Find out how Bedrock Automation can secure your infrastructure with the next generation industrial control system with a revolutionary electro-magnetic backplane architecture and deeply embedded cyber security for the highest levels of system performance, security and reliability at the lowest system cost – all backed by a five-year warranty!

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Below are FAQs on getting started with Bedrock (Intro), as well as Bedrock hardware, software, and security. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please fill out the form and we will reply as quickly as possible.

What is the best single document to review Bedrock product specifications, features and benefits?

The Bedrock® OSA® Platform Specifications which can be found here.

What does OSA® mean?

OSA® stands for Open Secure Automation. Bedrock’s platform is based on open standards, intrinsic security, and advanced automation. All aspects of reliability, security, and total cost of ownership have been factored into the design and development of the Bedrock Automation OSA® platform.

What are project archives and how are they created?

Creating a project archive allows the project, information files, library profile, referenced libraries, and referenced devices to be saved as well. To create a project archive:

  • Select File > Project Archive > Save/Send Archive
  • Check the box next to each item that is to be saved in the archive
    • Additional Files can also be packed in the archive by clicking on Additional Files and selecting more files to add
  • Click on Save to open the Save As dialog box, name the file, and choose a location

What are the differences between Input Values, Output Values, and Requested Values?

  • Output Values
    • The value the controller instructed the output to be
  • Requested Values
    • The output value of the SIO module read by the controller
  • Input Values
    • The actual value that the module is reading as an input or the readback value

What changes can be made to a program or configuration that require a download?

Adding new hardware or modifying objects like Data Sources Manager will require a download. Most other changes can be made as an online change without interruption to the running program. There is an icon in the IDE that will alert the user if an online change is required. Double clicking on the icon will list all the changes made to the project and show what is preventing an online change.

How frequently is the firmware for the Bedrock system released? How is it distributed when it is released? How is firmware updated?

Bedrock will be released firmware as Service Packs when a new firmware is available. To update a controller/module to the latest available firmware:

  • Ensure the latest released version of the Bedrock IDE is installed. If it has not been installed, please follow this link to download and install it
  • Go to Tools > Device Management
  • Select the controller and click Upgrade Firmware
  • Select the controller and select the latest firmware from the dropdown list
    • If there are modules nested under the controller, they can be updated as well
  • Click Start to begin the firmware upgrade
  • Once the Firmware Upgrade window shows “Complete” the new firmware version will be displayed

What is the best single document to review Bedrock product specifications, features and benefits?

The Bedrock® OSA® Platform Specifications which can be found here.

What is Black Fabric® Communication?

The Black Fabric® communication consists of galvanically isolated, full-duplex communication channels. One or two channels are dedicated to the SPM modules while the remaining channels are dedicated to SIO modules. The number of channels available for controllers, SPMs, and I/O modules is dependent upon the BMI and Controller Type.

Each SIO module has the connections to a Controller. Each SIO module has a dedicated full-duplex four-wire bus connecting the Controllers and SIO modules. This allows a Controller to receive SIO data directly into its registers.

Why does the Bedrock System feel hot?

The entire system works as a large heat sink. A typical controller will release its heat using convection out of vents. The Bedrock controller uses conduction to pull heat from the components. The module cases act as heatsinks, which allow the boards to run at uniform temperatures, eliminating hotspots, and prolonging the life of the boards.

What are the environmental conditions of the Bedrock system?

The storage temperature and humidity of the hardware is -40°C to 85°C and 5% to 95% non-condensing humidity.

The operating temperature is dependent upon the BMI type and type of power supplied to a single SPM. The operating temperatures are summarized:

NOTE: The maximum operating temperature for SIO4.E and UCG.5 modules when using PoE is 70°C. The maximum operating temperature for SIO4.E and UCG.5 modules when not using PoE is 80°C.

*The SPS input voltage range is 85 to 264 VAC

What is MRAM?

All Bedrock Controllers have configurable magneto resistive RAM (MRAM) available, up to 252 kB. This allows control programs to have access for storage and retrieval of persistent or retained variables. The values of persistent and retained variables persist during power cycles without the need of an energy storage device (i.e. PLC battery).

What is the minimum scan period?

The minimum scan period is 3ms

What are the differences between the UCG and 4.E modules?

The UCG and 4.E are both modules used for Ethernet communication. The 4.E is limited to Modbus TCP, EtherNet/IP, and communication with the UPS/SPS. The UCG can do everything the 4.E can plus acts as an OPC UA server and can run Codesys applications. The UCG also contains 128 MB of RAM and 252 KB of MRAM.

Are the I/O modules hot swappable?

Yes, the I/O modules are hot swappable.

What redundancy options are available for the Bedrock hardware?

The BMI.10 and BMI.20 both have the option of redundant power, control, and I/O when using SCCs

What options are available for Remote I/O?

Additional BMIs can be added to a system and peer to peer communication can be established between controllers.

What are the OSA Remote, SPM, SPS, and UPS Input Voltages?

SCC vs SCS vs OSA Remote?

The OSA Remote is designed to provide remote applications with power, control, and I/O in a single transportable unit that can be configured and programmed on a desktop and then mounted at a remote location. Each OSA Remote provides either ten or twenty universal, secure input/output channels, in addition, to support for serial and Ethernet I/O.

Secure Control and Communication (SCC) Controllers support up to twenty SIO modules, provide a second Ethernet port, and offer Controller redundancy. Redundant power is also supported.

Secure Controller Single (SCS) Controllers are available in the two models described below. Redundant Controllers are not supported by either model.

  • SCS.10 Controllers support up to ten SIO modules
  • SCS.5 Controllers support up to five SIO modules
  • Redundant power is supported for SCS Controllers when mounted on a BMI.10 or BMI.20

What is the most cost-effective way to scale up to a Redundant DCS-like system?

