04242018Tue
Last updateMon, 19 Mar 2018 5am

Moxa's Serial Device Connectivity Solutions Fully Support Windows 10

In conjunction with the launch of Microsoft’s next-generation operating system, Moxa, your trusted serial partner in industrial automation, has released a new Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL)-certified driver that fully supports Windows 10 on serial device servers, terminal servers, USB-to-serial converters, and multiport serial boards. We will also be extending the driver support to Moxa’s Serial Connectivity product line in the near future.

With 25 years of experience in industrial networking solutions, Moxa offers reliable serial connectivity solutions with superior and sustained value, including serial device servers, embedded device servers, multiport serial boards, serial-to-fiber media converters, and industrial USB-to-serial converters.


Yokogawa releases FieldMate R3.02 versatile Device Management Wizard

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has significantly enhanced its FieldMate® device management software, and is releasing this as FieldMate R3.02 on August 10. FieldMate is a versatile software program used to configure, adjust, and manage a wide variety of field devices used in factories and other production sites. This latest version of FieldMate includes new functions that reduce maintenance workload by simplifying a number of field maintenance tasks.

Digital communications standards are playing an increasingly important role in communications between plant central control systems and field devices. With a number of digital communication standards in use today, plants often have devices from multiple vendors that use different standards. Software tools are thus required that have the versatility to configure, adjust, and manage these devices.

With its support of a variety of digital communication standards and its ability to configure, adjust, and manage a variety of devices from different manufacturers, FieldMate is up to this challenge. With this latest update, FieldMate has become even easier to use and improves the efficiency of field maintenance operations.

Previous FieldMate versions could run on Windows® 7 PCs and tablets. With release 3.02, FieldMate can now be used on PCs and tablets that run Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10. This is particularly significant because Windows 7 and 10 tablets are increasingly being used in the field by maintenance personnel.
Additional key new features of FieldMate R3.02 are as follows:

  1. One-click (touch) operation for complex procedures
  2. Easy comparison with past settings
  3. FieldMate Validator

Cisco and NI Collaborate to Introduce Early Access Technology for Time Sensitive Networking

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today an early access technology platform for Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) as part of its continued commitment to support the development of new standard technologies for synchronization and communications. In coordination with Cisco and Intel, NI is pleased to empower customers to build distributed systems that perform synchronized I/O, code execution and deterministic communication for distributed control and measurement loops, all using standard Ethernet. Engineers are using this platform to help vet the technology in ecosystem activities including the Industrial Internet Consortium TSN Testbed for smart manufacturing. In addition, lead customers are leveraging this technology: the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering of RWTH Aachen University for advancements in next-generation computer numeric control machining, EUV Tech for novel semiconductor processing machines and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for future electrical grid research. NI’s participation in standards bodies such as the AVnu Alliance, IEEE 802.1, IEEE 1588, Internet Engineering Task Force and OPC Foundation helps impart lessons learned through real-world usage with the goal of creating a common approach for deterministic communication and synchronized timing over standard converged Ethernet.

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working to address challenges to the stability and control of the world’s power grids caused by the accelerating deployment of distributed renewable energy sources,” said Mark Buckner, power and energy systems group leader at ORNL. “In partnership with NI and Cisco, we are demonstrating how Time Sensitive Networking can enable an unprecedented level of microgrid coordination and control, significantly increasing the resiliency of power delivery systems.”

TSN delivers mechanisms to create distributed, synchronized, hard real-time systems over standard Ethernet. These systems use the same infrastructure to provide real-time control and communicate all standard IT data, powering convergence of control, measurement, configuration, UI and file exchange infrastructure. This is expected to fundamentally change system design and maintenance by offering network convergence, secure control traffic and high performance.

New IO-Link Master Brings Smart Diagnostics to Harsh Industrial Environments

Manufacturers and industrial operators can now access more detailed sensor diagnostics in harsh operating environments using the IP67-rated, Allen-Bradley ArmorBlock IO-Link master from Rockwell Automation. The device builds on the company’s IO-Link portfolio with event and process timestamping capabilities for on-machine applications.

The new IO-Link master stores up to 40 timestamps of sensor events on each channel. This event history can help users track changes and more easily diagnose issues. Input timestamps of all sensor data also can be sent to the controller upon a change of state. These and other diagnostics available through the device can reduce issue-resolution time by as much as 90 percent, improve preventive maintenance and optimize overall system performance.

“The ArmorBlock IO-Link master with IO-Link-enabled sensors can aid end users in creating smarter operations without a complete overhaul,” said Kevin Gagliostro, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “They can deploy the technology to monitor temperature, and margin-indication or proximity parameters in critical processes. They can also target problem areas where better diagnostics are needed to remedy issues.”

