The world's most capable, rugged and secure
industrial control system...
Introducing Bedrock OSA® Remote
- Intrinsically-secure PLC and RTU control
- 10 or 20 channels of universal I/O
- Free IEC 61131-3 engineering software
- -40ºC to +80ºC temperature range
- Rugged, all-metal case 5.4 in x 8.9 in x 2.3 in
Top Ten Maintenance-Related Questions for Your Automation Vendor
May 26, 2022 | Robert Bergman
When automation systems go down, all eyes turn to the maintenance team. Making the right decision when purchasing PLCs, RTUs or DCSs can reduce the risk of operational downtime. Here are ten questions that you – or your automation purchasing team – could be asking before making future automation investments.
Is the housing metal or plastic? Control modules should be enclosed in sealed all-metal housing. This extends the life of electronics and provides tamper resistance against cyber digital and cyber physical threats. Power supplies should be IP67 rated to resist water, dust and corrosion. If properly designed, all metal housing can help resist electromagnetic pulse (EMP) as well.
Are there cooling vents that expose internal components? Conventional control system modules require cooling vents that impart dust and corrosive moisture and gases that damage passive and active electronic components. When designed properly in metal enclosures, no forced draft cooling is required as heat is evenly conducted and dissipated away from the electronics, further enhancing reliability.
What is the temperature operating range? Extreme and transient temperatures accelerate all forms of failure modes in electronic modules and assemblies. Automation systems should be tested and certified to operate over a very wide temperature range such as – 40°C and +80°C without external heating or cooling compensation.
Is cyber security protection built in or would it have to be added on later? Cyberattacks are a perpetual risk factor for digital control systems. Control systems should thus be designed with the technologies that enable intrinsic authentication and encryption of all software and transactions with the system modules and networks.
Can it connect securely to private and public networks using standard open protocols? The ability to monitor automation remotely over private or public networks is key to a modern operational paradigm. Automation systems should be equipped to deploy TLS and PKI and run modern open protocols such as OPC UA and MQTT.
What is the footprint? Today’s automation systems must squeeze into tight cabinet spaces. The smaller the footprint, the lower the cost.
Does it have built-in diagnostics? Maintenance and Operations will always benefit from real time diagnostics on system modules and networks.
Is it Made in America? With some automation vendors quoting lead times of up to nine months on some automation products, availability of parts is an emergent concern. Automation products that are made and sourced from a secure supply chain in the US could prove less vulnerable to disruptions in international supply chains.
What are the initial and annual costs for software development tools? Most automation vendors charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to license their integrated development environment, IDE. Control system development tools should be zero cost.
How long is the warranty? Warranties should be more than the typical 1-2 years. A 5-year warranty will reduce risks and costs to the user.
Go here for more detail on how Bedrock Automation products make life easier for maintenance teams with sealed, all metal enclosures; the broadest temperature operating range in the industry; intrinsic cyber security; secure communications; small footprint with high scalability; built-in diagnostics; secure made-in-America component supply chain; free IDE and a 5-year warranty.