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The Keys to the Modern Kingdom Are Right Under Your Nose

Posted by Sam Elsner

There’s no doubt about it: modern automation systems are capable of generating more data than ever before. When you live in a time where even a single PLC can contain millions of individual data points, you’ve certainly asked yourself the question, “How can I make all of this data work for me?” Indeed, gaining access to this data, bringing it into a SCADA, MES, or DCS system, and giving it context can increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. But before you can make the data work for you, you’ve got to figure out how to get access to it. One excellent way to do so is through industry-standard OPC specifications and Kepware’s ClientAce. 

Polling the Crowd: Kepware's ClientAce Version 4.0 Webinar Results

Posted by Candace Letizia

View Kepware's latest infographic with feedback from attendees of our ClientAce version 4.0 webinar, and discover what your peers have to say about our OPC Client Toolkit. How are you using ClientAce to solve your client application development challenges?

From the Bottom Up: Data on the Move - Part III

Posted by Tony Paine

As we discussed in earlier parts of this blog series, the ability to exchange information between the various software and hardware components found inside of an organization is necessary to operate and maintain the day-to-day business. Tying all of the components together is a major challenge: they typically come from a wide variety of vendors, each providing a unique communications interface that will not interoperate with one another out of the box. Fortunately, communications platforms, such as KEPServerEX, exist to solve this problem. 

Polling the Crowd: Kepware's IEC 61850 Webinar Results

Posted by Candace Letizia

Wonder what your peers are saying about IEC 61850? View the poll results from our latest webinar and let us know if your experience is comparable.

From the Bottom Up: Data on the Move - Part II

Posted by Tony Paine

Last time, we looked at how data was traditionally moved from plant floor devices to various applications, as well as how that data is turned into information. This time, we will examine how some standards groups have tackled issues with interoperability and turning raw data into information.

Taking a Holistic View of Monitoring Energy Use with OPC

Posted by Erik Dellinger

Monitoring energy use is the first step to taking greater control over energy costs and conservation efforts.  However, the emergence of alternative sources of power has made it more difficult to gain an accurate, holistic picture across multiple sources and structures. Engineering managers of multi-building complexes such as universities, hospitals, and corporate campuses are especially challenged in this area, particularly when energy efficiency and costs are tied to green initiatives. For example, energy monitoring requirements on a large campus site may span everything from the traditional grid, to chilled water plants, to solar panels providing supplemental energy through on-site power plants.

Mobile Technologies: Driving Next Generation Communication Systems

Posted by Erik Dellinger

Mobile technologies are driving the next generation of centralized monitoring and communication systems, especially in the Agricultural industry and in other industries whose remote locations span vast acreage. Instead of physically visiting a remote site and wasting precious response time, engineers can respond instantly to alerts, alarms, or isolated changes in system performance with a few taps on their Smartphone, iPad, tablet PC, or computer connected to the Internet.

From the Bottom Up: Data on the Move - Part I

Posted by Tony Paine

Manufacturing and industrial automation environments have become increasingly complex. They house different types of equipmentalong with different manufacturing software applicationseach with a different purpose. Yet somehow, it all has to work together in order to solve real-world manufacturing objectives. On top of that, businesses are looking to utilize the data and information that these manufacturing systems produce.

Next Generation Monitoring with SNMP and OPC

Posted by Erik Dellinger

Today’s automation engineer has the critical job of monitoring PLCs and different devices on the plant floor. But what happens when there is an issue with the IT infrastructure that interconnects these devices? What if a port on a switch goes down? At that point, there’s unfortunately not much that the automation engineer can do except contact the enterprise IT department. That’s their domain.

OPC Tunneling with OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

Posted by Erik Dellinger

For most businesses, data consolidation, sharing, and visibility across the enterprise is a top priority. OPC Classic enabled many organizations to achieve these objectives. However, there have been several obstacles caused by limitations in the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM). Despite being widely adopted, these two options are limited in the usability and security options required by today’s industrial automation and distributed operation environments.