Tag Archives: modicon PLC

PLC Security

plc security

PLC Security

Programmable logic controllers, also known as PLCs, initially came about in the late 1960s. PLCs were designed to replace relay-based machine control systems in the major U.S. vehicle manufacturing space. The relay-based control systems were considered hard to use and were disliked amongst those in the automation and manufacturing in.

In 1968, Dick Morley of Bedford Associates in Massachusetts designed the Modular Digital Controller, later dubbed the Modicon. After the Modicon 084’s initiation into the world, there was no looking back to those relay-based control systems. Be sure to check out our article covering Modicon PLC history to learn more.

PLCs are user-friendly microprocessor-based specialty computers that carry out control functions, many of which are of high levels of complexity. They are engineered to endure harsh and strenuous situations such as in heated, cooled and even moist environments. Used for automation usually in the industrial electromechanical space, PLCs are computers that deal with the controlling of machinery, often on  the following:

  • factory assembly lines
  • power stations
  • distribution systems
  • power generation systems
  • gas turbines

PLCs are programmed using a computer language. Written on a computer, the program is then downloaded to the PLC via a cable. These programs are stored in the PLCs memory. The hard-wired logic is exchanged for the program fed by its user during the transition between relay controls to PLC. The manufacturing and process control industries have gotten to take advantage of PLC applications-oriented software since Modicon PLCs inception.

plc security
PLC Functions and Directions

PLCs use programmable memory in order to store particular functions and directions. Some functions and directions would include:

  • on control
  • off control
  • timing
  • sequencing
  • counting
  • arithmetic
  • data manipulation
PLC Types

Understanding the different types of PLCs will be very helpful when looking into PLC security.

The numerous types of PLCs can be organized into three principal categories:

  • Advanced PLC: Advanced PLCs offer the greatest processing power out of all of the PLC types. They feature a larger memory capacity, higher input/output (I/O) expandability, and greater networking options.
  • Compact Controller: Logic Controllers are increased intermediate level offerings with an increased set of instructions and a greater input/output (I/O) than a run-of-the-mill logic controller
  • Logic Controler: A logic controller is often referred to as a ‘smart relay’. They are generally straightforward to use and considered a good place to begin when becoming acquainted with PLCs. They are cost-effective for low input/output (I/O), slower speed applications.
PLC Security

As security concerns remain in many professional spaces including the factory automation space, becoming up-to-speed with the different types of PLC Security is imperative. By creating and implementing an effective strategy to remain secure, you will likely avoid issues, downtime, and setbacks. Understanding the different types of PLCs will be very helpful when looking into PLC security.

PLC Cybersecurity: How the control network is linked to the internet, as well as other networks. A handful of PLC issues could likely involve the following:

  • Incident response planning and plans;
  • Issues drafting and reviewing policies
  • Issues drafting and reviewing procedures
  • Retention of cybersecurity experts and vendors;
  • A need for preparation of a breach:
    • exercises
    • training
    • breach simulations
  • A need for cybersecurity insurance review and counseling
  • A demand for record management and information infrastructure;
  • Privacy risk management
  • Assessment of cybersecurity risk in mergers and acquisitions;
  • Payment Credit Industry (PCI) Compliance protocols
  • Vendor contract management protocols
  • Supply chain risk management

 

PLC Physical Security: Although PLC physical security differs from PLC cybersecurity, it is still important and should be prioritized when an individual or a company is undergoing breach simulations, training, and exercises. PLC physical security deals with:

  • correcting default passwords
  • ensuring only certified individuals are in the control system’s environment
  • limiting access to thumb drives and securing access

MRO Electric and Supply maintains a comprehensive stock of Modicon PLC parts, including the Modicon Quantum series. Also, feel free to check out our repair and core exchange programs to learn how to save.

Understanding Issues with Security
In order to create and implement training and procedures for staff, you must understand how issues with security occur.  Not all cybersecurity attacks occur from external hackers or scammers. In fact, experts believe that only an estimated 20% of all cybersecurity attacks are intentional and intended to be malicious. Whether you think it’s possible or not, an offended employee could indeed be your hacker. Almost always caused by software issues, device issues, and malware infections, cybersecurity seems straight-forward initially, until you dig into those fine, often overlooked details.

As many in the automation space may know, PLC cybersecurity wasn’t a thing a decade ago. These days, PLCs are connected to business systems through any run-of-the-mill network and aren’t separated from other networks that other automation equipment may also be on.  As time goes on, it’s becoming more and more common to see TCP/IP networking from a business system standpoint. By connecting via TCP/IP, data exchange, as well as more rational and scalable business decisions, is enabled.

