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HMS enables "virtual service techs' where travel is restricted

April 8, 2020
Almost any function that can be done locally.

HMS Networks announced a secure, IT friendly solution for accessing remote industrial machines, as if the tech were directly connected. Rather than sending service technician into a potentially unsafe region to troubleshoot a problem, HMS Ewon solutions provide a device which can be plugged into industrial equipment and can be accessed via a secure connection directly to the asset, according to its maker.

‘Direct access’ means that almost any function that can be done locally, can be done from
virtually anywhere, without ever needing a boarding pass, according to HMS Director Strategy and Business Development—IIoT Jason Sprayberry, who notes that valuable functions such as diagnostics, programming and equipment monitoring are possible from a remote workstation (or even mobile device).

The ingenuity of the solution, according to HMS, is that the technology does not reside on the automation network and is naturally fire-walled from the from the existing control systems, meaning that end users can feel confident that the service work will not disrupt their process.

HMS Ewon products are ‘device aware’ and natively support most industrial ethernet/TCP/IP and serial protocols such as Modbus/ModbusTCP, Allen Bradley DF1/EthernetIP, OPCUA, MQTT, BacNet and more. This proven native integration means that rather than spending time troubleshooting the connectivity to the OT device, the service technician can quickly login and get to work, according to HMS.

Ewon solutions leverage industry-standard OpenVPN technologies using a firewall friendly transport with little or no IT changes required. The Talk2M infrastructure + Ewon Flexy/Cosy solutions are ISO 27001 and STAR certified and undergo regular security audits to ensure industrial strength security and a highly demanding Information Security management system (ISMS), per their maker.

Whether a travel ban or restrictive high-risk environments, remote access provides a safe way to access remote assets, according to Sprayberry, who also notes significant cost savings.

“Many companies are just starting to dip their toes into the true power of digital transformation and Industry 4.0.,” says Sprayberry. “And it is clear with that the reality is finally living up to the hype. By limiting potentially high-risk travel, HMS solutions provide safe and easy ways to enable business transformation from the industrial edge.”