How Skysens APM works with existing automation systems?
Cloud technologies have initiated a digital transformation in industrial companies. Key stakeholders
seek to optimize existing automation systems for better control, data intelligence, security, and
efficiency with the analytics and AI capabilities that these cloud-based platforms provide. As a
cost-saving measure, industrial companies seek to transform and modernize existing industrial
infrastructures with new platform capabilities and data points.
However, many industrial companies struggle with integrating high-tech platforms and sensors into
existing control systems. According to McKinsey, the lack of digital capabilities is the main struggle
that most companies face when integrating conventional automation setups with smart
This article explores how Skysens Agile Predictive Monitoring Platform (APM) helps overcome
automation integration obstacles.
Why is industrial automation integration important?
Stakeholders in major industries can no longer afford to pursue automation without considering
integration plans. Instead, they must treat both automation and integration as opposite sides of the
same coin in their modernization plans. By striking a balance between both areas, companies will
achieve these benefits.
Improves system efficiency
Industrial facilities grappling with rising costs and decreasing margin strives to optimize efficiency
to the most refined level. With disparate automation systems, technical operators must coordinate
workflow with separate data points. This requires additional training and switching between
procedures, which leads to human errors and productivity loss.
By integrating diverse automation systems in the industrial facility into a single platform, technical
operators become more efficient in supporting operational processes from a unified console and
pinpointing root causes with very little effort. For example, the maintenance staff in the Istanbul
Airport uses Skysens APM for cold chain, logistics, energy, and equipment monitoring for predictive
Reduces capital expenditure
As companies are pressed to modernize industrial equipment, they face the dilemma of discarding
existing equipment with more advanced solutions. However, using a highly integrable data platform
allows companies to avoid disposing of their existing automation assets. Instead, they can add a
layer of smart analytics with or without additional wireless sensors with connection to SCADA,
DCS, ERP, or MES systems without additional CAPEX for integration of hardware and software.
Companies seeking to benefit from AI technologies such as machine learning and predictive
analytics require ingesting a vast amount of process data into a data warehouse. Integrating
existing automated systems to an intelligent data platform provides a standard pipeline that
streams and consolidates industrial data for AIdriven analytics.
What are the challenges when integrating industrial automation systems?
Despite growing awareness of the importance of integrating automation systems, many industrial
companies fall short of their goals because of several issues.
Lack of technical expertise
As mentioned, merging conventional industrial systems with emerging networks requires specific
skillsets and knowledge. This means upskilling technical operators through training or hiring new
technical specialists for industrial companies. Likewise, industrial equipment vendors must
overcome the difference in network protocols to enable total integration of all systems to implement
Expanding industrial automation with IoT capabilities introduces diverse data types that require
new data storage and middleware solutions. For example, system administrators must cater to
structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data generated by IoT data points. This involves
integration with different types of data warehouses, where ingested data are put through proper
ETL processes before they fuel business intelligence tools.
Integrating automation systems with new data endpoints increases attack surfaces and security
risks. As IoT sensors lack the computing resources to provide robust protection, companies must
employ additional measures to secure data transmission within the automation network. For
example, industrial plants use Skysens proprietary secure technologies to ensure data integrity
while scaling up their data capabilities.
How Skysens APM works with conventional automation systems?
Skysens APM is a comprehensive data management platform that provides end-toend integration
with existing industrial systems. It also allows industrial companies to merge legacy systems with
scalable IoT-enabled devices without complicated setups. The platform helps companies overcome
common integration challenges with these distinct characteristics.
Skysens APM is highly integrable with commonly-used automation systems such as SCADA and
DCS. These automation systems are prevalent in all types of industries, although with limited data
analytics capabilities. Skysense APM allows these automation systems to function beyond their
With the APM platform, SCADA-based systems can perform data analytics with unlimited
flexibility with external systems with connections such as Modbus TCP, Profibus, and OPC.
Technical operators can also integrate legacy systems with IoT sensors via protocols like MQTT.
APM’s interoperability also extends to existing software platforms, with the aid of communicating
frameworks like REST API, HTTP POST, and Custom XML integrations.
With these integration capabilities, any existing legacy industrial monitoring system can become
smarter by allowing users to share data easily, flexibly, and securely.
Data visualization improvement
Automated systems have traditionally functioned to replace laborious chores with robotics and
machines. Skysens APM injects a degree of smartness into the existing automation setup.
It provides an analytic layer that consolidates, processes, and analyzes automation data to manifest
smarter systems. For example, the APM platform generates smart alerts based on pre-configured
parameter thresholds with easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visualization. It empowers the entire
enterprise IT system with cutting-edge data collaboration capabilities.
Skysens APM supports your organization’s expansion effort by eliminating costly cabling expenses,
middleware software, and retaining existing equipment. It allows technicians to perform no-code
integrations to existing data silos and deploy lowcost sensors in a plug-and-play manner easily at
low cost. These systems then communicate with existing industrial monitoring systems via data
adapters and onetouch integrations with unlimited scalability.
How companies benefit from integrating automated systems with Skysens APM
Industrial companies that adopted Skysens APM as a part of their automation integration plan have
reported benefits in several areas.
Improves process efficiency
Skysens APM platform enables companies to improve asset performance and energy efficiency by
20%. It does so by augmenting the existing system with realtime data ingestion and processing
capabilities. This allows system operators to monitor industrial systems with better clarity and
precision. Timely data ingestion also enables operators to respond promptly to operational issues
and improve OEE, process quality, and efficiency simultaneously on a single system.
Expand data sources and storage
Technical operators use Skyeses APM to overcome the limits of existing storage infrastructure for
SCADA systems. The APM platform provides ample storage that works not only for structured data
but also semi and unstructured data. Instead of limiting historical data to a couple of months, APM
expands the storage capabilities of existing industrial systems by multiple folds.
Data sharing and reporting
Skysens APM facilitates data sharing amongst managers, operators, and other personnel in an
intuitive and secure environment with no code and MQTT and REST API end points. Technical staff
or in house analysts uses a no-code interface to generate visual-rich reports consolidated data from
different automation systems and reduce data analytics and further AI development costs by 80%.
Automation integration does not always require public cloud migration. Some systems are required
to function in an isolated domain to ensure operational reliability, low latency, and security. Skysens
APM makes offline integration possible. It supports on-premise edge deployment, where data is
collected and processed at the immediate data source such as an industrial PC or small server.
Skysens APM is integral in enhancing the smart capabilities of existing SCADA and DCS automation
systems. It allows easy data integrations, implementation of localized instrumentation with cost-
effective sensors and introduces AI-driven analytics to legacy systems. System integrators can leverage
Skysens APM to fill the missing gap between existing automation systems and ERP/MES solutions
and meet C-management requirements.