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System component for the custom design of remote maintenance solutions

15 February 2018

The Weidmüller teleservicing solution allows plant manufacturers to offer their customers tailored services across the whole lifecycle of a machine.

These days, manufacturing companies need to react increasingly quickly to changing customer requirements. Greater levels of automation and the gradual rise in the importance of software play an ever-more substantial role in ensuring necessary flexibility. The result is more complex systems which need to be understood, controlled and maintained. As well as increased production flexibility, the demands on machinery productivity are also higher, as unplanned downtime can prove particularly time-consuming and expensive. In the event of a problem with complex systems and machines, the maintenance personnel refer back to the manufacturer’s specialists. The most expensive and time-consuming option is an on-site visit – but there are now much more efficient alternatives: the Weidmüller teleservicing solution allows plant manufacturers to offer their customers tailored services across the whole lifecycle of a machine. This includes a support team to provide quick answers to questions relating to operation, process optimisation and the servicing of machines and plants.

The Weidmüller system solutions consist of network components such as industrial security routers and Ethernet switches, the u-remote remote I/O system, plus integrated web servers for detailed system diagnostics, add-on communication-compliant automation components and, last but not least, the u-link web-based teleservicing solution. Some of the system solutions can be configured on a customer-specific basis, for example, the u-remote system. For manufacturers of series machines, the system not only offers user-friendliness but also another unique advantage: the fully integrated solution for the I/O system means system parameterisation can be used multiple times.

The benefits of the u-link portal include secure remote access, a flexible system structure, efficient management, rapid telediagnostics and accelerated plant servicing. Secure remote access is guaranteed by a web portal with an integral VPN rendezvous server in Germany, a router with integrated SPI Firewall (stateful inspection), authentication via x.509-based certificates (OpenVPN with SSL encryption) and manual access permissions for the machine. 

u-link guarantees safe and rapid communication between the user and the plant, consistent diagnostic functions for all communication-capable devices, as well as plant topology that can be easily expanded. Efficient management supports the intuitive operator front-end with clear user navigation and user, group and permissions management based on individual requirements. 

Remote maintenance for machines or plants via the u-link portal is not only quick but available 24/7 all year round, plus there is direct access to all TCP/IP-based devices. In-depth remote analysis is also made possible thanks to integral diagnostics tools such as the u-remote web server. The Weidmüller remote maintenance solution allows accelerated plant service, gives users direct remote access to all system functions and allows them to adapt configurations and programmes and apply firmware updates. In the u-remote system, broad function simulators support the commissioning of systems, plus there is the option of configuring series machines for easier use. Any plant errors can be quickly pinpointed and solved while the system is running.

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