems. “These devices have been autonomous, but are now being integrated into the larger network. EdgeWare is a catalyst that will further enable this integration.”

“The biggest long-term gains from automation are to be had by companies that look for ways to embed automated controls like the EdgeWare platform throughout their cross-enterprise business processes,” said Keith Anderson, former Siemens Principal Systems Architect. “Financial data compliance is reliable only to the degree that plant controls systems are accurate, timely and efficient.”

“RFID has been the catalyst in uncovering an ocean of information in making real-time business decisions, ” said Kris Rydberg, director of Product Development and Marketing, Comtrol Corporation. “However, the challenges of PLC integration and communication with other devices on the plant floor have limited the true value of capturing events as they occur. Comtrol’s EdgeWare edge controller transparently facilitates RFID readers to communicate natively with PLCs and also ‘bridges’ communication to bar code readers, weigh scales, printers, temperature sensors and other plant floor devices. Not only does it facilitate horizontal communication on the plant floor, but also vertically as it satisfies the demand of enterprise applications, such as SAP, clearly giving visibility into the supply chain at the device level, utilizing Sun Java System RFID Software 3.0.”

EdgeWare Edge Controller Features:

  • Patent-pending information routing technology
  • Embedded Java System RFID Software 3.0
  • Embedded industrial Ethernet protocols – Ethernet/IP, Modbus/TCP, PROFINET
  • Real-time OS
  • Solid-state
  • Variable power
  • Industrial temperature range
  • Micro footprint
  • ROHS/WEEE compliant
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

Comtrol is a global leader in network enabling devices with 25 years experience in serial device connectivity. Comtrol’s innovative industrial connectivity products can be found in baggage handling, postal automation, building automation systems and distribution centers around the world. Visit www.comtrol.com for more information.