I/O for the IIOT
You’ve got it. No PLC, no PC, no middleware.
groov RIO Introduction
- Monitoring remote assets?
- Acquiring data for analysis or regulatory purposes?
- Controlling standalone equipment and devices?
- Creating process visualization for operators and supervisors?
Now you can get the data you need where you need it, easily and affordably, with groov RIO.
No PLCs, PCs, or middleware required.
What is groov RIO?
groov RIO is an independent, intelligent Ethernet-based I/O module designed for IIoT and automation applications. It solves two main problems with most remote I/O today:
- First, specifying all the required components (rack, power supply, bus coupler, module types, and more) is time-consuming, difficult, and requires special skills.
- Second, communicating dataamong field devices, control systems, business applications, and cloud services is complex and costly, requiring PLCs, custom programming, and other expensive middleware.
Logging temperature to a database is too complex:
groov RIO revolutionizes remote I/O by solving both problems:
- One part number. A single device provides sensing and control for 12 different signal types via built-in multifunction, multi-signal I/O channels, and packages it together with an intelligent I/O processor, power over Ethernet, two mounting options with no rack or chassis, and software—in a compact industrial housing.
- Built-in processing and communication. Embedded web-based configuration, flow logic software, efficient data communication methods like MQTT, and multiple operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) protocols simplify any application.
Logging temperature to a database is simplified with groov RIO:
groov RIO is Edge I/O
These features make groov RIO a new kind of I/O product—edge I/O—that reduces IIoT complexity. Edge I/O and edge computing both offer traditional industrial functions at the edge of your network, which is the source of sersionnsor and equipment data, but they also add the ability to easily connect to data consumers on a computer network or over the internet. Learn more about edge I/O.
Edge computing products like Opto 22’s groov EPIC edge programmable industrial controller are proving to be a scalable, efficient model for adding IoT connectivity to industrial applications. Now groov RIO brings that same kind of connectivity to the I/O level, without a controller, and simplifies the current complexity of IIoT applications.
IIoT projects are too complex
With today’s connectivity and technical capabilities, it seems like simple IIoT applications should be simple to achieve.
We can do IIoT projects now, but without edge I/O, it’s too hard:
- First, you—or someone you hire—needs to specify and procure all the components of an I/O or PLC system that will work with the field signals you have.
- Then you install an enclosure for the PLC and I/O, assemble them, and supply power.
- Next, you install the sensors and actuators and connect them to channels on I/O modules mounted on the PLC rack.
- Then you use the vendor’s proprietary software to program the PLC, configure the channels for the correct signal types, and acquire and log the I/O data.
- Next, you need a PC with software that can read the PLC’s memory and translate the logged data into a format understood by the destination software, service, or system you’re sending the data to.
- Finally, some software needs to log into the destination and post the data. And if the destination isn’t on premises, or in the cloud somewhere that’s accessible, good luck!
groov RIO gets the data now. No PLC, no PC, no middleware
Edge I/O avoids complexity and the time and money costs that go with it. With groov RIO, you can:
- Place the unit almost anywherefor remote I/O and data communications. It’s UL Hazardous Locations approved and ATEX compliant, DIN-rail or panel mounted, and may not even need an enclosure
- Supply power to groovRIO and field I/O through the ETH1 network interface using Power over Ethernet. Or connect a 10-32 VDC power supply.
- Connect your own Wi-Fi adapter, USB memory stick for local data storage (up to 32 GB), or USB-to-serial adapter.
- Configure the flexible multi-signal, multifunction I/O channels (Thousands of Field I/O Combinations?) from any device with a web browser.
- Enable MQTT on RIO to securely and efficiently send data—as Sparkplug-B or string payloads—to MQTT brokers on premises or in the cloud. Other devices and software can subscribe to the data as needed.
- Create simple data flows with built-in Node-REDto send data to cloud services, databases, other I/O channels, and APIs through pre-built nodes.
Get the data you need, where you need it, now.
Get groov RIO.
groov RIO Hardware
Go anywhere using the power you already have
groov RIO brings IIoT connectivity to traditional I/O, no matter where it resides
Before you can read even one field I/O data point, you have to meet precise technical requirements and environmental factors. groov RIO simplifies both with flexible installation options and industrial-grade hardware that let you get to work faster.
Usually, I/O integration requires specifying an exact interface; designing a custom electrical panel for signal, power, and network distribution; and installing additional connectivity hardware. groov RIO’s installation options take the guess-work, time, and cost out of this process:
- 8 software-configurable multi-signal, multifunction I/O channels:
- Analog input sensing (V/mV/mA)
- Temperature sensing (ICTD, TC B/E/J/K/N/R/S/T)
- Discrete input sensing (DC input or powered switch input)
- Analog output control (V/mA)
- Discrete output control (DC sinking)
- 2 mechanical Form C relays for normally-open or normally-closed circuits
- Thousands of Field I/O Combinationssupported
- Two power sources: Power over Ethernet or 10-32 VDC input
- Internal loop power distribution for analog control outputs and powered switch inputs
- Built-in DIN rail and panel mounting hardware
- Two switched gigabit Ethernet network interfaces that support star (with PoE) or daisy-chain (with external power) topologies
- USB expansion port for WiFi adapter, serial device adapter, or external mass storage
Not sure which options you want? No worries. groov RIO includes all of the above—no need to decide between optional components, because we give you everything in one unit.
