Secure HMI/SCADA software supports handheld, desktop thin clients

Austin, TX — InduSoft Web Studio now supports two types of remote application viewers: a dedicated viewer for plant-floor operations—where navigation must be restricted to specific HMI/SCADA applications—and a Microsoft Internet Explorer-based browser that enables full access to any authorized IP address or application. Up to 128 simultaneous viewing clients of each type are supported.<br/>

12/17/2007


Austin, TX — InduSoft Web Studio now supports two types of remote application viewers: a dedicated viewer for plant-floor operations—where navigation must be restricted to specific HMI/SCADA applications—and a Microsoft Internet Explorer-based browser that enables full access to any authorized IP address or application. Up to 128 simultaneous viewing clients of each type are supported.

“The automation industry is increasingly using thin clients as a means of remotely monitoring and controlling machine operations and processes,” said Marcia Gadbois, vice president of business development at InduSoft. “Use of these thin clients provides improved visibility into manufacturing operations and a low-cost means for production data access. Competitive solutions typically support a limited number of clients, require terminal services, or display only static Web pages, relying on users to refresh the screen manually.”

“Our new client solution offers unparalleled performance and a highly scalable interface,” said Gadbois at a press conference in November 2007. “And you can now secure the application—something that wasn’t really possible until now,” she added.

The InduSoft Secure Viewer enables secure access to InduSoft Web Studio HMI/SCADA applications using PCs, handheld PDAs, and tablet PCs over wired or wireless connections. Internet communications to remote locations over unsecured networks can also be encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Socket Layer, RC6 Standard 128-bit encryption technology), providing the highest possible level of security.

Gadbois said the client solution has a built-in data server that uses “a sophisticated data push technology” to automatically update client screens in real-time as new data is acquired. The client can be configured to monitor machine or process operation, or to initiate commands by any authorized user from any authorized station—locally and remotely. In the case of a hardware failure, the viewer can automatically switch over to a secondary server.

InduSoft ’s HMI/SCADA client release includes :

  • InduSoft Secure Viewer, a dedicated application viewer. Plant floor devices such as HMIs, Industrial PCs, and PDAs can all be restricted to specified HMI/SCADA applications. This new feature prevents operators from unauthorized access to other applications and system controls. InduSoft Secure Viewer runs on all supported Microsoft Windows operating systems including Windows CE, Windows XP, and Windows Vista devices. PCs, industrial computers, and handheld PDAs, both wired and wireless are supported.

  • Secure communications. Integrated Web tunneling support allows the built-in data server to work with the Web server (Microsoft IIS, for example) to provide secure, encrypted communications between the server and one or more clients. This level of encryption is often used when communications over the Internet or other unsecured networks is required. An embedded firewall that prevents unauthorized access to data from unknown IP addresses is also included.

  • Redundant Web and data servers with automatic failover.

  • Support for a large number of viewing clients. The data push technology employed by the integrated data server results in a reduced impact on computing resources compared to other solutions in the industry, according to the company. Up to 128 dedicated viewers and 128 Internet Explorer-based browsers can be supported simultaneously.

InduSoft’s RealTime Performance Management solution, which employs a PC server that runs an InduSoft Web Studio-based application, enables the definition of key performance indicators (KPIs). Manufacturing and process plant personnel gather real-time data from PLCs, PCs, DCSs and historians, as well as ERP programs, MES and WRP software, and that data is used to create KPIs in real-time or in historic reports. Operational and management personnel using SPC, trending, and financial impact assessment software can display and analyze the KPIs to facilitate improved organizational efficiency.

“RealTime Performance Management makes it possible for everyone in the plant to analyze key performance metrics,” said Gadbois. “Process engineers, executives, and other key individuals all have access to the same critical data and can create reports tailored to meet their unique needs. Because our software has built-in thin client capability, anyone who needs access to specific information can get what they need quickly and easily.”
InduSoft, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, makes products that run on Microsoft Mobile, Microsoft CE and Microsoft Vista operating systems.

InduSoft Web Studio v6.1 SP3 is the latest available version

.

A

whitepaper tells how HAAS Automation is using InduSoft-based
applications to store production data

, which can then be used to
establish trend lines.

—Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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