While the new ArmorBlock IO-Link master is ruggedized for use in harsh applications, the Rockwell Automation portfolio also includes an in-cabinet solution for light applications. The on-machine option requires only a single cable from the cabinet, reducing the number and length of cable runs and potential failure points.

The ArmorBlock IO-Link master includes connectivity for up to eight IO-Link sensors. The master and sensors share an IP address, helping end users reduce the cost and time to commission equipment.

Product WebPage

Yokogawa Invests in Silicon Valley-based Fog Computing Startup - Strengthening use of IIoT

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has invested in FogHorn Systems, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup that is a leading developer of fog computing technology. Through its investment in this company, Yokogawa aims to foster their development of fog computing technology. In so doing, Yokogawa hopes to expand the range of solutions that it provides.

Due to the widening use of cloud computing services and the huge number of devices that have access to cloud resources, there is a growing concern over issues such as network congestion and data processing delays. Fog computing* is gaining traction as a technology solution to this problem.

FogHorn Systems, a pioneer in the development of software for fog computing applications with outstanding expertise in this field, has attracted the interest of various companies that are promoting IoT. Led by March Capital and GE Ventures, the company has succeeded in raising $12 million in funding from multiple investors, including Yokogawa, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, and Darling Ventures. There is also a group of investors who invested in the company prior to this round of fundraising. Yokogawa's stake in the company is worth $900,000.

Yokogawa offers a wide range of control solutions that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their operations and make the most effective use of their assets. These solutions include field instruments, control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and management information systems. Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology is making rapid inroads in the control field, and it is expected that fog computing's enabling of real-time and distributed processing in edge computing applications will significantly accelerate its adoption.

Through this investment in FogHorn Systems, Yokogawa will gain access to the latest fog computing technologies and will also make available its knowledge and expertise in process control and plant operations that will help this company further refine its fog computing technology. Yokogawa aims to make use of fog computing to strengthen the solutions that it provides.

Yokogawa has drawn up a long-term business framework and formulated a vision statement that reads, Through "Process Co-Innovation," Yokogawa creates new value with our clients for a brighter future. "Process Co-Innovation" is a concept for an automation business that will utilize all of Yokogawa's measurement, control and information technologies. According to this statement, Yokogawa will seek not only to optimize production processes but also the flow of material and information within and between companies, including their value and supply chains. This concept covers all solutions of Yokogawa, which is committed to working with customers to create value. The effective use of IIoT is key to "Process Co-Innovation."

Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa vice president and head of the company's Marketing Headquarters, had the following to say about this investment: "Highly reliable and stable communications are an essential requirement in manufacturing and many other fields. Fog computing is a breakthrough that helps to enhance the use of cloud resources. It is also expected to provide Yokogawa many more opportunities to utilize IIoT in its control business. Based on its corporate brand slogan of 'Co-innovating tomorrow,' Yokogawa will utilize FogHorn's technology to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with its customers and partners.

Cisco and NI collaborate to introduce Technology Platform for Time Sensitive Networking

National Instruments, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today an early access technology platform for Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) as part of its continued commitment to support the development of new standard technologies for synchronization and communications. In coordination with Cisco and Intel, NI is pleased to empower customers to build distributed systems that perform synchronized I/O, code execution and deterministic communication for distributed control and measurement loops, all using standard Ethernet. Engineers are using this platform to help vet the technology in ecosystem activities including the Industrial Internet Consortium TSN Testbed for smart manufacturing. In addition, lead customers are leveraging this technology: the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering of RWTH Aachen University for advancements in next-generation computer numeric control machining, EUV Tech for novel semiconductor processing machines and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for future electrical grid research. NI’s participation in standards bodies such as the AVnu Alliance, IEEE 802.1, IEEE 1588, Internet Engineering Task Force and OPC Foundation helps impart lessons learned through real-world usage with the goal of creating a common approach for deterministic communication and synchronized timing over standard converged Ethernet.

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working to address challenges to the stability and control of the world’s power grids caused by the accelerating deployment of distributed renewable energy sources,” said Mark Buckner, power and energy systems group leader at ORNL. “In partnership with NI and Cisco, we are demonstrating how Time Sensitive Networking can enable an unprecedented level of microgrid coordination and control, significantly increasing the resiliency of power delivery systems.”

TSN delivers mechanisms to create distributed, synchronized, hard real-time systems over standard Ethernet. These systems use the same infrastructure to provide real-time control and communicate all standard IT data, powering convergence of control, measurement, configuration, UI and file exchange infrastructure. This is expected to fundamentally change system design and maintenance by offering network convergence, secure control traffic and high performance.

Yokogawa's CENTUM® VP R6 Receives the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that its CENTUM® VP R6 integrated production control system has received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize. The receipt of this prize was confirmed today. This is the second time a CENTUM system has received this honor, which is the highest Machine Industry Design Award; the CENTUM-XL distributed control system won the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize in 1989.

