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Automation Technologies 2/2015

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Automation Technologies 2/2015

Worldwide remote

Worldwide remote services: secure and downward compatible Martin Ortgies Zippe Industrieanlagen is an equipment manufacturer that provides systems for the glass industry in 75 countries. This is a major challenge for service provision. The equipment manufacturer has been using remote services for the past 20 years. This enables them to react quickly when system errors occur, and to provide an additional range of services. Author: Martin Ortgies. self-employed editor The company develops, manufactures and modernizes glass batch plants and cullet plants for the international glass industry. Plant technologies such as scraper conveyors, crushers, glass batch chargers and glass level controllers are manufactured as oneoffs, tailored to the individual requirements of the customer. Global support Zippe currently uses remote services for 200 installations in 75 countries. Every new plant is now equipped with the mGuard remote services infrastructure by Innominate. This technology facilitates remote maintenance via broadband and secure IP/ VPN connections. “Real-time problem diagnosis and problem solving is becoming increasingly important, because spontaneous, unpredictable errors cannot be ruled out in such complex systems. The customer AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015

INDUSTRIAL COMMUNICATION next page often finds it difficult to carry out a quick, targeted problem analysis and to introduce and implement the necessary troubleshooting measures”, is how Thorsten Zimpel, Head of Process Control System at Zippe Industrieanlagen, describes the reasons why remote services are of such major importance. Specialists can provide worldwide support for the commissioning of every system from their headquarters in Wertheim, Baden-Württemberg. The use of broadband connections has opened new possibilities for remote services, because in a modern plant, a software update alone can already amount to several 100 MB. During the warranty period, the performance of the system is continuously optimized via remote services and even after the warranty period has expired, online access is used to resolve errors or provide additional maintenance and services in line with the customer‘s order. “Remote services mean that we can employ less staff on-site, while expanding our service offering at the same time. In case of more distant system locations, the investment in the technical components already pays for itself after only one saved trip”, according to Zimpel. Optimizing performance Modern systems, such as fully automatic glass batch production systems, are controlled and monitored by automation devices, weighing and dosing computers, as well as networked control systems. The control system provides numerous “adjustment screws” to fine-tune such complex systems for optimum performance. Remote services make it possible to retrieve statistical functions which are used to control product quality. The analysis of this data indicates whether the scales are still within the tolerance range, dispensing services and dispensing times become visible, and operating protocols provide an insight into the control of the system. Many customers request the assistance of Zippe technicians with the correct interpretation of the data and the resulting measures to be derived from it. But before service technicians can access the system online, an important security feature of the mGuard technology comes into play: The customer must first use a hardware switch to enable any online access. Safe from manipulation The basic package of the mGuard remote services solution includes a VPN-enabled Ethernet router with IPsec encryption, a configurable firewall and the VPN hardware switch. After online access has been enabled via the hardware switch, a VPN tunnel that is safe from eavesdropping and manipulation is established between the customer-side system and the service technician at Zippe, using hardware based encryption. In addition, the firewall ensures that the systems are isolated from the customer‘s network. “We have been convinced by this total security concept provided by the Innominate remote services solution. It is designed for the industrial environment, administration is relatively easy and we can integrate the DIN rail-mountable metal housings into our control cabinets”, Thorsten Zimpel explains 01 Worldwide support is available via the remote service infrastructure AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015

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