Modern Software Meets Legacy Hardware
However, through the efforts of one of our talented Principal Engineers, Grantek was able to pair the advanced PID Loop Tuning software LOOP-PRO TUNER (from Control Station) with Legacy Siemens/TI 505 PLCs as well as its newest compatible 2500 series PLCs processors manufactured by CTI.
Robot integration ease of use a priority
Leading robot manufacturers – ABB, Comau, Epson, Fanuc, Jaka, Kawasaki, Kuka, Nachi, Panasonic, Stäubli, TM Robot, Yamaha, Yaskawa – joined forces at the initiative of Siemens to develop a solution. Around 70 percent of the world’s robot manufacturers were on board. Now, the joint work has paid off. A uniform data interface between the PLC and the robot controllers has been defined to make robot programming uniform – and thus more efficient – for PLC programmers and PLC suppliers. Via this data interface, robot programs can be written completely in the PLC by calling the robot functions and reporting the required robot state information back to the PLC.
The Old Switcheroo: Hiding Code on Rockwell Automation PLCs
Team82 and Rockwell Automation today disclosed some details about two vulnerabilities in Rockwell programmable logic controllers and engineering workstation software. CVE-2022-1161 affects numerous versions of Rockwell’s Logix Controllers and has a CVSS score of 10, the highest criticality. CVE-2022-1159 affects several versions of its Studio 5000 Logix Designer application, and has a CVSS score of 7.7, high severity. Modified code could be downloaded to a PLC, while an engineer at their workstation would see the process running as expected, reminiscent of Stuxnet and the Rogue7 attacks.
PLCs improve predictive maintenance
There is no doubt PLC technology is already strongly established on the plant floor. However, by embedding IT protocols, Cloud connectivity, and security features into today’s PLCs, it is possible to gather data that may have existed idly and use it to provide a much stronger idea as to what condition devices and machines are in to prevent unplanned downtime.
MES & Machine Learning
As the manufacturing sector continues to embrace digitalization, fully integrated manufacturing execution systems will become more and more useful for managing facilities. However, it is expensive for a plant to fully revamp their IT infrastructure. Manufacturers with partially integrated or non-existent MES won’t upgrade unless there are benefits that outweigh the costs, and returns that can be realized.
Incorporating a MES and subsequent machine learning platform into a facility’s or organization’s infrastructure reduces the cost of manual data processing. Tasks that have traditionally taken hours of manual labor, such as aggregating line data to identify trends, can be automated and completed in minutes or less. In this case, machine learning isn’t competing with statistical process control (SPC) or other traditional quality methods; it’s augmenting them so that engineers spend less time to get better insights into their operations.
Gaining an Edge on Line Control
Edge control provides access to real time OEE and information visualization that changes the value calculation. With edge control, end-users can easily tie together existing equipment, other legacy controllers and new external sensing. The combined raw data can be analyzed at the edge to generate information needed by operators to take fast informed action, and it is the foundation for more advanced production line integration, with the ultimate goal of insight-driven and adaptive operation.