Software Defined Automation unveils additional PLC vendor support

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SDA expands its end-to-end Industrial DevOps solution with cost-effective automated backup support for Rockwell and B&R, new connectivity features, and integration with enterprise tools. Additionally, SDA introduces the first AI agent for PLC programmers, covering multiple automation stacks.

Today’s automation solutions are often heterogeneous. Most industrial automation vendors offer proprietary hardware and protocols, and their respective integrated development environments (IDEs) require PLC programmers to run different software versions locally on their Engineering PCs. “Having different virtual machines with sometimes varying IDE versions of the same PLC vendor is inefficient,” says Andreas Trattler, CEO of Nexos Group, an innovative German Industrial Solutions Provider. “Additionally, the absence of a single source of truth for automation projects leads to version conflicts, redundant work, and missed opportunities. In operation, the workflow for updating PLCs depends on the availability of automation engineers, who typically update PLCs by directly connecting their engineering Laptops on the shop floor. Making changes is a tedious process that results in slow reaction times to address problems, leading to costly process interruptions and downtime. SDA’s innovative Industrial DevOps solution mitigates these inefficiencies through the programmatic management of PLCs and their related code, eliminating the potential for mistakes and increasing the productivity of automation engineers.”

Software Defined Automation (SDA) announces new features for its end-to-end Industrial DevOps solution, which not only enhances the productivity of automation engineers and the resilience of industrial manufacturing customers but also reduces operating costs. With its extended feature set, SDA provides the most cost-effective PLC backup, disaster recovery, and version management solution on the market. The powerful backup and versioning suite enables the detection of changes made directly to the PLC at any time. Changes in Siemens and Rockwell projects are rendered graphically in the browser without the need to open a proprietary IDE. This reduces the likelihood of version conflicts and subsequent downtime. The related notification service ensures that key stakeholders receive instant notifications about changes identified during backup runs. These notifications can be used for reporting or for immediate action.

The next generation of Browser-based Engineering (IDEaaS) is up to four times faster than loading IDEs locally on an engineering PC and supports a variety of engineering tools such as Siemens, Beckhoff, Codesys, Kuka, and SEW. Customers can seamlessly integrate it into their existing device landscape and easily collaborate with suppliers like system integrators through comprehensive user management, including temporary access rights. Single sign-on via Cloud hosted or on-premises Active Directory is now generally available, allowing for the management of access to OT assets such as PLCs using IT best practices.

SDA also announces the private preview of its automated backup service for Rockwell and B&R PLCs. Additionally, SDA’s on-demand VPN-based connectivity service is now also available in preview via a local workstation client, allowing secure short lived connections from any shop floor network to any device. These connections are managed and monitored through SDA’s access control system. Introduced as a private preview for selected customers, SDA’s AI-based Factory Agent generates explanation and documentation for legacy automation code written in Structured Text or Ladder Logic for Siemens and Rockwell PLCs. Moreover, the Factory Agent provides explanations of differences between project versions in a way that is understandable even for non-automation experts.

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SDA ensures rigorous cloud security and user tenant isolation, guaranteeing that all intellectual property (IP) related to the PLC logic belongs to and remains with the customer; there is no IP leakage to external LLM-based services. SDA’s Factory Agent is the first cross-PLC vendor service that enables complete automatic documentation of PLC code within minutes after a backup of unknown logic. This greatly simplifies collaboration between automation engineers and other experts in modern production environments.

“We are dedicated to delivering the finest solutions for the automation industry,” says Dr. Josef Waltl, Co-Founder and CEO of Software Defined Automation. “Our approach to Industrial DevOps will enable automation engineers to work more efficiently, save time, and ultimately contribute to the success of their businesses in the market.”

TalkDev Bureau
TalkDev Bureau
The TalkDev Bureau has five well-trained writers and journalists, well versed in B2B enterprise technology industry, and constantly in touch with industry leaders for the latest trends, opinions, and other inputs- to bring you the best and latest in the domain.
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