New Diagnostic Tools Cut Downtime
New functionality in Siemens TIA Portal enables technicians to better pinpoint root causes on the production floor to get systems up and running more quickly.
Many obstacles can cause delays in diagnosing and fixing problems when production systems are down. Is there a copy of the most recent version of the code? If not, can what's running on the machine be easily uploaded to the technician's PC? If the technician does have the latest copy of the code, how can he or she verify that this is actually what is running on the machine? How easily can the technician get online with the machine to monitor or modify the running code?
Read this article to learn about new powerful diagnostic tools that address all these questions and more, thanks to new functionality that has been built into the Siemens TIA Portal... Read more
Whitelisting vs. Blacklisting: A more Secure Approach for Preventing Malware Attacks
Traditional blacklisting approach allows any software to run unless it's identified as bad by the antivirus software. Whitelisting turns this paradigm on its head, and permits only those patches and software that have been verified by the user.
Over the past several years, the use of whitelisting technology to supplement blacklisting-based malware detection tools has gained and maintained momentum, particularly among original equipment manufacturers. Recent compatibility tests of whitelisting techniques conducted by Siemens have proved successful, enabling the use of whitelisting protection mechanisms with Siemens SIMATIC products.
“Antivirus technology, which is called blacklisting, has been the traditional way that people have handled PC security,” says Howard W. Page, OEM/embedded account manager at McAfee, Inc. “Blacklisting is unwieldy and doesn't apply well to devices that are part of Siemens systems. Because of that, it makes sense to use a different way to protect those systems, and that is what whitelisting technology is all about.”... Read more
Re-engineering a Machine to Make, Store, Package, and Vend Ice
Siemens components enable Kooler Ice to offer reliable operation while eliminating wiring and components. iPhone app informs machine owners of bags remaining and funds collected, and notifies when there's a jam.
“When we originally met Kooler Ice, they were taking parts designed for a Coca Cola machine and repurposing them to work inside their ice vending machine,” says Keith Jones, president of Prism Systems, a Siemens solution partner. “They had a Coca Cola controller board inside their machine, and they were fooling it to think that it was running a Coke machine when it was really vending ice. They used a bunch of relays and a PLC to do that. When we met them, they were spending a lot of money on cabling and relays, because what they had to do was very complex.”
Working with Prism, Kooler Ice simplified the machine's wiring, eliminated the relays, and pulled them all into a PLC. Then they incorporated an off-the-shelf cellular modem to transmit data from the machines back to a database and developed a website where they could be monitored.
Read the full case application to learn how the Coke controller was eventually eliminated and how real-time communication was added via an iPhone app.... Read more