Last updateMon, 27 Aug 2018 3am

NI Enhances Hardware-in-the-Loop Software for Testing Embedded Control Systems

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today released the latest version of its VeriStand software, which embedded software design and test engineers use to develop hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems. Today’s engineers face increasingly compressed, shifting schedules and constantly changing requirements driven by the integration of new technologies. VeriStand and NI’s HIL systems are the most open and customizable platforms available on the market to help companies meet these changing demands and future proof their test systems.

Engineers take advantage of VeriStand software’s out-of-the-box functionality and customizability to speed up real-time test system development and tackle the increasing complexity of embedded software as newer technologies like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), automotive radar and fly-by-wire become commonplace in embedded control systems. Users can:

  • Configure a real-time engine to execute tasks such as real-time simulation, stimulus generation, data acquisition for high-speed and conditioned measurements and calculated and custom-scaled channels.
  • Extend and customize a system using LabVIEW software or a wide variety of programming environments.
  • Create professional run-time editable user interfaces quickly that include tools for simulation model characterization, data logging and alarm monitoring. A completely redesigned UI manager helps ensure maximum efficiency when developing and executing real-time tests.

“This release of NI VeriStand enhances the real-time test platform to help reduce risk and cost for embedded software test across a spectrum of applications,” said Chad Chesney, vice president of data acquisition and embedded systems at NI. “With the openness and flexibility of a software-first approach, engineers can meet the demands of rapidly expanding test requirements for HIL systems both today and in the future.”

ICONICS Introduces Its IoT Gateway Suite with Microsoft Azure

ICONICS is a managed Microsoft Gold Partner and winner of the Microsoft Public Sector CityNext Partner of the Year award. The company provides advanced, Web-enabled and OPC UA certified HMI/SCADA, analytics and mobile software solutions for any manufacturing, energy, industrial or building automation application. ICONICS announces its new IoT Gateway Suite and enhanced integration with the next generation of Microsoft Azure cloud platform and services at Hannover Messe 2016,in Hannover, Germany. ICONICS will exhibit in the Microsoft Pavilion (Hall 7, Booth C40) at the show.

ICONICS IoT Gateway Suite communicates with Azure applications using the most popular transport protocols. Once the IoT Gateway is online, it connects to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub so that it can authenticate, transmit and receive data. Acting as a secure message broker, the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub allows for remote device management, provisioning and configuration.

“ICONICS is proud to demonstrate its Microsoft Azure-based IoT solutions highlighting its commitment to Industrie 4.0 alongside Microsoft at Hannover Messe 2016,” said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS. “Such cloud-enabling technologies greatly simplify the deployment of IoT applications that will scale and be future-proof.”

“ICONICS is an excellent Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV) IoT Solution Partner,” said Caglayan Arkan, ‎GM, WW Manufacturing & Resources at Microsoft. “And, as such, provides customers with solutions that utilize the power of the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite for energy management, smart buildings and manufacturing.”

The IoT Gateway Software Suite is ICONICS’ launch pad for a new software architecture for its visualization, analytics and mobile solutions based on Microsoft Azure Service Fabric and microservices. With Service Fabric, ICONICS is utilizing Azure as a true platform as a service (PaaS) to deploy and scale applications for the new era of Industrie 4.0 and IoT deployments. This meets the need for service-based software offerings and value-added services that customers worldwide are demanding.

The real power of IoT gateways is in the implementation of low-cost hardware devices that can be placed in remote locations or just about anywhere there is information to be sent to Azure. Configuration of the ICONICS IoT Gateway Software Suite includes onboard energy management, building and industrial protocols, such as BACnet, OPC UA, Modbus, SNMP and Web services. This makes the ICONICS IoT Gateway Software Suite the ideal choice for any application.