The way industrial devices interact with their environment can affect the safety of equipment, processes, and personnel. The more vulnerable a device is, the more work it takes to design and install appropriate protections or to isolate a device from exposure. To ensure you can capture important I/O data right at the source, groov RIO provides:
- UL Hazardous Locations approvals (Class 1/Division 2)
- ATEX compliance
- Wide -20 to 70 °C operating temperature range
- Compact 1.9” x 5.2” form factor (download CAD file)
All Opto 22 products are tested through their full range of operation, so you know these are specs you can rely on.
Processing and storage
Edge I/O takes the concept of edge computing—distributed processing power in the field—and applies it to the difficult job of collecting, processing, and publishing remote I/O signals. groov RIO provides:
- An industrial ARM® processor, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB user space on industrial eMMC with a power-fail-safe filesystem.
- Expandable local data and file storage via USB host port
- Per-channel intelligent analog and discrete signal processing, including scaling, ramping, filtering, counting, TPO, frequency/period measurement, on-/off-time totalization, and more
- Advanced data formatting, sanitization, and aggregation through the embedded Node-RED IoT programming environment
Collect and Publish Data the Way You Want
groov RIO is edge I/O for the IIoT: standalone industrial I/O that collects and securely publishes data from field to cloud.
Place groov RIO near the sensors and equipment that have the data you need, and wire them up.
Configure I/O channels from any computer or mobile device using the web-based configuration software, groov Manage. groov RIO immediately begins making data available.
groov Manage is your central command to your groov RIO, helping you configure and troubleshoot I/O, security, and communications.
Configure networking and device firewall, including a VPN client.
- Configure I/O (discrete and analog).
- Set up security and user accounts.
- See I/O specs and wiring diagrams.
- Check I/O status and values.
- Enable MQTT for efficient data communications.
Use the data
And now, where do you want to use the data? You don’t need a PLC or PC or middleware to store it or move it where you want it to go. groov RIO handles all that, because it speaks the protocols used by IT networks.
groov RIO’s embedded software can store data locally and share it with:
- On-premises and cloud-based software, like Canary historian, SQL databases, and Ignition SCADA from Inductive Automation®, plus cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud
- HMIs, including Ignition and Opto 22’sgroov View, on computers and mobile devices
groov RIO’s embedded software and an additional method of data communication make all this possible.
Create simple data flows with groov RIO’s built-in Node-RED editor and runtime to store data locally and send data to cloud services, databases, other I/O devices, and APIs.
With Node-RED’s programming environment, you have the freedom to create the flows you like using any nodes you choose. You can even develop simple user interfaces (UIs) with Node-RED UI nodes and serve them directly from groov RIO to any mobile or web-based device.
MQTT for efficient communications
Configure and enable MQTT on groov RIO to securely send data—as Sparkplug B or string payloads—to MQTT brokers on premises or in the cloud.
MQTT publish-subscribe communications offer three main advantages over request-response for IIoT applications:
- Network efficiency. Network traffic is reduced overall, because data is published and sent only when it changes, rather than at regular intervals.
- Better field connections.Because the broker is a central source for data, multiple connections to field devices are not necessary. And even remote groov RIOs with intermittent connections or low bandwidth can publish or subscribe to data.
- Improved security.Data is published using an outbound connection. Most firewalls block inbound traffic (for example, an external client requesting data from an internal server), but they allow outbound connections—connections initiated by groov Once initiated, data can travel in both directions.
What data do you need to collect, and where will you publish it?
groov Manage for groov RIO
Configure and Wire I/O Like a Pro
It’s easy from your computer or mobile device with groov Manage
All you need to get started with groov RIO is a web browser. Power up the unit and use your computer or mobile device to connect to your RIO’s IP address or hostname. Use the groov Manage interface to do the rest.
groov Manage is command central for your groov RIO.
- Configure I/O channels and features
- View wiring diagrams and specifications for all signal types
- Set up security, including user accounts, device firewall, security certificates, VPN client, and more
- Enable MQTT communications
- Create data flows with the Node-RED editor and runtime
- Manage files stored on the device and/or the USB memory stick you might be using
Wiring diagrams and specifications for all I/O channel options are included in groov Manage.
- Need to know which channels can be wired as voltage outputs, or thermocouple inputs, or discrete counters?
- Want to check the recommended fuse for a current input channel? Or the On and Off thresholds for a discrete DC Input?
- Want to know what field connector wire sizes you can use?
- Need to double-check wiring for that discrete DC sinking output?
