On November 15, 2016, Kepware released KEPServerEX® Version 6. This major update includes native development of core OPC UA technology, which provides improved performance, enhanced diagnostics, and a solid foundation for continued OPC UA functionality enhancements.
To learn more about the OPC UA technology developed for Version 6, please read the Q&A pairs below.
Kepware is excited to announce the launch of KEPServerEX® Version 6. The first major release since 2009, Version 6 is designed to meet your evolving industrial connectivity needs.
Seven years ago, I started working as a Technical Writer for Kepware. I brought grammar and technical writing knowledge and authoring software expertise to my role, and thought I was ready to dive into our library of product manuals. Little did I know exactly how long it would take me to learn the abbreviations commonly used within our different vertical industries. Understanding the different terms for systems, networks, and processes was one thing; mastering the different protocols—and discerning when to use one over another—was entirely different.
With the help of patient colleagues, technical resources, and time, I was able to create a foundation of knowledge that continues to expand today. As industry turns its attention toward the Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0, the abbreviations and definitions added to our language (and my Kepware dictionary) multiplies.
Redundancy is something that every company strives for in their automated process, but is one of the hardest functionalities to implement successfully. Companies across the globe are working with solutions comprised of disparate devices, HMI/SCADA systems, historians, and MES systems—each of which has various support for integrating a redundant solution. As an Applications Engineer at Kepware, I have the privilege of answering the question, “How can we implement a redundant automated solution?”
I’m happy to say that by leveraging Kepware’s portfolio of products, redundancy is possible even for customers with unique environments. One of the tools we provide is Media Level Redundancy, an advanced option for KEPServerEX that is supported in Master drivers and drivers that do not require third-party interface cards or library files. Accessed in KEPServerEX through the driver's Device Properties | Redundancy tab, Media Level Redundancy (MLR) was enhanced in the June 2015 release of KEPServerEX version 5.18.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
Although a cheesy quote from a comic book-inspired movie, it is surprisingly relevant to the Automation Industry. As data becomes increasingly valuable, it unfortunately also becomes more vulnerable. From the number of bottles filled in a processing line to the type of soda selected at the movie theater, data is being gathered all around us to provide better analytics and enable improved business decisions. Making sure that this data stays in the appropriate hands can make all the difference.
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.
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.
This new infographic contains feedback from attendees of the OPC Tunneling Webinar presented by Kepware's Sam Elsner and the OPC Foundation's Thomas Burke on November 21, 2013. Click the image below to discover how your peers rate their familiarity with OPC Unified Architecture and describe how they have used tunneling products in the past. Then, visit the linked resources to learn how you can utilize OPC tunneling easily and securely in your next project.
First, what do we mean by the “King of Automation”? If one standard were king, every component of an industrial automation system—from PLC to PC to PAC—would speak the same language regardless of manufacturer. In a way, this is what the micro-USB plug did for cell phones and cell phone chargers, but in industrial automation terms. (Isn’t it so much more convenient now that our cell phones and chargers all have the same plug?!)
Optimizing communications between devices in the field and the centralized applications that need their data is a critical component to the success of a SCADA implementation. The networks that support these communications typically use radios, cellular networks, satellite links, or other types of wireless technology. Due to the bandwidth limitations of these networks, a non-streamlined and inefficient communications solution compromises the network’s ability to acquire and manage data as needed. This blog will discuss a new approach to a communications architecture that simplifies, enhances, and increases the reliability of data collection in a SCADA environment.