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Video shows controller surviving high-energy blasts

25 August, 2016

The Californian controls manufacturer Bedrock Automation has released a video showing its Bedrock industrial control system surviving sustained multi-million volt strikes on top of a large Tesla coil. Bedrock claims to have produced the world's most powerful and cyber-secure automation platform.

“There are no test equipment or labs to simulate sustained extreme electrical storms for stress testing, so we built one ourselves,” says the company’s founder and chief technology officer, Albert Rooyakkers. “The purpose of the test is to unequivocally demonstrate the extreme margins of safety and reliability built into the Bedrock OSA platform.”

Rooyakkers reports that the controller’s power, UPS, I/O and control modules all survived repeated multi-million-volt strikes without interrupting control or communications. The video is said to show two of eight sustained arc blasts that took place over the course of an hour.

“This is an extreme ‘corner case’ test that, as far as we know, has never been attempted or demonstrated in the history of automation,” Rooyakkers adds. “These results will translate into reliability and availability in the most extreme applications.”

Bedrock claims says that its electromagnetic backplane architecture with embedded cyber-security delivers the highest levels of system performance, ICS cyber-security and reliability, at the lowest cost of ownership.

Bedrock claims that its automation system is the most cyber-secure available

As well as cyber-security and EMP compliance, Bedrock has designed high-voltage resistance into its system. Numerous elements work together to make this possible, including a patented pinless backplane and I/O modules, sealed all-metal construction, fibre optic communications, extreme galvanic isolation of modules and channels, and "many other patented and novel approaches to system design".

The control system has achieved compliance with US Military Standard 461 (MIL-STD-461F) and IEC 61000 for electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resistance.

Bedrock plans to release more videos showing its system being tested in extreme temperatures and vibration levels, under water and in other challenging environments.

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