Rockwell Automation Smart Machine, Safety, Security Announcements

The Rockwell Automation PR team must have worked overtime following November’s Automation Fair. Here are a number of releases on new products and services. These cover a spectrum of technology areas that further reveal the breadth of Rockwell’s reach. 

  • Smart Machine Development
  • GuardLink with EtherNet/IP
  • FactoryTalk Logix Echo
  • Cyber Endpoint Protection Services

Simplify Smart Machine Development with Improved Micro800 Controllers and Design Software

Machine builders can save engineering time and costs with the enhanced Allen-Bradley Micro850 and Micro870 2080-Lx0E controllers using the latest Connected Components Workbench software from Rockwell Automation.

  • Class 1 implicit messaging capability up to eight EtherNet/IP devices support
  • Streamline integration of controller to drives, supporting PowerFlex 520 series and Kinetix 5100 drives over EtherNet/IP with pre-defined tags and pre-developed user-defined function block (UDFB) instructions.
  • Connected Components Workbench software version 21 required.

GuardLink 2.0 with new EtherNet/IP Interface

  • GuardLink 2.0 offers advanced diagnostics by way of the new Allen-Bradley 432ES GuardLink EtherNet/IP On-Machine Interface or a combination of Dual GuardLink Relay and EtherNet/IP Interface. 
  • GuardLink 2.0 protocol also enables safety-rated control device status reporting and automatic diagnostic reporting to an HMI using CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP.
  • Connect up to 96 safety devices via three independent safety channels. 
  • The interface can cascade power to additional interfaces and can keep track of timing and frequency of events to improve maintenance and create process efficiencies. 
  • The 432ES supports linear, star and Device Level Ring topologies while meeting safety ratings up to SIL 3, Cat 4 PLe.

New Capabilities in Emulation and Support with First expansion of FactoryTalk Logix Echo

  • Attention was dedicated to improving testing, giving users access to more than 20 variations of the 5580 ControlLogix platform at their disposal.
  • FactoryTalk Logix Echo simplifies the emulator experience by providing users the opportunity to download directly to FactoryTalk Logix Echo without modifications. 
  • Having the emulation of the 5580 ControlLogix Ethernet port means that to other software, FactoryTalk Logix Echo looks like another controller, offering flexibility to expand your emulation to visualization or other controllers.
  • Version 2 will be the first emulation platform to support safety controllers by introducing GuardLogix 5580 controller catalogs. 
  • The inaugural version supported one 17 slot chassis, but the latest release now supports the creation and communication of multiple chassis with one FactoryTalk Logix Echo license. 

Comprehensive Endpoint Protection Services

  • For organizations to secure their operations and reduce cyber threats, a successful cybersecurity strategy requires solutions to secure endpoints – any device that is connected to a network outside of its firewall, including laptops, HMIs, switches, IoT devices, and more.
  • Rockwell Automation and CrowdStrike are providing manufacturers with comprehensive Endpoint Protection Services, combining Rockwell Automation’s Industrial Cybersecurity Services and CrowdStrike Falcon platform to monitor, protect, investigate, and respond to incidents. 
  • Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight-agent architecture, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform delivers rapid and scalable deployment, superior protection and performance, reduced complexity, and immediate time-to-value.
  • When customers choose the CrowdStrike Falcon platform through Rockwell Automation, they receive the industry-leading software coupled with OT-specific Falcon policies, developed by Rockwell Automation cybersecurity specialists, and backed by software and phone support. 
  • Endpoint Protection fits into the expansive Rockwell Automation portfolio of Managed Services along with Incident Response and Threat Detection to provide customers with a holistic cybersecurity solution.

A Little IT Update from Siemens, Edge and Networking

Siemens has had a manufacturing IT presence for many years. Here are two announcements bolstering its portfolio. Industrial Edge and Networking products.

Siemens Expands Industrial Edge

  • Industrial Edge Management System (IEM V2.0) for Kubernetes clusters addresses IT users in production and saves IT resources, energy and costs
  • Industrial Edge Hub provides greater license management visibility
  • New virtual edge device and new Simatic IPC edge devices offer more flexibility when implementing IIoT applications

The Industrial Edge Management System (IEM V2.0), an alternative offering to the existing IEM 1.3, is available for the open-source system Kubernetes. IT professionals can now easily integrate Industrial Edge into existing Kubernetes clusters. This makes shop floor automation more IT-oriented, and ultimately more efficient and easier to handle for IT users. 

