Just as all roads led to Rome, most if not all cornerstone functions of process control have been melding into more unified, multi-role devices. One of the leading expressions of this coalescence is Bedrock Automation's new Open Secure Automation (OSA) Remote high-performance controller, which combines PLC, RTU and edge control, universal I/O and intrinsic cybersecurity into a compact, rugged, standalone module that's ideal for remote monitoring and control.
Two models will be available: OSA Remote R10 with 10 soft-selectable channels and OSA Remote R20 with 20 soft-selectable channels. OSA Remote also features free IEC 61131-3 engineering software, wide operating temperature range (-40 °C to 80 C°), all-metal enclosure, and pricing below conventional, top-of-the-line mini PLCs or RTUs. It's also rated Class I, Div. 2, non-incendive.
“Many utilities, oil and gas producers, and other remote users want the intrinsic security, software-definable I/O, open-engineering environment and high performance of our original OSA system, but need fewer than 20 I/O, and don't need the higher channel count and redundancy our backplane provides," says Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock founder and CEO. "For those applications, we've packed Bedrock functionality into a unified, wall-mounted module. We integrated many of the technologies from the larger Bedrock OSA, including our advanced mixed-signal and digital ASICs and our array of intrinsic cybersecurity capabilities, into a much smaller and lower-cost footprint. This drives the expense of engineering, implementing, operating and securing edge automation to record lows, and reduces other costs and security barriers to IIoT and Industrie 4.0 business innovation."
Beyond reducing the costs of PLC, RTU and edge control, and increasing their capabilities, OSA Remote delivers:
- Universal I/O: Each OSA Remote channel can be programmed for analog, discrete and digital connectivity, supporting pulse, AI/AO, DI/DO and HART 7 with configurable serial and Ethernet ports that support BSAP, RS-232/485/422, Ethernet IP, ModBusTCP, 61850, DNP3, Profinet, DeviceNet, CAN bus and BACnet.
- Open connectivity: OSA Remote provides a secure SCADA uplink for secure OPC UA, and will support MQTT and DDS later this year. Network channels include one universal serial, two universal Ethernet and one CAN bus.
- Free engineering software: Where most suppliers charge thousands of dollars in license fees for engineering software, Bedrock Automation provides IEC 61131-3 standard software that's free for an unlimited number of users.
- Computing power: With cyber-secure, multi-core ARM processors, 512 Mbytes of RAM, MRAM for retained variables and a supercapacitor to retain firmware for years without power, OSA Remote has the computation and communication bandwidth to run edge control and analytical software.
- Large memory storage: With computing power will come the need for high-density storage. Starting with 8 GB and 32 GB, users have the runway to future-proof applications at the edge.
- Small footprint: Besides needing fewer modules thanks to its programmability, OSA Remote is only 5.5 x 8.9 in. and takes up minimal cabinet space.
- Intrinsic cyber security: OSA Remote's intrinsic, automatic, to-the-edge cybersecurity reduces the need for costly, bolt-on firewalls, intrusion detection and devices of limited effectiveness. It also provides Cybershield 3.0 software with anomaly detection.
"We started with the core technology and built-in security of Bedrock OSA, and achieved a form factor and low cost that will let us bring its remote PLC and RTU advantages to everyone," adds Rooyakkers. "Traditional controllers can't bring these capabilities together, but OSA Remote can do it, and scale to the smallest footprint for an RTU or mini PLC. This is what drives down operation and lifecycle costs, and enables OSA Remote users to deploy highly distributed, edge architectures. This is the IIoT vision for tomorrow, but now anyone can afford it today."
By 4Q18, OSA Remote is expected to have MiL-STD-461-G EMP hardening and Achilles Level 2 cybersecurity certification.
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