PLC Security Factors:
  • Although it may not actually connect to the internet, a control system is unsafe. Contrary to popular belief, a modem connection could also experience intrusion and a hack.
  • Wireless networks, laptop computers, and trusted vendor connections could be other sources of connections in which people may be likely to overlook.
  • Keep in mind that the majority of IT departments are unaware of factory automation equipment, including CNCs, CPUs, PCBs, robotics parts and, last but not least, PLCs.
  • Piggybacking off of the last point, IT departments’ lack of experience with the aforementioned equipment, along with their lack of experience with industrial standards and scalable processes indicate that they should not be in-charge and responsible for a company’s PLC security. Nobody wants an annoyed employee to make inappropriate changes to a PLC’s communication highway.
  • Hackers do not necessarily need to understand PLC or SCADA to block PC-to-PLC communication. They absolutely do not need to understand a PLC or SCADA system to cause operational or programming issues.
  •  Often times, control systems, including ones that many PLCs integrate with, use Microsoft Windows, which is very popular amongst hackers.
  • Some PLCs crash simply by pinging an IP address, like what happened at the Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant, which is located in upstate Alabama. Since the incident in 2006, the plant has undergone numerous security, operational, and management improvements.

 

In conclusion, when a security breach occurs, regardless of the specifics, understanding that time is of the essence will help smooth over most incidents. Trusting who has access to a control systems environment and thumb drive is crucial. If someone has access to the control system environment and thumb drive, ensure they’re well-qualified and up-to-speed with their team and/or company.

 

 

Modicon PLC History

Modicon PLC History

Modicon PLC History

 

Richard E. Morley, also known as Dick, was an American electrical engineer. He was an employee at Bedford and Associates, located in Massachusetts. He is most commonly known for his involvement with the production of the first Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for General Motors and the Modicon in 1968. General Motors Company, often referred to as GM, is an American multinational corporation that is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan that engineers, manufactures, markets and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.

Known as an author, educator, influencer and specialized engineer, Morleys’ accomplishments and contributions have earned him numerous awards from families such as ISA (the instrumentation systems and automation society), Inc. Magazine, Franklin Institute, SME (the Society of Manufacturing Engineers), and the Engineering Society of Detroit. SME offers the Richard E. Morley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award for outstanding technical accomplishments in the manufacturing space by engineers age 35 and younger.

Schneider Electric currently owns the Modicon brand of PLCs. The PLC has been recognized as a major advancement in the automation space and has had an unprecedented impact on the manufacturing community as a whole. PLCs were designed to replace re-wiring and hard-wired control panels with software program changes when production updates were necessary. Before PLCs came about, several relays, drum sequencers, cam timers and closed-loop controllers were used to manufacture vehicles and vehicle parts. Re-wiring the relays and other necessary components was a very in-depth and costly process, but clearly worth the effort. The Modicon 084 PLC was modeled to be programmed in ‘ladder logic’ which had the look of the schematic diagrams of relay logic it was replacing.  This made the transition to PLCs easier for engineers and other professionals in the manufacturing space.  The automotive industry is still one of, if not the largest users of PLCs today. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon parts available including the Modicon Quantum series. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

The Modicon PLC Timeline

A few years later, in the 1970’s, dialogue between PLCs came about. Introduced as the first industrial communications network, Modbus was based on a Slave/Master architecture that used messaging to communicate between Modbus nodes. All and all, a lacking standardization made PLC communications a nightmare.

In the  1980’s, General Electric made an effort to regiment the interconnection of devices from several manufacturers with MAP (manufacturing automation protocol). PLC programming software was also created to operate on personal as well as professional computers in order to remove the need for dedicated programming terminals or handheld programmers.

As years have gone on, PLCs have evolved as technology evolves. Nowadays, they include process, motion, and distributed control systems, as well as complex networking. Equivalent to an average, run-of-the-mill desktop computer, PLCs have capacities for data handling storage and impressive processing power.

 

plc

How to maintain a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

How to maintain a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

As many of us know, PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are staples in the factory automation world. In order to have them running optimally and as efficiently as possible, routine maintenance is imperative. Generally, manufacturers produce PLCs to endure strenuous, unsterilized environments. By adhering to an adequate maintenance schedule, PLCs operating timeframe can be lengthened.

Protect your PLC

Always be on the lookout for corrosive and conductive contaminants that have the potential to become a detriment to a PLCs’ components. By completing visual inspections for black dust and blowing airborne particles from the PLC’s vicinity, you are lowering the likelihood of contamination.

Is power flowing?

A PLC will not operate correctly without adequate power. To avoid any operation bugs, remain vigilant of any surges or shorts.

Calibrate Analog Components

Always refer to the preventative maintenance schedule for any analog input device. Analog inputs need to be cleaned regularly and calibrated as accurately as possible.

