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19 September, 2018

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‘Ultimate’ power supply is cyber-secure and is ‘built to last’

16 September, 2016

The Californian controls manufacturer Bedrock Automation has developed an industrial power supply which, it asserts, sets new standards for onboard intelligence, durability and cyber-security. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Bedrock’s engineers designed the SPS.500 to be “the ultimate power supply”.

The 500W supply incorporates cyber-security authentication and onboard intelligence for diagnostics. Housed in a Nema 4X sealed aluminium enclosure, the supply can be used inside or outside enclosures, or in harsh environments.

Unusual aspects of the design include:

•  secure Ethernet and OPC/UA communications, allowing local or remote monitoring of the supply’s health;

•  a cyber-secure microprocessor and onboard memory for diagnostics and software-defined functions;

•  built-in redundancy, which simplifies installation and increases reliability by eliminating the need for an external redundancy module; and

•  a pair of software-configurable Form C contact relays, which provide operating and diagnostic status information.

“ICS (industrial control system) power supplies are one of the most failure-prone control system components, yet many users just expect them to fail and be replaced more frequently than other ICS modules,” says Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock’s chief technical officer and vice-president of engineering. “However, with advanced analogue and digital components, modules and electromechanics, we believe that the power supplies should outlive the ICS systems they support.

Bedrock's power supply comes is sealed aluminium protective case

“In addition, all modern digital products must integrally fend off cyber-threats,” he continues. “We are confident that our new SPS.500 power supply is the most secure, intelligent and longest-lasting standalone ICS power solution available today.”

As with its control system modules, Bedrock Automation has designed the SPS.500 with extreme margins of safety and protection against the physical and electrical forces that could result in accelerated wear.

Unlike traditional standalone supplies which are housed in open vented metal enclosures, the SPS.500 comes in a hermetically sealed, solid-aluminium metal case. This protects it against EMI/EMP, as well as extreme temperatures, shock, vibration and ingress by water and solids.

The single or redundant supply has a software-configurable output of up to 500W, 21–28V. It operates from 90­–264V AC, 50/60Hz inputs and has a similar footprint to conventional 500W supplies with redundancy.

 “The power supply has always been seen as a point of control system vulnerability, but until now, no one has invested much to address the issue,” comments Mark Sen Gupta, an analyst with ARC Research Group. “In doing so, Bedrock Automation has essentially created a new category of intelligent and cyber-secure control system power supplies.”




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