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Government Mandates Municipalities to Perform Network Assessments

Now is the time for water utilities and municipalities to get serious about their network security. Cyber attacks are the top threat to critical infrastructure in the United States. In an effort to secure our nation’s critical infrastructure, the United States government passed the Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. This act mandates every community water system serving 3,300+ people to assess their network for risk and prove the resilience of their system in protecting against cyber threats and the deadlines are approaching.

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7 Considerations for Implementing Redundant PLCs

We often see requirements for backup PLCs in specifications as clients understandably aim to improve their control system reliability. Adding a redundant controller can be a good choice as part of a holistic approach to system availability and reliability. When specifically addressing PLC failures as a cause of system downtime, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

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Improved SCADA Data Integrity Using Store and Forward

Our clients put a lot of money into protecting their process data. It’s pretty standard to protect data with redundant data historians, and data collection infrastructure frequently employs technology like redundant network rings to improve reliability. Distributed assets like well heads and pump stations that rely on wireless networks add an additional challenge for reliable data collection. Store and forward systems are a great way to limit or even eliminate data loss when network connections are spotty or unreliable.

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Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018

Happy holidays to our fellow manufacturers, engineers, technicians, and managers! Many of you may have to work through the rest of December because, let’s face it, our industry stops for no holiday. To cheer you up during those relatively quiet work days, enjoy this top 5 compilation of our most popular articles of 2018:

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Live Webinar: Fast, Reliable Municipal Telemetry Networks Using the FCC-Licensed 4.9 GHz Band

Establishing reliable communication links to lift stations, booster pumps, water tanks, and other remote locations is a must-have requirement for IT and communication engineers in the water/wastewater market. Just about every water district is leveraging the 900 GHz band for this communication – and they aren’t the only ones – resulting in a saturated network and poor connectivity. There’s a better way.

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Ignition Community Conference 2018

If you missed the Ignition Community Conference (ICC) last week, you missed a great one! Vertech was well represented from all three of our offices, and we all enjoyed hearing how others are using Ignition, watching the Travis vs. Kevin buildathon (#TeamTravis), and enjoying some after hours refreshment at the Fat Rabbit Public House. Chris McLaughlin's presentation giving tips for successful MES implementations was very well received. Most of all we were excited to learn about the new features in the long-awaited Ignition 8.0 release and the new Perspective visualization module. Here are four new features we think topped the list this year:

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The Industrial Ethernet Book Features Vertech’s ICS Cyber Security Guide

This month, our ICS Cyber Security Survival Guide was featured in The Industrial Ethernet Book– the only internationally distributed journal dedicated to industrial Ethernet and wireless technologies. As the respected Internet of Things authority, The Industrial Ethernet Book is a trusted resource for forward-thinking plant manager and network administrators in manufacturing.

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MES is Ready for You, and it is Attainable

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been the secret advantage of large manufacturers since the early 90’s, and they have reaped the benefits of lower manufacturing costs and higher profits. The good news is that everything has changed in the last decade. Whether you call it a technological revolution, Industry 4.0 or some other buzz word, it can’t be denied that a change is occurring. Software and protocols have improved drastically, automated data is available from all areas of the facility, and the financial entry point for MES systems has become attainable. 

 

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SCADA Software or Industrial Data Platform?

For decades now, SCADA software has been an indispensable monitoring, control, and diagnostic tool for plant operators. SCADA software has almost entirely replaced mimic panels, push-button stations, circular chart recorders, and the like, and most plants would not operate for long without it. As the evolution continues, modern SCADA platforms are uniquely positioned to transition beyond the plant floor to center stage as the Industrial Data Platform for digital manufacturing enterprises.

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SCADA System Telemetry Network Transformation

Like any SCADA system component, radio telemetry networks age and eventually need an upgrade. The Town of Queen Creek in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area was faced with this eventuality when their rapid growth exceeded the capability of their existing 900MHz radio telemetry network. They needed new radio infrastructure that could provide reliable, high-speed connections to their existing sites, provide expansion capacity, and allow integration of video at remote sites.

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