 

Take EMI into consideration

EMI (electromagnetic interference) is known to cause horrible issues for PLCs without clearly indicating what the specific issue is or how to go about fixing it. To remain ahead of the game, many perform an audit of the local wiring to pinpoint potential EMI sources before they interfere with the operation of your PLC. Lower-level components and high-current wires often interfere with each other, which wiring designs must take into consideration.

Additional PLC Maintenance Tips

By creating a PLC maintenance checklist and adhering to it strictly, operating errors can likely be avoided. The space between the PLC and the machine it’s controlling should be minimal.

MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon PLC parts available here. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

 

Schneider Electric / Modicon PLC and HMI Batteries

Schneider Electric / Modicon PLC and HMI Batteries

MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Schneider Electric and Modicon parts available now, and also offers repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

 

Schneider Electric / Modicon PLC and HMI Batteries

Product Line Model Type Part Number Manufacturer
Quantum
140CPUxxxxx
Lithium 3V
990XCP98000
Duracell (DL2/3A)
(soldered connector)
Quantum 140XCP90000 Lithium 990XCP99000
Quantum
141MMS42501
Lithium 3V
990XCP98000 or Duracell (DL2/3A)
43502625 (soldered connector)
Quantum
141MMS53502
Lithium 3V
990XCP98000 or Duracell (DL2/3A)
43502625 (soldered connector)
Compact PC-O984-xxx Lithium 3.6V (long) “O” 60-0576-000 Eternacell (T04/41)
Compact
PC-A984-1xx
Lithium 3.6V (short) “A”
60-0576-100
Saft (LS3)
PC-E984-2xx Maxell (ER3STC)
Momentum
172xNN2xx2
Lithium 3.6V
170XTS15000
Tadiran (TL-5955)
PNN PV:03
JNN PV:01
Momentum 172xNN2xxx2 Alkaline “AAA” Commercially Available
Modicon Micro
110CPUx1x0x
Lithium 110XCP98000 Duracel (DL2/3A)
Capacitor 110XCP99000 (soldered connector)
Modicon 984 AM-C986-003
(2 cell pack)
MA-9255-000
Modicon 984 AM-C986-004
Modicon 984 AM-M907-1xx
Modicon 984 AM-M909-0xx
Modicon 984 AM-C921-xxx 60-0490-000
Modicon 984 PC-L984-x8x
Lithium 3.6V “AA”
60-0515-000
Eternacell (T06141)
Modicon 984 PC-O984-x8x Maxell (ERGC#5)
Modicon 984 PC-E984-x8x Saft (LS6)
Modicon 984 PC-O984-455 Tadaran (TL-5104)
Modicon 984 PC-O984-351
Modicon 984 AM-C986-004
Modicon 984 AM-C996-80x
Modicon 984 PC-M984-23x
Modicon 984 AS-B984-1xx
Modicon 984 AM-S929-00x
Lithium
MA-8234-000
Modicon 984 AS-B885-00x
Modicon 984 AM-O984-ATX 60-0490-000
Modicon 984 Rechargeable (Qty. 2) 60-0610-000
Modicon 984 100-865 (Qty. 3) 60-0595-000
Modicon 984 AM-O984-MCX 60-0582-000
Modicon 884
Modicon 884
AS-884A-xxx
MA-8234-000
AS-J890-x0x
Modicon 584 AS-506P-xxx Lithium (3 card) MA-0147-001
Modicon 584 AS-509P-xxx Lithium (4 card) MA-0147-002
Modicon 584 AS-M507-00x 60-0481-000
Modicon 584
3 Card Battery Pack
Lithium AS-5284-001
Alkaline AS-5284-002
Modicon 584
4 Card Battery Pack
Lithium AS-5378-002
Alkaline AS-5378-001
Modicon 484
Lithium MA-0147-001
Alkaline 60-0286-000
Modbus Multiplexer
Modbus Multiplexer NW-0278-000 60-0549-000
0085/0185 (Sharp)
0085/0185 (Sharp)
(with connector) PA-0254-000 Sharp
(without connector) PA-0493-000 (UBATN-5001-SCZZ)
Symax
Symax
Model 400
Lithium 3.6V “AA”
60-0515-000 Eternacell (T06141)
Model 450 29576-03688 Maxell (ERGC#5)
Model 600 (SqD Part #) Saft (LS6)
Model 650 Tadaran (TL-5104)
PS25
PS35
8052 MCM713
Symax
PS20/21
Alkaline “D”
Commercially Available
PS30/31
PS50/51
PS60/61
Symax
8005 Model 50
Ram Memory Pack
8005 MP1
8005 MP4
Symax
PS20
Battery Holder
29904-08200
(SqD Part#)
Symax
SCP1xx 8020 SMM115
8040 PCM-110 (SqD Part #)
Symax
M100
29904-08960
(SqD Part #)
Symax
8009 Compact
Lithium 3V (Type BA1)
Sanyo (CR12600SE)
TDI Battery Co. (?)
Otte Controls
(DUNT-521NCZZ)
Symax
Symax 20
8884 SBP20
(SqD Part #)
PanelMate
PanelMate
all models
60-0627-000
Maxell
60-0628-000
PanelMate PM0632400 (Qty. 3) 60-0595-000
PanelMate PA-0285-000
PanelMate MA-024M-000
Telemecanique
TSX Premium TSXP57xxx Lithium 3.6V “1/2 AA” TSXPLP01 Saft (LS3)
TSX Micro TSXP37xxx Single TSXPLP101 Maxell (ER3STC)
TSX Micro Ten Pack
TSX Micro
TSXMRPxxxxx
Lithium 3V “Button” TSXBATM01
Panasonic (BR2325)
Single TSXBATM101
10 Pack
CCX17
TCCX17xxx
Lithium 3.6V “1/2 AA” TSXPLP01 Saft (LS3)
Single TSXPLP101 Maxell (ER3STC)
Ten Pack
FTX117
TFTXRSMxxxxx
Lithium 3V “Button” TSXBATM01
Panasonic (BR2325)
Single TSXBATM101
10 Pack
TSX 17
Lithium 3.6V “1/2 AA”
TSX17ACC1
Saft (LS3)
Maxell (ER3STC)
(Soldered Connectors)
XBTKN
Lithium 3.6V “1/2 AA”
TSX17ACC1
Saft (LS3)
XBTKM Maxell (ER3STC)
(Soldered Connectors)
Series 7
TSX 27xx
2.6 V
AZ1 AQ 0006
2.4 Volt with minimum of 110 mAH
TSX P471x/P472x Shrink-wrapped cells
TSX RAM xx 8 Soldered on board
TSX AXM 162
TSX AXM 171xx/182
TSX SCM 2xxx
UC TSX 27
Series 7
TSX P473xx/P474xx 3.6V
AZ1 AQ 0002
3.6 Volt with minum of 110 mAH
TSX P67xxx Shrink-wrapped cells
TSX 76 x Soldered on board
TSX P871/P872/P874xx
TSX P76 x
TSX P107xxx
TPMX P474xx
TPMX P674xx
TPMX874xx
TPMX P1074xx
TSX T407 x
TSX RAM xxx 16
TSX MEM 4x
TSX P87 30/310 3.6V (Qty. 3)

