PTC enhances connectivity to industrial automation assets as KEPServerEX adds secure torque tool link

Craig Resnick of ARC Advisory Group

PTC has released the newest version of its Kepware industrial connectivity software. Kepware is foundational to the industrial connectivity capabilities of PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform, and now the KEPServerEX 6.7 solution aims to make it easier than ever for users to connect to all industrial automation assets via a single, secure application.

Enhanced connectivity for manufacturing and new features for secure server deployment allow enterprises to standardise industrial communications on KEPServerEX.

Connectivity to industrial automation equipment is critical to improving operational efficiency. Engineers often rely on a mix of commercial and home-grown connectivity tools to navigate complex and heterogeneous production environments. The increased complexity, cost, and bandwidth spent retrieving industrial data, instead of interpreting and leveraging it, has created a business need for a single, secure solution through which enterprises can connect all of their production assets. KEPServerEX 6.7’s breadth of connectivity, reliability, and security features empower engineers to focus on process efficiencies and product improvement.

“Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, which is a mandatory step in any operational improvement initiative,” according to Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “KEPServerEX provides users with a single point-of-access solution that can be implemented quickly and easily to help empower industrial enterprises as they work to improve operational processes, enabling improved efficiencies, increased KPIs, and rapid ROIs. The improvements to the Torque Tool driver and the new security features in version 6.7 make standardisation even easier.”

Recent updates focused on the manufacturing industry include new device connectivity for the most open, interoperable Torque Tool driver on the market. Torque tools are commonly used in discrete assembly operations, and KEPServerEX distinguishes itself as one of the only connectivity applications that seamlessly integrates with these assets. KEPServerEX provides data access to torque tools, as well as all other industrial automation assets, creating a single point of access for industrial software. The integration enables enterprises to decrease time and effort spent on software implementation.

KEPServerEX 6.7 also includes advanced security enhancements to address the rising rate of cyber-attacks on operations networks. To combat the risk of IP theft, downtime, and comprised safety, among other threats, PTC has expanded and enhanced its secure remote configuration tools, reaffirming the company’s commitment to its Shared Responsibility Model. Version 6.7 also adds new security features to the ThingWorx Native Interface, allowing users to implement network best-practices when connecting to ThingWorx in the cloud or over a wide area network (WAN).

“As cybersecurity risks continue to become more sophisticated, we have continued to enhance the application security of KEPServerEX,” said Abby Eon, general manager of Kepware, PTC. “Version 6.7 enables our customers to not only increase process efficiencies, but to do so with a solution that also helps reduce exposure to vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks.”

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