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Unread November 19th, 2019, 09:50 AM   #1
TimothyMoulder
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Hardware for Remote Access

Hello All,

As the years fly by, our facility is increasingly trying to buy new equipment from OEMs, rather than making our own. This complicates things, because it's all proprietary, and these guys would rather give me their liver than their PLC password.

That said, these OEMs have decent support, but they need to remote into the machine to access it for troubleshooting. To do so, they make many requests of our IT department, like a dedicated IP address and access to our LAN. Naturally, IT keeps such things locked up tighter than Her Majesty's chastity belt.

We are now looking into a wirelss hotspot (with a physical LAN port), or some other solution we can use to provide direct, temporary remote access.

Does anyone have a suggestion?

Thanks,

TM
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 10:25 AM   #2
JesperMP
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There are many VPN providers that are tailored to industrial applications.

We use E.W.O.N. This is a router which sits between the machine network (LAN side) and the customers network (WAN side). The customers network must provide an internet connection to the router. They get access to setup the router any way they want on the WAN side.
This is super easy for the customer, but they have to trust that the LAN/WAN VPN connection is safe.
Another similar vendor is MB.net.

Another solution is that the customersIT department setup a VPN connection (or several VPN connections) for outside subsuppliers to get access to the machines they have delivered.
IT department may like that better because they can then keep full control. On the other hand, the machine suppliers then have the problem of having to juggle many different VPN connections, so they dont like that so much. An advantage for the machine supplier is that the costs are usually on the customer.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 10:32 AM   #3
TimothyMoulder
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Thanks Jesper, but I am lookoing for something thst bypasses the entire customer network, using a cellular connection.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 10:37 AM   #4
JesperMP
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E.W.O.N (and others) also have versions that do exactly that.

edit: browse down to the bottom of this page: https://****.biz/products/cosy
There you can find the part no for a router that supports 3G or 4G.

edit: You have go to replace the "****" with "e w o n" (without the spaces) in the above link. PLCTALK has an issue with E.W.O.N. Dont know why.
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Last edited by JesperMP; November 19th, 2019 at 10:45 AM.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 10:47 AM   #5
gclshortt
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PLC Remote Access: StrideLinx: Secure Industrial VPN Router
https://youtu.be/gC5ySagVShU

The above is another solution. It shows two different methods of connection. Wired / Wireless RJ45 or 4G LTE Cellular.
Regards,
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 10:51 AM   #6
testsubject
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I have been experimenting with the Flexy205. It has a Wireless option card. I am liking it so far. (This is also an E W O N product.)
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 11:16 AM   #7
Elcan
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+1 for StrideLinx, many advantages compared to the e*W*o*n.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 11:56 AM   #8
jimtech67
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Test

E.W.O.N.
Gotta see what happens if you type E.W.O.N.

here ya go ****
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 12:14 PM   #9
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+1 for the Stridelinx. Even though the boss makes me play IT guy sometimes, I'm not even an amateur with advanced networking. The Stridelinx is extremely easy to set up.

I have 6 customers that I support using the Stridelinx. I can access their HMI from my phone or PC after logging into the web portal. If I need to access the PLC(s) or upload/download the HMI program, I can click VPN, and after a few seconds, use RSLogix or Crimson painlessly.

The Cosy has one advantage that I have heard about: It can be configured without use of the internet. It can be more complex to configure. I have one of them that I managed to lock myself out of once. That made for a 6 hour round trip to get back going.

I have made numerous changes to the configurations of the Stridelinx using their web portal and I haven't jacked one up yet.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 02:32 PM   #10
TimothyMoulder
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Thanks for the suggstions, everyone! I will check them out.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 04:43 PM   #11
damica1
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Reach out to Verizon they can create your own Cellular Private Network. Works like a champ!!
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 05:21 PM   #12
Highland Controls
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I have used KEB's routers, both hardwired and cellular. Their system worked well. The connections go through one of several servers around the world, not direct to machine.
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 08:30 PM   #13
JZerb
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id look into these

https://www.tosibox.com/products/
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Unread November 19th, 2019, 09:06 PM   #14
V0N_hydro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyMoulder View Post
it's all proprietary, and these guys would rather give me their liver than their PLC password.

what industry are you in that accepts machines with black-boxed PLCs?
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Unread November 20th, 2019, 10:00 AM   #15
forqnc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZerb View Post
+1
I installed a Stridelink, but it only allows one person access at a time.
Installed a Tosibox, provided it with internet access, and you're connected.
Only possible downside is it connects via a USB drive, which could get lost.
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