Last updateSun, 06 Oct 2019 10am

Advantech IoT Devices Certified by Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

Advantech, global top market-share holder in the field of industrial computing, announced it has joined Microsoft Azure Certified for Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring that customers can get IoT solutions up and running quickly with hardware and software that has been pre-tested and verified to work with Microsoft Azure IoT services. Advantech IoT devices certified by Azure allow businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, which allows for faster time-to-production.

There are already five Advantech IoT devices certified by Microsoft Azure which turn IoT solution into a new era. These devices focus on vertical markets in industrial automation, transportation, and the IoT field, which will be expanding rapidly in the near future. To speed up the implementation of POC and product prototyping, Advantech offers a further IoT starter software development kit to help realize customers’ IoT applications as efficiently as possible.

“To promote IoT industry development, Advantech works with Microsoft to build our WISE-PaaS software service, which integrates Advantech’s IoT software solutions and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services,” said Allan Yang, CTO of Advantech. “To accelerate clients’ IoT deployment, we’ve joined the Microsoft Azure IoT Certified program to ensure our IoT gateway UTX-3115, ARK-1123C, ARK-2121L, in-vehicle computer TREK-674, and automation controller UNO-1372G are pre-integrated with Azure cloud services. By doing so, we can provide clients with more comprehensive, end-to-cloud IoT integrated solutions.”

“We are able to jumpstart customers’ IoT projects with pre-tested device and operating system combinations that are validated through Microsoft Azure cloud services,” said Vice President Miller Chang. “Decreasing the usual customization and work required for compatibility ensures Advantech helps customers get started quickly on their IoT solutions.”

“Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT extends our promise to bring IoT to business scale, starting with interoperable solutions from leading technology companies around the world,” said Barb Edson, general manager for Data Platform and Internet of Things, Microsoft. “With trusted offerings and verified partners, Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT accelerates the deployment of IoT even further.”

IoT projects are complex and take a long time to implement. Customers find that choosing and connecting the right set of devices, assets or sensors to the cloud can be time-consuming. To jumpstart their IoT projects with confidence, customers are looking for the right IoT devices and platforms that are tested for readiness, compatibility, and usability. By choosing from Advantech’s certified by Microsoft Azure IoT program, customers can save time and effort on project specs and RFP processes, knowing in advance that devices and offerings will work with the Azure IoT Suite.

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Kepware Technologies launches IoT Alliance Program

Kepware Technologies, a software development company focused on communications for automation, recently announced the launch of its IoT Alliance program. The alliance is composed of a strategic network of leading IoT solutions providers that are committed to growing the global IoT market potential and shaping the direction of industry through smart technology, thought leadership, and marketing initiatives. Alliance members will have access to proprietary technology from Kepware that enables their respective solutions to access industrial data from the industry’s leading communications platform, KEPServerEX.

There are ten founding members participating in Kepware’s IoT Alliance including Aizoon, Altizon, DeviceLynk, Falkonry, Informatica, IOT Technology Solutions, mnubo, Perseus, Splunk, and ThingWorx (a PTC business).

“The IoT Alliance has the potential to be a disruptive force in the Industrial Automation market,” said Tony Paine, CEO, Kepware. “By collaborating closely with Kepware and fellow alliance members, we have the capability to release new, innovative, and proven solutions—reducing risk and accelerating time to market. This translates to tangible IoT solutions for our customers.”

Kepware offers IoT Alliance members a connected network of more than 40 technology partners, 80 system integrators, and 90 Kepware resellers operating in more than 100 countries. By establishing relationships between alliance members and existing partners, Kepware aims to introduce members to new markets and opportunities. Furthermore, the alliance offers members proprietary insight into Kepware’s product road map and creates a safe environment for interoperability and proof of concept testing. Kepware recently released the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, which streams industrial data into Cloud and on-premise solutions for real-time analytics.


PlantPAx MPC moves Model Predictive Control Software to the Control System

Rockwell Automation will release PlantPAx model predictive control (MPC) software, which for the first time embeds fully functional MPC technology into Logix controllers to help maximize equipment performance. When used in process applications ranging from consumer to heavy industries, PlantPAx MPC can improve overall control in a single machine or an entire line to help maximize throughput, increase yield, reduce quality variability and improve energy usage.

PlantPAx MPC is included in the latest release of the PlantPAx modern distributed control system.

“By embedding MPC into the control system, PlantPAx MPC simplifies integration and improves ease of use,” said Mike Tay, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “It also delivers several performance advantages over single-loop PID controllers. These include better multivariable coordination, predictable handling of outside disturbances, improved management of long or complex processes and predictive response to process constraints, all resulting in maximizing equipment performance while safely operating within process limits.”

