A PLC is unexpectedly offline, but the controls engineer doesn't know about it—and once informed, cannot easily trace its root cause. A plant line is under performing, but the plant manager doesn't have any visibility into the factory lines to understand why—or how performance can be improved. A machine is out of its normal operating range, but the maintenance team doesn’t know the status of the anomaly—or what level of maintenance is needed to fix it.
If you work on a factory floor, chances are that one—or all—of those scenarios sound familiar. Everyone recognizes the problems caused by latent data and low visibility into plant floor assets, but there hasn't been a simple solution to address these unique challenges—until now.
On-the-fly, real-time, dynamic—these are all words we use to describe how we want our software to work. Change is happening all the time in plants, and we need software that can keep pace with it without requiring that systems be shut down and rebooted. That’s why I’m excited to share a new feature we’ve added to KEPServerEX version 5.18 that will make your life easier.
Process data is important: it’s the fuel for process improvement. As such, there are many tools to record, analyze, and report on process data. KEPServerEX provides two of these tools with the DataLogger and Local Historian plug-ins.
You may have heard of the new malware on the street targeting Industrial Control Systems called Havex. It isn't the first malware to target our industry (Stuxnet), but there are two things that make it interesting.
First, its primary attack vector is vendor installers. The folks behind Havex compromise vendors’ websites and add “bad” code to the vendor installer (“mbcheck.dll” and “mbcheck.exe”). Customers download the installer and become instantly infected. The Trojan calls to command and control servers, which are really just compromised websites (like blogs). From there, the hackers have free reign to push bad code down to the machine.
OPC UA was designed with security in mind. One of the key ways OPC UA protects the integrity and confidentially of messages is through message encryption and signing. Although this sounds fancy, the technologies OPC UA uses to achieve this have a direct impact on how end users interact with OPC UA products. This blog describes that technology, and details how to use it to make secure OPC UA connections.
Today’s post provides an in-depth look at the problems facing the Oil & Gas Industry with respect to data loss during remote data collection. What are the regulatory and financial implications? How do we start to solve this problem?