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Smart Manufacturing with KEPServerEX: Industrial Connectivity from the Plant Floor to the Top Floor

Posted by Cam Dufty

Today’s manufacturing plant floor has inherent automation and connectivity challenges. Real-time production control and data analysis requires seamless connectivity across the enterprise—but disparate machinery, devices, and applications can’t always communicate effectively (or at all). Valuable information can be lost in this connectivity gap—at the cost of safety, productivity, efficiency, and profitability.


Spring Tradeshows in Full Bloom

Posted by Kelly Brennick

As spring takes its sweet time entering the Northeast, we here at Kepware are trudging full-steam ahead to a busy tradeshow season. From Oil & Gas to Automation, Power, Wind, and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is no shortage of tradeshows in Q2. In fact, Kepware will be attending 16 industry events this spring.


Connecting the Enterprise through a Standardized Communications Layer

Posted by Patrick Gilligan

Over the past two years, I’ve met with companies from various industries to discuss their automation architecture. A common theme in these meetings is the desire to define and implement a standard that can be adopted globally. The idea is to create a complete view or snapshot for management to monitor. Getting data in the hands of decision-makers quickly and reliably allows for efficient decisions to be made—whether it’s cars being manufactured, food being processed, machines being built, or goods being packaged. As companies expand their reach in our global economy, identifying and tracking all information in a factory process is essential for growing revenue.


Let Operations Drive Server Architecture

Posted by John Harrington

Many people ask, "What is the optimal architecture for KEPServerEX within a plant; how many servers and where?" As with most questions of this nature, the short answer is that it depends, but there is some guidance we can provide.


Interview: Kepware's John Harrington Uncovers the Details of Omron NJ

Posted by Joanne Bacharach

Sysmac NJ is the new series of Machine Automation Controllers (MACs) from the device vendor Omron. The MAC is Omron's complete machine automation solution that combines logic, motion, vision, safety, robotics, and sensing. This means only one controller is needed for an entire machine or production cell.


Mobile Moves to the Plant Floor: What’s Your Strategy?

Posted by John Harrington

Mobile technologies have exploded over the past few years with the advent of inexpensive and reliable mobile displays from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung (to name a few). They have also evolved from a simple 4 inch display on a phone to a 13” tablet to wearables in the form of watches or Google Glass. With these mobile displays, workers have found it easier to access their corporate information systems, first starting with email and then moving to cloud-based applications like CRM systems. Now they are looking for access to real-time systems like SCADA and HMI.


Auto Manufacturers’ Need for Speed Puts Kepware in the “Driver” Seat

Posted by Patrick Gilligan

In 1914, Henry Ford’s vehicle assembly line produced an average of twenty Model Ts an hour. In 2014, some manufacturers roll more than eighty vehicles off one assembly line in the same amount of time. We have come a long way from the days when you could have any color Model T—as long as that color was black.


Why System Integrators Need to Put Users First

Posted by Erik Dellinger

Walking into the world’s largest polymer manufacturing plant, you’d see nothing unusual. Your guide would proudly show you the pristine new control room or the 40 towering, shining steel silos. You’d probably not meet Christine—even though without her, the whole thing would come to a grinding, expensive halt.

Hidden away in a windowless, tiny office, Christine and her small team are managing those silos. Almost all the production risk is on their shoulders. Get it wrong and the silos overflow, or a product is contaminated, stopping production and costing millions of dollars an hour. 

This team needs a simple process to follow; every action they have to perform increases the risk. If their process includes digging through a SAP screen for each silo, exporting data to Excel so it can be properly viewed, sending data to other teams for MES, DCS, and Labs data to be added, and then sharing it with a third party logistics team, something is going to go wrong.