Multivariable Coordination: PlantPAx MPC delivers better coordination of multivariable actions in complex process applications to maximize controller performance and maintain quality. A single control-system-based MPC module supports up to five separate MPC applications, and each of those applications can support up to 10 controllable variables and 10 manipulated variables.

Predictably Handle Outside Disturbances: The software provides the ability to measure disturbance variables that can’t be controlled, such as ambient humidity. Once detected, the system can predictably respond to these disturbances as needed to keep the process optimized.

Manage Long and Complex Processes: Both operators and control systems can struggle when managing long and complex processes for applications, such as dryers and kilns. PlantPAx MPC uses dynamic explicit modeling to identify and program the specific responses and requirements for these processes.

Predictive Response to Constraints: PlantPAx MPC dynamically predicts process behavior against identified constraints and makes proactive adjustments to maintain process performance within identified limits.

Maximize Equipment Performance: Dynamic and steady-state constraints can be enforced in the software to maximize equipment performance up to its limits. For example, enforcing a flooding constraint in a distillation process can help feed levels at their highest without the risk of flooding.

PlantPAx MPC will be on display at the Process Solutions Booth 1078 during the 2015 Automation Fair event from Rockwell Automation, taking place Nov. 16 to 19 at McCormick Place West in Chicago. It will also be featured in the session “Applications for PlantPAx MPC” at the Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) during the Automation Fair event.


Rockwell Automation releases Quality Management Application connecting Plant-Floor

A new, comprehensive, quality-management application from Rockwell Automation allows manufacturers to more easily and efficiently model and enforce in-process quality regimens. The Quality Management fit-for-purpose application (app) is an out-of-box, stand-alone application that is scalable to include other fit-for-purpose apps within the FactoryTalk ProductionCentre manufacturing execution system (MES) from Rockwell Automation.

Through tight integration with automation and business-level quality-management systems, the Quality Management fit-for-purpose app collects and exchanges data quickly, so nonconformance issues are identified before product leaves the plant.

“Our customers are working to connect plant-floor data with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and business analytics to increase productivity and better manage global operations,” said Todd Montpas, product manager, MES Software, Rockwell Automation. “This solution fills a gap for those producers who might not have large MES infrastructures, but want to move away from disparate or antiquated paper-based quality systems. And it’s designed to grow with them when they expand into other MES solutions and become a more Connected Enterprise.”

Using a built-in notification engine, the fit-for-purpose app quickly alerts personnel when a quality check needs to be completed. If the check fails, a configurable escalation work flow drives operations into additional quality sampling and corrective action plans, creating the potential to salvage product still on the line. This also gives plant and operations managers insight into the total number of completed, suspected and wasted batches.

The Quality Management fit-for-purpose app has the ability to run as a true thin-client application on desktops and a variety of devices, further reducing the cost and complexity of the quality system.

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Rockwell Automation enhances Studio 5000 Software for more efficient System Development

Rockwell Automation has added three new applications to its Rockwell Software Studio 5000 development environment to help engineers speed development of automation systems as they design a Connected Enterprise. These applications, along with the Studio 5000 Logix Designer application released in 2012, bring more functionality together into one environment to help improve automation design productivity.

“The addition of these applications significantly enhances our integrated development environment,” said Mike Brimmer, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “The expanded environment simplifies the design process and reduces the need for multiple tools, providing a more seamless system development experience.”

The Studio 5000 environment now includes the following:

The new Studio 5000 Architect application is the central point within the Studio 5000 environment where users can view the overall automation system; configure devices such as controllers, HMIs and EOIs; and manage the communications between the devices. The Studio 5000 Architect application also exchanges data with other Studio 5000 applications and third-party electrical design tools to simplify the development experience.

The Studio 5000 Logix Designer application is the design and maintenance software for the Allen-Bradley Logix5000 family of controllers and is used to configure discrete, process, batch, motion, safety and drive control. It simplifies the design process by providing an application-centric view of code; enhanced work flows for more efficient re-use of content; and collaborative tools that make it easier for multiple people to work together.

The new Studio 5000 View Designer application is the design and maintenance software for Allen-Bradley PanelView 5500 graphic terminals. The Studio 5000 View Designer application provides an intuitive, modern design environment that helps users more easily build contemporary systems. It enhances integration between the control system and operator interface to improve programming efficiency and runtime performance.

The new Studio 5000 Application Code Manager speeds system development by helping users build libraries of re-usable code that can be managed and deployed across their entire enterprise. Creating projects with Application Code Manager helps improve design consistency, reduce engineering costs, and achieve faster time-to-market and commissioning.

In addition, Rockwell Automation has updated the Studio 5000 environment with enhanced security and localized batch control. New security features include more user-authentication and access-control options, and a new privilege escalation capability. These features help improve productivity and system uptime by granting users the right level of access at the right time. Localized batch control allows controller-based batch sequencing and eventing to simplify system architecture for single-unit control and process skids.