PTC released Monday latest version of its Kepware industrial connectivity software. Kepware is foundational to the industrial connectivity capabilities of PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform, and now the KEPServerEX 6.7 solution makes it easier for users to connect to all industrial automation assets via a single, secure application. Enhanced connectivity for manufacturing and new features for secure server deployment allow enterprises to standardize industrial communications on KEPServerEX.
Connectivity to industrial automation equipment is critical to improving operational efficiency. Engineers often rely on a mix of commercial and home-grown connectivity tools to navigate complex and heterogeneous production environments.
The increased complexity, cost, and bandwidth spent retrieving industrial data, instead of interpreting and leveraging it, has created a business need for a single, secure solution through which enterprises can connect all of their production assets. KEPServerEX 6.7’s breadth of connectivity, reliability and security features empower engineers to focus on process efficiencies and product improvement.
KEPServerEX is a connectivity platform that provides a single source of industrial automation data to all applications. The platform design allows users to connect, manage, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications through one intuitive user interface.
KEPServerEX leverages OPC (the automation industry’s standard for interoperability) and IT-centric communication protocols, such as SNMP, ODBC and web services, to provide users with a single source for industrial data. The platform is developed and tested to meet our customers’ performance, reliability, and ease-of-use requirements.
KEPServerEX also provides critical technical features that enable accessibility, aggregation, optimization, connectivity, security and diagnostics. It provides data access for client applications (such as MES and SCADA) and IoT and big data analytics software via OPC, proprietary protocols (including GE NIO, SuiteLink/FastDDE, and Splunk), IT protocols (including MQTT, REST, ODBC and SNMP), and flow measurement export to common oil and gas industry formats.
KEPServerEX 6.7 also includes advanced security enhancements to address the rising rate of cyber-attacks on operations networks. To combat the risk of IP theft, downtime, and comprised safety, among other threats, PTC has expanded and enhanced its secure remote configuration tools, reaffirming the company’s commitment to its Shared Responsibility Model.
Version 6.7 also adds new security features to the ThingWorx Native Interface, allowing users to implement network best-practices when connecting to ThingWorx in the cloud or over a wide area network (WAN).
Recent updates focused on the manufacturing industry include new device connectivity for the most open, interoperable Torque Tool driver on the market. Torque tools are commonly used in discrete assembly operations, and KEPServerEX distinguishes itself as one of the only connectivity applications that seamlessly integrates with these assets.
KEPServerEX provides data access to torque tools, as well as all other industrial automation assets, creating a single point of access for industrial software. The integration enables enterprises to decrease time and effort spent on software implementation.
“Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, which is a mandatory step in any operational improvement initiative,” according to Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “KEPServerEX provides users with a single point-of-access solution that can be implemented quickly and easily to help empower industrial enterprises as they work to improve operational processes, enabling improved efficiencies, increased KPIs, and rapid ROIs. The improvements to the Torque Tool driver and the new security features in version 6.7 make standardization even easier.”
“As cybersecurity risks continue to become more sophisticated, we have continued to enhance the application security of KEPServerEX,” said Abby Eon, general manager of Kepware, PTC. “Version 6.7 enables our customers to not only increase process efficiencies, but to do so with a solution that also helps reduce exposure to vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks.”