Since computing power can be flexibly allocated within one or more Kubernetes clusters, companies can save IT resources and thus energy and costs. 

The Industrial Edge Hub will help ensure better future usability in terms of license management as well as provide a clear and convenient overview of all device management licenses and apps purchased through the Industrial Edge Marketplace. Users will be able to either actively retrieve statistics via the Industrial Edge Hub or have them reported automatically. The statistics will include: the number of purchased apps, the assignment of licenses to the industrial edge management systems, as well as the remaining number of installations and licenses. In addition, users will receive warnings when quotas are exceeded as well as recommendations for action to avoid such warnings in the future.

For further information regarding Siemens Industrial Edge for IT specialists click here.

Industrial Networks: New Generation Industrial Ethernet Switches 

  • Scalance XC/XR-300 series with compact and 19-inch rack models
  • Next-generation industrial networks connect OT and IT for more flexible and secure production
  • New switches will support Time-Sensitive Networking

Siemens has now renewed the Industrial Ethernet Switches of its Scalance XC-/XR-300 series and upgraded them with additional functions for next-generation industrial networks. So-called managed Layer 2 switches from the Scalance X Industrial Ethernet Switch product family are now available – both as compact models and as 19-inch variants for control cabinets. The new switches thus replace the portfolio of the current Scalance X-300 series and carry the model designation Scalance XC-/XCM-300 in the compact version and Scalance XR-/XRM-300 in the 19-inch version. 

The switches of the new Scalance XC-/XCM-300 and Scalance XR-/XRM-300 series have a high port density.

Industry IoT Consortium Updates Industrial Internet Reference Architecture

The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) announced it had updated its Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA). The IIRA Version 1.10 addresses the challenges of current industrial IoT systems and industry trends, such as the convergence of IT and OT, digital twins, systems comprised of independent systems, and the inclusion of “non-human” digital users.

The foundational views of the IIRA (Business, Usage, Functional, and Implementation) have not changed. Still, the IIC revised and extended the sections to address how organizations use the views. For example, the new IIRA includes mapping essential industrial IoT functions to system requirement categories. This helps organizations understand which functions will best meet their needs.

Another addition to the IIRA V1.10 is a new set of Architecture Patterns that system designers can use to tailor standard system features and implementations. The IIRA V1.10 also illustrates how system designers can overlay patterns with each other (or with different architecture patterns) to help them build new system implementations from a collection of well-understood models.

The Industry IoT Consortium delivers transformative business value to industry, organizations, and society by accelerating the adoption of a trustworthy internet of things. The Industry IoT Consortium is a program of the Object Management Group (OMG).

A Few Thoughts On Instrumentation Networking

Tilo Merlin holds the role of instrumentation platform manager at ABB in Frankfurt, Germany. We connected on Microsoft Teams because I was curious about the latest ABB take on what’s happening on the foundation side of the Industrial Internet of Things—networks and instrumentation.

Coming from the instrumentation world, he often referred to RS-485, that ubiquitous serial networking standard. He told me that Modbus and Modbus TCP remain popular for instrumentation networks. As is the HART serial protocol. It takes a long time to make changes in the process world, I guess.

Speaking of HART, I’ve been curious about the growth of use of the digital side of the protocol. Engineers can use just the analog side as a serial network. I’ve often heard that the digital side is seldom used. Merlin noted the digital side of HART is used mostly for commissioning and diagnostics.

Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (APL) has gathered much publicity lately. I just wrote about ODVA releasing a conformance test meaning that developers must be getting close to releasing product.

Merlin pointed to the beauty of Ethernet that you can just add protocols to the physical layer. APL bests Ethernet POE (power over Ethernet) by requiring just two wires for power to the device as well as signal. Often the two wires already exist in the plant. This little factor reduces labor to install the new network. The network is low power, therefore intrinsically safe. ABB makes a couple of instruments that utilize power from the network. I foresee a growth in that area.

