Approach to Adapt a Legacy Manufacturing System Into the IoT Paradigm

João Rosas, Vasco Brito, Luis Brito Palma, Jose Barata


Enterprises are adopting the Internet of Things paradigm as a strategy to improve competitiveness. But enterprises also need to rely on their legacy systems, which are of vital importance to them and normally difficult to reconfigure or modify, their mere replacement being usually not affordable. These systems constitute, therefore, barriers to agility and competitiveness, raising the need to develop cost-effective ways for IoT adaptation. An approach for adapting legacy manufacturing systems into the IoT realm is proposed in this research. The methodology is twofold: an adaptation board is firstly designed to provide IoT connectivity, allowing to remotely invoke the “legacy” functionality as services. Then, the board itself can leverage the legacy system by developing additional functionalities inside it, as the update process is usually triggered by the need of new functionality from these systems. An experiment, which consists of adapting to IoT a small distribution line that is controlled by an aged Programmable Logic Controller, is developed to illustrate how straightforward, affordable and cost effective the adaptation approach is, allowing to holistically achieve a new system with more sophisticated functionality.


Internet of Things; Legacy Systems; Manufacturing Systems

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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