When initially designing a system, use BMI.10 or BMI.20 backplanes. This will ensure that CPU redundancy can be achieved by simply adding an SCC to slot 2 of the BMI. Competing automation manufactures need more than one backplane to implement redundancy, where Bedrock accomplishes it with just one.

Does being the chip manufacturer allow for faster turn-around time for returns or replacements?

Being the chip manufacturer does not allow for faster returns or replacements, that would depend on the inventory maintained at Bedrock. However, it does allow us to ensure the non-obsolescence of our products.

What are the benefits of “no-active electronic” backplane and why?

The Backplane Magnetic Interconnect (BMI) is Bedrock’s passive backplane, which provides mechanical support and electrical connection for the controller, SPM, and SIO modules. Any combination of SIO modules can be installed in slots 1 through 5, 10, or 20 (depending on the model). The orientation of the SIO modules does not matter and modules can be flipped to make wiring easier. However, the slots/orientation for the controllers and power modules are fixed.

What should the Interface be when configuring an ethernet port?

Where can the SPS and UPS be mounted?

Both the SPS and UPS were designed with the intent of being mounted externally to the control enclosure. Both units are compliant with IP66/67 (dust tight, protection against water jets, and immersion) and NEMA ratings 4, 5, and 6 (watertight, dust tight, and immersible). Options for mounting include pipe or panel.

What is the typical holdup time for the UPS?

What are some reliability benefits of using a UPS and SPS on a Bedrock OSA system?

When utilizing the SPS and UPS with an SPM.U (universal BMI power module), wiring can be done to allow the ability of taking either the SPS or UPS offline for maintenance purposes without affecting the BMI and its’ modules. The UPS does not require battery maintenance and the life expectancy of the UPS is 25+ years.

Can an SPS and or UPS be used with any other PLC or DCS?

Yes, the SPS and or UPS can complement any PLC or DCS and provide a reliable cybersecure power solution.

How do you configure an SPS and UPS?

Configuration parameters for the both the SPS and UPS are accessed via the Device Management Tool in the Bedrock IDE software. The Device Management Tool is also where the SPS and UPS network configuration is located.

What methods are used to monitor the values and diagnostics within the SPS and UPS?

Any HMI or SCADA software that supports OPC UA will be able to monitor any and all diagnostic values from the SPS and UPS.

Can the SPS and UPS be used without Ethernet communications?

Yes. Both units ship with a default configuration.

What HMIs are supported?

Bedrock has an embedded web server for visualizations and works with any HMI that supports the OPC UA, MQTT, Modbus, or EtherNet/IP protocols.

What are the IEC61131-3 Languages?

The IEC 61131-3 programming languages are five standard programming languages for both process and discrete controllers. The following languages are all supported in the Bedrock IDE:

  • Ladder Diagram (LD)
  • Sequential Function Chart (SFC)
  • Structured Text (ST)
  • Function Block Diagram (FBD)
  • Continuous Function Chart (CFC)

What Fieldbus Protocols are supported?

Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, EtherNet/IP, and HART

What is Data Sources Manager?

Data Sources Manager allows communication to be established to remote devices

Does Bedrock have and maintain libraries? Can custom libraries be created?

Bedrock does maintain a library of useful tools, which gets released and updated with the IDE or included in a service pack update. Custom libraries can be created and maintained with the Bedrock IDE

Can libraries from the Codesys Store be added and used in the IDE?

Yes, libraries from the Codesys Store, such as the OSCAT Basic Library can be added and used in program in the Bedrock IDE.

What does Software Configurable I/O mean?

Each I/O Module has different parameters/options that can be configured via the Bedrock IDE. These options are dependent on the module type. In general, the input/output type, failsafe mode, etc. can be configured per I/O point with the Bedrock IDE. There are no hardware defining physical switches on any of the modules or controllers, everything is defined within the application.

How are Source Upload and Source Download used?

  • Source Download
    • To download the source code to the PLC, go to File > Source Download
  • Source Upload
    • To load the source code from the PLC, go to File > Source Upload
    • Select the controller with the source code and click OK
    • From the Extract Project dialog box, select the location to extract the source code to
    • A prompt to open the extracted project archive will pop up, click Yes to open it

What is the best single document to review Bedrock product specifications, features and benefits?

The Bedrock® OSA® Platform Specifications which can be found here.

What are .X Certificates?

.X Certificates are Transport Layer Security (TLS) X.509 certificates and can be used to further limit unauthorized access to the Bedrock Control System. The .X security option enables an organization to manage a family of certificates for its users and devices based on its own unique root of trust.  Access to and operation of OSA system devices then requires these custom certificates.  All other access is denied.

What does PKI stand for?

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a technology for authenticating users and devices in the digital world. It also provides the mechanisms for managing secure encrypted communications. It is the technology that enables secure Internet commerce. The basic idea is to have one or more trusted parties digitally sign documents certifying that a particular cryptographic key belongs to a particular user or device.

How are keys and certificates managed?

Bedrock keys and certificates are managed by a special high security computer called a DLM.  Users of .X certificates manage their certificates using a cloud-based interface.  The DLM is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified.

What is secure boot?

Secure boot is the process that ensures that a device is running the correct software.  It requires microprocessor with special features.  Execution starts with software on the processor chip.  The rest of the software is encrypted and signed.  The decryption keys are stored in special hidden registers.  Software updates are also encrypted and signed to ensure they can come only from Bedrock.

Do the security features slow the Bedrock system performance?

No. The Bedrock system is a high performance control system and security is designed in to ensure that it does not affect system speed and performance.

Does the system have an active anti-tamper? Are there options to determine if tamper is detected?

Physical tamper protection that is designed for compliance with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 (SPMs, SIO modules, and Controllers)