ABB finds customers wishing to separate asset management from the control system. Energy management is currently the important function of asset management. Companies don’t wish to pay for extensive engineering hours to do the programming through the control system. 

I walked into a marketing topic mentioning I had talked with a customer engineering manager who pleaded with technology providers to simplify their systems. They don’t have people with time or often skills to deal with network complexity.

ABB has a marketing slogan, Measurement Made Easy. True to his engineering heritage, Merlin said at first he thought it was just marketing (don’t we all sometimes think that?). He has come to experience the truth of the vision. They are working to make things simple as the app on your smart phone.

Deterministic Ethernet Solutions for Industrial and Critical Infrastructure Applications

Reza Eltejaein from Marvell Technology explained how deterministic Ethernet is displacing special purpose networks in several applications also describing the company’s new Ethernet switches for harsh environments and PHYs targeted to the industrial and critical infrastructure markets. This solution finally brings Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) to reality.

Ethernet is still too expensive for the sensor and other physical device layer. Achieving deterministic Ethernet for critical applications above that layer has been a target for engineering for years. Marvell Technology now offers a solution. 

Marvell’s Secure Deterministic Ethernet solution, comprised of Prestera switches and Alaska PHYs, is designed for switch appliances used in often-harsh environments. By enabling the more widespread use of Ethernet in the OT environment, the new solution facilitates the adoption of modern IT tools and security methods in OT networks, enabling a common management and automation approach from the cloud to the OT network edge.

The new solution addresses deterministic networking requirements with a set of Ethernet standards known as time-sensitive networking (TSN). With TSN, virtually any kind of Ethernet traffic can share a network, allowing siloed IT and OT networks to converge, thus reducing costs and facilitating in OT networks the analytics, automation and intelligence that are transforming IT networks.  

To better protect these networks, the new Prestera industrial-grade switches with TSN offer industry-first device- and link-level security, in the form of Secure Boot and MACsec. 

  • Integrated switching, CPU and Ethernet PHY—reduces power and footprint versus separate components. 
  • Time-Sensitive Networking: 802.1AS, 802.1CB, 802.1Qav, 802.1Qbv, 802.1Qbu, 802.1Qci, 802.1Qat—supports reliable, low-latency Ethernet performance.  
  • IEC/IEEE 60802 TSN profile for Industrial Automation—enables real-time end-to-end communications with guaranteed reliable performance and data delivery. 
  • 802.1AE MACsec—provides Layer-2 security for data integrity and confidentiality. 
  • Secure Boot—allows only trusted software to execute on the system. 
  • Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) and Highly-available Seamless Redundancy (HSR)—provide no-loss failover in case of failure of any single network element. 
  • TrackIQ—provides rich telemetry data for use in network analytics and observability tools. 
  • Ruggedized -40°C to +85°C system operation—enables reliable operation in harsh environments and an expected lifetime of at least 10 years. 

Availability 

The Prestera DX1500 and Alaska E1781 product families are sampling now. 

Conformance Testing For EtherNet/IP Devices on Ethernet-APL

Ethernet APL, advanced physical layer, moves closer to reality with this ODVA announcement of the availability of conformance testing for EtherNet/IP network-enabled devices that communicate over the Ethernet-APL physical layer. 

Conformance testing verifies the Ethernet-APL physical layer functionality by checking that the different port types properly adhere to the relevant specifications. The EtherNet/IP communication network functionality is also confirmed as a part of this process. Together, both tests ensure maximum interoperability between vendors as well as different types of instruments and infrastructure components.

Ethernet-APL is the new intrinsically safe, two-wire, Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) solution, based on an extension of 10BASE-T1L (IEEE 802.3cg2019), that meets the requirements of the process industries. The advantages of Ethernet-APL include significantly faster communication speeds of up to 10 Mbit/s, hazardous area protection, power to field instrumentation, and long cable runs of up to 1,000 meters (IEC 61158). Ethernet-APL devices adhere to IEC TS 60079-47 (2-Wire Intrinsically Safe Ethernet) in order to ensure “intrinsically safe” ignition protection.

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