Software Defined Automation Releases Industrial-Control-as-a-Service


 Software Defined Automation releases a complete solution for control engineers to overcome tight coupling of hardware and software in factory automation, as well as the limited spillover of innovations from information technology to industrial real-time control.

SDA Industrial-Control-as-a-Service breaks up proprietary silos in control technology stacks and enables a microservices architecture on top of the real-time control layer to natively interact via APIs just as any other modern enterprise information system - turning factories into software systems. It is centered around cloud-based management of existing PLCs (SDA TechOps), Git-enabled PLC code versioning and collaboration (SDA DevOps), as well as virtualization of PLCs on edge servers (SDA Virtual PLC).

Automation engineers using SDA TechOps are now able to manage PLCs from vendors like Siemens, Bosch Rexroth and Beckhoff like cloud-based software systems with full transparency of deployed code, complete traceability of changes, and the ability to automate code updates in minutes. 

SDA DevOps introduces Git-based version control for PLCs for an easy transition to modern developer collaboration. Every project update is safely backed up, changes on individual objects are versioned and highlighted in both structured text and ladder logic through a simple web interface: automation engineering teams work more efficiently together, speeding up the pace of development. Risks are minimized and new features are deployed with the press of a button in minutes to whole fleets of PLCs.

SDA Virtual PLC decouples real-time control from proprietary hardware through virtualization. SDA partners with VMware to run virtual PLCs on any x86 server with cycle times <10ms. Automation engineers continue to work with vPLCs as with conventional PLCs via a cloud-based control plane and are able to commission new Codesys controllers in minutes and pay a monthly fee per virtual controller.

"This is a game-changer for the industry. Whether you are part of a large team of automation engineers pushing further the limits of automation sophistication, or you're traveling the world as one of the few in-house automation experts spending time travelling instead of solving problems. Stop firefighting; free up your time, remotely manage all your PLCs, make automation be the starting point of manufacturing businesses transformation," says Josef Waltl, Founder and CEO of Software Defined Automation, adding, "We closely integrate with device vendors like Bosch Rexroth and Tulip as the leading frontline operation to bring end-to-end solutions to customers." 

"Finally, Industrial Automation is on par with the rest of the software development industry," says Natan Linder, CEO of Tulip Interfaces. "We have been able to integrate our frontline operations platform via simple API calls with real-time controllers. Workers can change PLC programs from Tulip apps and any Tulip Edge IO can be transformed to a PLC without incremental hardware cost. Workers are now empowered to rapidly change and extend existing automation systems - a truly democratizing move."

"Software Defined Automation extends our innovative ctrlX AUTOMATION platform with powerful device and source code management in the cloud - combining the most innovative automation platform with unseen degrees of freedom gives our joint customers the toolset for the next phase in automation," adds Hans Michael Krause Director Product Management ctrlX World at Bosch Rexroth.

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Source: Software Defined Automation