The Machine Industry Design Awards were established in 1970 to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a highly influential daily newspaper that covers business and technology. Sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and supported by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and various other industrial organizations, this award program aims to advance and improve the design of mainly industrial products. The evaluation committee consists of experts from various government agencies, universities, and industrial organizations. The committee assesses products with a focus on quality and safety, as well as next-generation design that represents a step forward for industry.

Yokogawa's highly reliable CENTUM series plant production control and monitoring systems are the core product platform for the company's control business. For our latest offering, CENTUM VP R6, we have added a N-IO (Network-I/O) device to our product lineup. I/O devices are an important element of the control system, and the N-IO device has unique I/O modules that can accommodate any signal type. All users need to do is change the software setting. This eliminates the need to change the I/O modules and do a lot of re-wiring when, for example, a decision is made during a plant construction project to change to a different sensor type, thus keeping project delays to a minimum. In terms of design, the same bright color scheme is employed for the I/O modules including the LED display area, and the modules all also have the same friendly rounded features. This unified design concept serves to communicate that these modules all work together for improved safety and reliability.

Kepware releases KEPServerEX V5.21 to expand Interoperability with ThingWorx IoT Platform

Kepware Technologies, a PTC business developing industrial connectivity software, today announced the release of KEPServerEX® version 5.21. The release extends the connectivity options available within KEPServerEX and expands interoperability with the ThingWorx® IoT Platform, further enabling the rapid development and deployment of smart-connected solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT).

KEPServerEX version 5.21 introduces the new ThingWorx native client interface, a fully-integrated solution built to provide rapid connection to industrial things—including PLCs, RTUs, PACs, DAQs, controllers, and more. The ThingWorx native client interface extends KEPServerEX and leverages Kepware’s library of 150+ communication drivers to provide real-time, bi-directional industrial controls data to the ThingWorx IoT Platform.

“This latest product release improves upon what is already the industry’s strongest solution for IoT connectivity and rapid app development,” said Tony Paine, Platform President, Kepware. “The integration provided through the new ThingWorx native client interface gives customers and ThingWorx application developers access to even more options for connectivity and control—streamlining operational efficiencies and delivering better results.”

The update also features a KEPServerEX Extension for the ThingWorx IoT Platform, which allows users to quickly and easily connect and configure ThingWorx-developed applications to KEPServerEX. The extension automatically configures a KEPServerEX remote thing template within ThingWorx and provides services to browse, read, write, and interact with the configuration. It is provided free of charge with the KEPServerEX installation or through the ThingWorx Marketplace.

“At PTC, we are firmly committed to ensuring that the solutions across our entire IoT portfolio are intuitive and highly interoperable,” said Rob Gremley, Group President, Technology Platform Group, PTC. “Customers who choose to standardize on technology from PTC can trust that we are going to provide a seamless experience. This latest release from Kepware is a testament to that commitment.”

Rockwell Automation SequenceManager Solution Offers Increased Functionality, Scalabilit

In today’s processing environment, modern batch systems must account for the growing need for flexible, scalable solutions, true distribution of control, and responsive functionality. To address this, Rockwell Automation has introduced its new SequenceManager solution, which enables powerful and flexible sequencing capabilities of the batch process at the controller, offering increased functionality for skids, off-network systems and single-unit controls.

Leveraging a Logix-based controller platform from Rockwell Automation, the SequenceManager solution allows operators to configure, view and obtain critical information about batch sequences stored in the controller, increasing visibility and accessibility to all stages of the production process.

“The SequenceManager solution allows the user to deliver fast and reliable sequence execution while reducing infrastructure costs for standalone units and complete skid-based system functionality,” says Dan UpDyke, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “This scalable solution brings plantwide control capabilities of a modern batch control, for both small and medium-sized operations.”

Key capabilities of the solution include:

  • Intuitive operations – Modern interfaces, workflows and accessibility features empower operators to focus on production needs instead of managing system navigation and manual interventions, and view standardized batch reporting for seamless integration with other Rockwell Automation products.
  • Highly scalable architecture – OEMs can develop, test and deliver skids as fully functioning, standalone equipment that can seamlessly integrate into a site’s existing batch strategy without the need to redeploy the code. End users will realize efficiencies in integration and reduced infrastructure costs that traditional batch solutions may normally require.
  • Flexible, yet secure – Takes advantage of ISA-88 standard methodologies and state transitions, while getting all of the security and benefits of Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer and FactoryTalk View SE software from Rockwell Automation.
  • Increased responsiveness – Placing the recipe and sequencing in the controller enables the SequenceManager solution to control high-speed and time-dependent processes through rapid response and secured connectivity.