Simatic WinCC Scada offers Greater efficiency and openness for Scada software

In the new Version 7.4 of the Simatic WinCC Scada software, Siemens is focusing on greater efficiency and openness. Furthermore, Simatic WinCC can now also be used with Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise. The WebUX option for the web-based operator control and monitoring using commercially available HTML5-compatible devices via the Internet has been considerably extended in its functionality. WebUX now supports all popular WinCC controls and enables objects to be made more dynamic by means of script. For the purpose of greater openness the channel to the Simatic S7 controllers has been extended and is now also enabled, for example, for large plants with up to128 S7-1500 controllers. In addition, a standard OPC UA client has been integrated in order to exchange data easily with third-party systems. For the exchange of data (iDoc) with MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and SAP systems, the WinCC IndustrialDataBridge option has been extended to include an XML file-based interface.
Various functional expansions in Simatic WinCC Version V 7.4 increase the engineering efficiency. The user is supported, for example, by a drag and drop facility between Configuration Studio and Graphics Designer as well as extended search and replace functions. Furthermore, bulk data can be processed purposefully in Version V 7.4 by means of a VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) interface. At runtime bar charts are now supported, and the trend and the bar-chart control has been expanded to include intuitive multi-touch gesture control, zooming and panning. For the efficient diagnosis of Simatic S7 controllers the system diagnosis control is now available.

Kepware Releases New Version of Flagship Industrial Connectivity Platform

Kepware® Technologies, a software development company focused on industrial connectivity, today announced the release of its KEPServerEX® version 5.20 software. Key enhancements offer additional device and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity for customers in several vertical industries, including Building Automation, Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas.

“Our goal with this latest product release is to balance the needs of existing installations while developing new functionality for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” said Tony Paine, Platform President, Kepware. “Our commitment to supporting today’s requirements and tomorrow’s possibilities resulted in many important updates to our flagship product—including improvements to our BACnet/IP driver and a new ThingWorx® agent that expands our IoT Gateway offering.”

The enhanced BACnet/IP driver offers users in the Building Automation Industry even more options for connectivity and control through its new support of the Accumulator Standard Object, Object-Level Command Priority, and Alarm and Event Services. These updates come amidst growing global demand—especially in Japan—driven by energy efficiency initiatives, smart building design, and system integration efforts for building automation.

The ThingWorx agent, now available in the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, provides improved interoperability with the ThingWorx IoT Platform. The agent enables users to move industrial data on the edge into ThingWorx using the secure ThingWorx binary protocol for high throughput. This not only provides a seamless user experience between the two technologies, but also advances parent-company PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) as a leading IoT software provider. Additional updates to the IoT Gateway include support for MQTT writes, Array writes, and Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS).

“Our newest research shows that over 60% of industrial companies are now working on a digital transformation initiative like Industrie 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing,” said Matthew Littlefield, President and Principal Analyst, LNS Research. “The enabling technology for these transformations is the IIoT Platform, including connectivity, cloud, big data analytics, and application development. Solutions like the Kepware IoT Gateway allow companies to cost effectively transcend traditional control hierarchies and use information in the most effective way possible.”

The release also features updates to 30 drivers and advanced plug-ins, including the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Ethernet driver with added support for firmware version 28 across L8 and L7 models from Rockwell Automation.

Rockwell Automation and OSIsoft Supply BHP Billiton With Enterprise Historian Solution

Rockwell Automation and OSIsoft have reached an agreement with BHP Billiton, the world’s largest diversified mining company, for the installation of an enterprise historian, a production intelligence platform, at the company’s iron ore operations in Australia. Design is underway with installation to be completed by the end of 2016. The enterprise historian will use FactoryTalk Historian Site Edition (SE) software from Rockwell Automation and the PI System from OSIsoft. The combination will provide BHP Billiton with visibility of real-time and historical production data across the company’s integrated supply chain of mines, rail and port facilities.

Operators will also gain access to reporting and trending tools that provide insight into performance parameters. The information can be used to identify opportunities to reduce variability, lower costs and improve productivity in operations and across the supply chain.

“An enterprise historian solution takes data and turns it into information,” said Ryan Cahalane, director of Software Product Management, Rockwell Automation. “Many producers are working on how to best leverage an intelligent automation infrastructure and the big data it produces. This is being outlined in smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and other global, manufacturing-modernization initiatives. The BHP Billiton enterprisewide effort to standardize iron ore data collection, storage and visualization will be a major step toward smarter production because it creates one version of the truth,” Cahalane explained.

“The company will be able to use this solution to compare disparate assets and operations. This is the type of information that can be transformed into operating knowledge and wisdom,” Cahalane concluded.

Brett Higgins, OSIsoft vice president of Asia Pacific, added, “The Rockwell Automation and OSIsoft combination brings together the best of industrial and enterprise data management. Our solution seamlessly leverages the company’s existing investments at a plant and enterprise level, and pulls in new information from mobile assets. With the quantity of data coming from BHP Billiton iron ore operations, an enterprise historian solution is the only way to easily put it to use.”