Just whip out your phone or tablet and log into your groov RIO to find the information you need.
groov Manage lets you configure I/O right from your web browser. groov RIO is a multi-signal, multifunction module, completely software configurable. It accepts analog inputs (volt, millivolt, milliamp), temperature inputs (ICTD, TC), discrete and powered switch inputs, analog outputs (volt, milliamp), discrete outputs, and normally-open or -closed relay outputs. Explore possible field I/O combinations.
Choose the signals your application requires, configure the channels, and set up I/O features like counting, totalization, clamping, and watchdogs. These intelligent, distributed functions run independently on groov RIO and provide additional data points.
With internet connectivity, security and data integrity become key considerations. groov Manage helps you build and maintain a more secure system.
Security begins when you first log into groov RIO with your web browser. Because groov RIO has no default login, you must create an Admin account before you can do anything in groov Manage. And that’s a secure account; there’s no way to recover your username and password. In addition to your initial Admin account, you can set up other user accounts for any authorized users who need access to the groov RIO unit.
You also control the groov RIO’s device firewall and can upload security certificates through groov Manage. You can configure networking options for the two switched Ethernet interfaces (and optional WiFi, if you have a WiFi adapter for the RIO’s USB port). You can also disable ports for any protocols you’re not using, which is recommended by security professionals to reduce possible attack vectors.
And if you want to connect to your groov RIO using a secure virtual private network (VPN), use groov Manage to enable the RIO’s OpenVPN client and enter details.
Commissioning and troubleshooting
Commissioning and troubleshooting can be done on the spot or remotely, from a computer or mobile device. In groov Manage you can view and change I/O channel status and output values. You can also clear channel features, like latches, counters, and min/max values.
groov Manage is your portal to data storage and communication:
- Open the built-in Node-RED editor, download pre-built nodes, and create data flows to store or exchange data with software, services, HMIs, and other devices.
- Manage files you’re storing on the groov RIO unit or on a memory stick you’ve placed in the unit’s USB port.
- Using MQTT for more secure, efficient data communication? Enable MQTT in groov Manage, and configure communications for Sparkplug or string payloads.
groov RIO Security
Keep your data secure
groov RIO helps you build a secure system for data communications
Traditional control and SCADA systems seldom manage security. Their proprietary networks and protocols may keep out those who don’t know the system. But their data stays locked inside, unable to be used to improve processes, demonstrate compliance, or inform business decisions—unless it goes through an expensive maze of PCs, PLCs, and middleware.
New edge I/O products like groov RIO unlock that data and make it readily available by incorporating open standards from both automation and information technology fields. Open standards and connection to the internet, however, magnify the need for system security and data integrity.
How does groov RIO help you keep devices and data secure? By:
- Giving you control over user accounts for authentication
- Encrypting data
- Incorporating a configurable device firewall and security certificates
- Offering VPN access
- Including MQTT for more efficient and secure data communications
User accounts and authentication
Security starts when you first connect to groov RIO through your web browser. groov RIO has no default login, so you must create your own Admin account in order to access RIO. The username and password for this account are secure, and there is no way to retrieve them.
If other authorized people need access to your groov RIO, you can create additional user accounts for them, assigning or denying access to individual features (for example, the Node-RED editor) for each account. groov RIO requires user authentication whenever someone tries to log in.
Out of the box, groov RIO uses HTTPS to encrypt all communications. Your connections to groov RIO from your computer or mobile device are encrypted, as is the data RIO communicates to on-premises or cloud-based software, systems, and services.
When you use Node-RED to create data flows or enable MQTT to upload data to an MQTT broker, you can choose to use either non-encrypted or SSL/TLS-encrypted data. For security, choose SSL/TLS encryption.
Configurable device firewall
Networks typically have firewalls. While they protect the network, they also inhibit the flow of data between networks (for example, between your company network and an internet service).
Individual devices with their own device firewalls provide more flexibility. Used with a network firewall, they can reduce the need for protections at the network level (keeping the network more open) or provide another security layer. Used without a network firewall—for example, on a factory floor—they help secure the device and its data.
groov RIO’s device firewall gives you control over which ports are open for incoming connections to the services listening on each port number. For example, you should disable the ports of unused protocols.
Out of the box, groov RIO uses a self-signed security certificate to verify the groov RIO’s identity to other devices. You can also choose to upload security certificates from your IT department or a certificate authority.
groov RIO offers support for virtual private network (VPN) access to the unit. As an OpenVPN client, groov RIO can offer authenticated remote access to its data over a more secure, virtual point-to-point connection.
Using MQTT’s publish/subscribe data communication method reduces security concerns by using outbound, device-originated connections only. That means groov RIO always originates the connection to the broker, eliminating open inbound ports in firewalls. Once the connection is established, data can travel in both directions.
groov RIO Features:
- LDAP Support.
- PID Loops from groov Manage
- New Thermistor Input
- MQTT Enhancements
- Node-RED 1.1.3
- Ignition Edge Support
- groovFIND Tool for Windows or MAC