There are many companies out there that are specialists in systems integration, regularly utilising Siemens Automation and Control products to offer their customers a comprehensive range of solutions across operations such as tool making, process lines, motion control, material handling and more.
A local company recently encountered a growing problem with password access to their HMI systems which play a primary role in many of their high-tech installations. HMIs act as an interface between the user and a machine or device, presenting information concerning the status of a process in a graphical format for easy interpretation.
The Password Problem
This companies customers were often forgetting the passwords that enabled them to access certain parameters within the HMI set-up, leading them to reach for the phone and call them for a reminder, whatever the time, not a very dependable or reliable activity! The ideal solution to this conundrum pointed to one where passwords were eliminated and the user accessed the HMI with a personalised authorisation method instead.
With a long standing relationship with Siemens they approached Martin Brown, a Product Manager for Siemens who offered a solution. Martin said ‘The solution we suggested was to start using Siemens ID key-operated switches from the SIRIUS ACT series, which use electronic locks instead of conventional mechanical locks. The switches feature customisation abilities that allow the user to set authorisation for machine access, and the associated keys have a RFID chip that makes them uniquely identifiable. The key and switch are connected by a stable radio link and don’t come into contact at all with the HMI.’
The SIRIUS ACT ID key-operated switches provide a level of flexibility through four digital outputs that can be easily assigned for control purposes. Different levels of authorisation are represented by 4 separate and individually coloured keys, and the customer also has the option of an additional white key that can be configured to their specifications.
Once a key is inserted, the key-operated switch enables corresponding authorisations. With two different versions of the ID key operated switches available, allows customers to choose the option that best suits their individual needs. The first version can be used autonomously and the second communicates with the controller via IO-Link, allowing registration and precise allocation of authorisation levels. A starter kit is available to allow you to experience this systems capabilities here.
As well as offering flexibility and customisation this clever solution also offers a level of security and usability that a password dependant scenario doesn’t make available. If the SIRIUS ACT ID Key is lost the systems remain secure as the key can be blocked and replaced, and the individual access levels act as a time stamp to see who has used the HMI. It is also possible to detect when a key has been inserted on the PLC side via a monitored output. From a safety and quality perspective, operation, downtime and maintenance information can be recorded on a database for future analysis.
- Individual authorisation management for groups and individuals
- Unambiguous identification of users
- Increase plant safety
- Highly flexible authorisation assignment
With the ability to reduce the use of personalised passwords and the issues caused by their loss and maintenance and to improve device control, security and operation it’s easy to see how the SIRUIS ACT ID Key products are the perfect solution. If your installation is facing a similar scenario get in touch with Kempston Controls today.
Kempston Controls, as a Siemens supplier partner, has access to the entire SIRIUS ACT ID Key range, call us on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email sales on email@example.com to discuss just how this innovative range of products can help you streamline your HMI control access systems, improve installation security and save you and your customers time and money.
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