22 Jul 2024


Low-cost remote PLC, RTU and edge control is cyber-secure

Bedrock Automation, the Californian controls developer that specialises in cyber-secure automation platforms, has announced a lower-cost controller that combines PLC, RTU, edge control, cyber-security and universal I/O functions in a compact, standalone module suitable for remote monitoring and control applications. The Bedrock OSA (Opens Secure Automation) Remote is configured using the company’s IEC 61131-3 engineering tools, and offers a wide operating temperature range (–40°C to +80°C), a hardened metal enclosure, and prices – starting at $2,900 – said to be lower than those of conventional mini-PLCs or RTUs.

“Many users automating remote operations in public utilities, oil and gas, pipelines and other applications, want the intrinsic security, software-defined I/O, open engineering software tools, and high performance of our Bedrock OSA system, but need fewer than 20 I/O and do not need the higher channel count and redundancy our backplane provides,” explains Bedrock Automation’s founder and CEO, Albert Rooyakkers. “For those applications, we have packed our core Bedrock functionality into a unified small footprint. This drives the cost of engineering, implementing, operating and securing edge automation to record lows, reducing barriers to IIoT and Industry 4.0 business innovation.”

The Bedrock OSA Remote offers:

Universal I/O. Each channel can be programmed to provide analogue, discrete and digital connections supporting pulse, AI/AO, DI/DO, Hart 7, BSAP, RS-232/485/422, Ethernet IP, ModBus TCP, 61850, DNP3, Profinet, DeviceNet, CANbus and BACnet. Bedrock says that this wide choice of options reduces engineering time and maintenance, and simplifies spares management.

Open connectivity. The module provides a secure Scada uplink for OPC UA, and will also support MQTT and DDS later this year. This gives users more flexibility in deploying the applications that are best for their business.

Small footprint. In addition to needing fewer modules thanks to its programmability, the 137 X 226 x 59mm device needs minimal cabinet space.

Computing power. With an choice of cyber-secure and multi-core ARM processors, 512Mb of RAM, 8Gb or 32Gb of Flash, MRAM for retained variables and a supercapacitor to retain firmware for years without power, the OSA Remote is said to have the computational power and communications bandwidth to run advanced edge control and analytics.

Intrinsic cyber-security. This reduces the need for external firewalls, intrusion detection and other devices, and can even function as a secure proxy to protect other systems.

Pricing starts at $2,900 for a 10-channel model and $3,900 for a 20-channel version, with deliveries starting within a few months. The controllers will come with cyber-security protection and IEC 61131-3-compliant engineering software.