In the following graphic we can see a detailed diagram of the modules that make up 4i Platform.
As illustrated in the diagram, a piece of data travels from the source where the data was generated on the left of the diagram all the way to the final user at the right of the diagram. As it travels, the data is associated with contextual information, such as the time when it was acquired, the time it was stored, the validity of the data, as well as other information necessary for the system.
At the data acquisition and routing stages, specially-designed hardware equipment, such as the DASH and DOT or PLT reader come into play. In addition to specialized hardware, data is also acquired from software agents that connect to existing equipment, databases or existing systems. All of these elements function with a store-and-forward strategy that prevents data loss even when communications are temporarily cut. At each stage the systems restore themselves once the connection is re-established.
Later at the storage and processing stage, internal entities are created and stored as temporal data in order to do searches of the history of the data and process them without losing any information in the analysis. All of the information can be accessed later using the tools or applications; of course, the platform’s integrated security ensures that access is granted according to the user’s profile.
These stages can function in an integrated environment, as is the case with a 4i Box server, or they can be distributed, as is the case with a Cloud-type server. In each case, it is always possible to change from one server type to the other without losing data and with very little effort.
The system allows for easy scaling. One can start off with a cloud server where the user doesn’t need to do anything more than connect up the DOT/DASH hardware or, if there’s some automation infrastructure, simply install a software agent in the computer with the HMI. They can then simply access the website via the internet to see their data in the selected applications. Later, the user could progress to a middle level with the 4i Box server, and finally move on to install an Enterprise server that integrates all the company data in 4i Platform.