Why Choose Modicon Quantum?

Modicon Quantum

Why Choose Modicon Quantum?

The Modicon Quantum series is manufactured by Schneider Electric and is a PLC system for process applications and high availability solutions. The quantum series provides well-balanced CPU’s that are able to provide leading performance from Boolean to floating point instruction. The CPUs have 5 IEC languages as standard, which include LD, ST, FBD, SFC, and IL the Modicon LL984 language to facilitate installed base migration. Schneider Electric’s Quantum CPUs are able to work at a high-level multitasking, which is aided by their memory capacity of up to 7 Mb using PCMCIA extensions. These PLCs are specially shaped for process control applications with conformally coated modules, and an extensive catalog of partner modules which allows them to be used in a range of environments. In order to manage safety integrated systems, safety processors and I/O modules help to complete the series. There are also options for plug and play high-performance Hot-Standby solutions with LCD keypad for local monitoring for ease of use. These Hot-Standby solutions have numerous built-in ports, which include a USB port, Ethernet TCP/IP port with a Web server, Modbus Plus and at least one Modbus serial port on the front panel. The Modicon Quantum series utilizes in-rack connectivity to Profibus-DP and an embedded Ethernet router for easy communications. If you need to increase the availability of your architecture the CRA and CRP Quantum Ethernet I/O modules (QEIO) are available. Thanks to the Modicon X80 drops, expand your architecture and integrate easily your distributed devices on the same network, such as HMI, variable speed drives, I/O islands and more.

There are many benefits to using the Modicon Quantum series over other similar PLC systems available in the market today. The Quantum series offers a large range of processors which are ideal for complex processes. The power of its processors results in optimum cycle times while integrating ever more communications functions, diagnostics, memory flexibility, and data storage. The Quantum Safety system is also now available, certified TUV Rheinland, which is simple to use and ready to be integrated into your automated system. The Quantum series has more flexibility which allows you to choose the best topology, daisy chain loop, ring, star, bus, etc. for the design of your Ethernet architecture. This flexibility allows for higher availability, which is aided by the Hot-standby CPUs and daisy chain loop topology which improve the availability of your process. In the case of cable fails, the recovery time is less than 50 ms for an entire Quantum Ethernet I/O architecture. The applications of the Modicon Quantum PLCs include process control, safety, infrastructure and many more.

 

MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon Quantum products available. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.