Product News; Opto 22’s groov EPIC version 3.0 firmware

Oct. 27, 2020
Enhancements include central-user management, lower-cost licensing, and better remote troubleshooting.

Version 3.0 of the groov EPIC edge programmable industrial-control platform

Opto 22 has debuted its second major firmware release for 2020 of the groov EPIC edge programmable industrial-control platform. Version 3.0 focuses on enhancing the scalability of industrial internet of things (IIoT) and automation projects, according to its maker. It introduces centralized user management via LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol), the option of lower-cost Ignition Edge licensing, and improved maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities for remote installations.

Fulfilling the promise of IIoT requires building networks of hundreds, thousands, or millions of connections, but the very magnitude of these systems can create an administrative bottleneck. groov EPIC’s Linux®-based operating system and embedded framework of connected applications allow it to grow to meet these challenges, per Opto 22.

EPIC already supports such IT standards as DNS, DHCP, HTTPS, VPN, and MQTT; and now with version 3.0, users can take advantage of central user management using an LDAP-compatible directory server, like Microsoft Active Directory. Rather than defining user access profiles repeatedly for individual network devices—creating potential gaps in security—with LDAP, IT administrators can define permissions once and manage them centrally across an organization. For regulated industries like pharmaceutical manufacturing, central user management is a critical data integrity requirement, noted Opto 22.

Version 3.0 also includes:

  • Node-RED is upgraded to version 1.1.3, with improvements to the editor and core nodes plus support for Websockets connections for data-rich client-side apps. 
  • Standalone PID capability debuts for groov Manage, allowing for control of up to 96 PID loops without any programming in PAC Control or CODESYS.
  • MQTT/Sparkplug B support is enhanced with the ability to publish more tag properties, like deadband, scaled min and max values, and signal filter settings.

EPIC supports multi-threaded process flowcharts with PAC Control, IEC 61131-3 industrial control languages via CODESYS, or custom applications with groov EPIC secure shell access (SSH). Everything is protected with user authentication, a configurable device firewall, encrypted communications, and segregated network interfaces, according to Opto 22.