by Gary Mintchell | Dec 9, 2022 | Automation, Edge, Manufacturing IT, Networking, Operations Management
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.
by Gary Mintchell | Dec 6, 2022 | Automation, Internet of Things, Manufacturing IT, Networking, Operations Management, Standards
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).
by Gary Mintchell | Nov 23, 2022 | Automation, Networking, Process Control
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.
by Gary Mintchell | Nov 22, 2022 | Automation, Networking, Security
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.
The Prestera DX1500 and Alaska E1781 product families are sampling now.
by Gary Mintchell | Nov 21, 2022 | Automation, Networking
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.
by Gary Mintchell | Oct 31, 2022 | Automation, Data Management, Manufacturing IT, Networking, Process Control, Services, Software
The control and automation market I’ve been in since the late 90s has definitely become a software market. Yes, the main players that remain do still have their legacy controllers, instrumentation, sensors, and networking. The excitement that remains is mainly software and services. Domain expertise within the supplier community becomes increasingly important.
I was coming off a vacation (not planned by me) and couldn’t work out the logistics of making it to Dallas. I kept up with things through press releases and reports from social media guru Jim Cahill. I survived missing presentations by the inimitable CTO Peter Zornio. News came through, anyway.
Announcement summaries follow.
This next-generation architecture will empower companies through “boundless automation” to manage, connect and deliver operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) data seamlessly and easily across the enterprise. Moving data freely and securely across OT and IT domains – from the intelligent field to the edge and cloud – will enable operational and business performance optimization across the enterprise.
It really is all about the data.
Check out Jim Cahill’s report.
- Emerson’s Latest Control System Update Lays Foundation for Software-Driven, Data-Centric Automation Platform
- DeltaV version 15 helps drive faster, easier digital transformation to accelerate IT/OT convergence, enabling easy upgrades and modernization
PlantWeb plus recent acquisition AspenTech = Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, optimized by AspenTech, enables industrial manufacturers across all industries to “See, Decide, Act and Optimize” their operations. Leveraging a robust suite of sensors, software and control technologies, Plantweb now enables companies to optimize the business and sustainability performance of their plants and enterprise through advanced asset and business optimization software.
Movicon.NExT 4.2 is a flexible, modular platform that provides local HMI, supervision and analytics that scale from small IIoT or WebHMI applications on embedded Linux devices to large Windows server systems, allowing users to achieve sustainability and performance improvements, one step at a time, easily and cost effectively.
Emerson has released DeltaV IO.CONNECT, a new subscription software service designed to help plants simplify modernization with an open architecture pathway that makes it possible to transition to more efficient control schemes without the need to completely overhaul existing infrastructure. In a traditional plant with tens of thousands of I/O points and many controllers, this can save hundreds or thousands of hours of labor and up to 40% of the capital required for a total rip-and-replace upgrade.
Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), a regulated subsidiary of Sempra, has selected Emerson’s digital technologies, software and services to demonstrate the resiliency and reliability of its new [H2] Innovation Experience in Southern California. One of the first microgrid projects of its kind in the United States, the [H2] Innovation Experience is a technology demonstration that aims to show how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used in pure form or as a blend to fuel clean energy systems of the future.