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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.

 

140CPU65150

Modicon Quantum 140CPU65150 – Product Spotlight

The 140CPU65150 is a Unity processor in Schneider Electric’s Modicon Quantum series. It is one of the newer models in the series of processor modules. It joins together the standard functions of the PLC and the diagnostic possibilities of a web server. It communicates using an RJ-45 connection. The module is in a double-width standard Quantum housing which requires two sequential slots in a Quantum rack. Because its web server functions are diagnostic only, software must be used to configure its services.

It has a clock frequency of 166 Mhz and has two local racks. It has 63 distributed I/O stations, 1 rack, and 3 distributed networks. It has 8000 discrete inputs and outputs of discrete in a distributed network, and 31744 discrete inputs and inputs in a remote system.  As far as application specific I/O, it can be used for time stamping, as a counter, for high-speed interrupt inputs, and as a serial link.

There are 6 optional modules that can be used with the 140CPU65150. These include, Ethernet, Modbus, Modbus Plus, Profibus DP, and Sy/Max. In a local AS interface, the module has an unlimited maximum number of connections. It also has 4 integrated connection types – Ethernet TCP/IP, Modbus, Modbus Plus, and USB. It has an expandable 8 MB of file storage, 7168 kB or expandable programming, and 768 kB of RAM. The 140CPU65150 uses a key switch memory port for on/off functionality.

The 140CPU65150 has a data rate of 10/100 Mbps. For a medium, a user should used a shielded twisted pair cable. The module has a number of services, including standard web service, Modbus TCP messaging, I/O scanning services, global data, FDR client, SNMP management, and SMTP services (email). It is compatible only with the Unity Pro software.

MRO Electric and Supply carries the 140CPU65150. For more product information or to request a replacement module, email sales@mroelectric.com or call 800-691-8511.

140CPU65150
140CPU65150

Modicon 140CRA31200 RIO Drop E/IP Adapter – Product Spotlight

The 140CRA31200 is a Ethernet RIO drop adapter in the Modicon Quantum series. It has 3 ports and uses the Ethernet IP/Modbus TCP communication port protocol. It can handle two integrated connection types: the Ethernet IP/Modbus TCP through the service port or through the device network. It is compatible with the 140CRP31200.

The 140CRA31200 has a number of local signalling channels. 1 green LED for RUN, 1 green/red LED for module status, 1 green/red LED for network communication status, and 1 red LED for I/O. This adapter module consumes one slot in the main (first) rack of the in Quantum remote drops. The extended (second) rack in a Quantum remote I/O drop does not require an adapter.

To set the location of the Ethernet remote I/O drop on the network, use the rotary switches on the front of the 140CRA31200 before you apply power to the module and before you download the application. The values that are set are applied during a power cycle. If the switch settings are change after the module has powered up, the Mod Status LED is activated and a mismatch message is logged in the module’s diagnostic system.

Because new values on the rotary switches are implemented on at the next power cycle, it is recommended that you set the values before starting the module. Valid values are from 00 to 159. These rotary switches can be manipulated on the 140CRA31200 with a small flat tipped screwdriver, and no software is required to configure or enable the rotary switches. Do not use the Stored and Clear IP settings on the Ones rotary switch, and keep in mind that the functionality of these settings do not apply to remote I/O installations.

MRO Electric and Supply carries new and refurbished Modicon 140CRA31200s. For more product information or to request  quote, email sales@mroelectric.com or call 800-691-8511.

140cra31200
140cra31200

Modicon 140CPS11420 – Product Spotlight

The Schneider Electric / Modicon 140CPS11420 is a Power Supply Module in the Quantum automation platform. It can use a summable or standalone power supply type. The module has an internal output overvoltage and overload protection. It comes in a standard module format and weights 0.65 kg. When in a standalone configuration, the 140CPS11420 uses a maximum current of 11 amps. In a summable configuration, the module has a maximum current of 20 amps. Its internal power dissipation is less than 12 watts at a full load.

A normally closed relay contact rated at 220 volts AC, 6 amp / 30 volts DC, 5A is available on terminals 1 and 2 of the power terminal strip. This contact set may be used to signal input power Off. The relay will de-energize when input power drops below 70 volts AC, when the input voltage is set to 115 volts AC, or 140 volts AC when the input is set to 230 volts AC. Its output to the Bus is 5.1 volts DC. No minimum current is required. The module’s input frequency can range from 47 – 63 Hz. the 140CPS11420’s input voltage total harmonic distortion is less than 10% of the fundamental root mean square value. The input power interruption is no less than 1 second when in a 1/2 cycle at full load, and at the minimum rated line voltage and frequency.

Remove the power line prior to insertion or removal of the module.Use only compatible combinations of summable and standalone power supplies in the Quantum back plane as stated above. If these precautions are not taken, serious injury and/or equipment damage could occur.

MRO Electric and Supply Company stocks new and refurbished 140CPS11420 modules.  For more information or to request a quote, call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

140CPS11420
140CPS11420

Software for Programming Modicon Quantum PLCs

 

modicon quantum

Software for Programming Modicon Quantum PLCs

Question: Is it possible to program the Telemecanique 140-CPU-651-50/651-60/671-60 with Concept 2.6?
Can you use Unity software for programming Modicon Quantum 140-CPU-434-12A/534-14A PLCs?

Answer: The 140CPU651xx and 140CPU671xx controllers can only be programmed with the Unity Software. The 140CPU671xx will require UNITY Version 2.0

The existing 140CPU43412A and 140CPU53414A can be programmed with Unity once the kernel and executive firmware have been updated with the Unity OS Loader. (These controllers require a minimum of PV04 for the Unity upgrade.)

As both the 140 CPU 434 12A and 534 14A Quantum CPUs are compatible with Concept or ProWORX software, they can be upgraded to be compatible with the Unity Pro software without any hardware modification. This process of migrating from Concept to Unity Pro is achieved by updating the CPU operating system. This update is performed with the aid of the OS-Loader tool included with Unity Pro. The 2 upgraded processors (140 CPU 434 12U/534 14U) are then equivalent to the corresponding Unity processors.

 

MRO Electric and Supply maintains a comprehensive stock of new and used Modicon Quantum parts including Quantum CPUs. If you need a replacement part, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

 

Replacing a 140CPU43412 With a 140CPU43412A CPU

140CPU43412A CPU

Replacing a 140CPU43412 With a 140CPU43412A CPU

One of the more common Modicon Quantum CPU modules is the 140CPU43412A CPU module. This unit replaced the 140CPU43412 unit which has since become obsolete. Currently, many systems are being updated so we consistently get questions about 140CPU43412A CPU replacement and what the differences between the two units are, and if they are plug-and-play replacements. To help with this transition, we put together a few notes to help anyone who has questions.

The redesigned unit designated with the “A” at the end is functionally identical to the original non-“A” unit, with a few slight considerations. If you are using this CPU in a hot standby system, you must use matching units, so either two 140CPU43412 units or two 140CPU43412A units. Additionally, the 140CPU43412A version has a unique flash executive, and the two unit’s flash executives are not interchangeable. For the software, all the standard systems (Concept, ProWORX, and Modsoft) support the 140CPU43412A unit, and any 140CPU43412 program will load directly on to the new 140CPU43412A without needing to be changed.

 

MRO Electric stocks new and refurbished Modicon Quantum parts.  We also provide pre-priced Control Techniques repairs. For more information or to request a quote, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Modicon Quantum Interface Modules

Modicon Quantum Interface Modules

Modicon Quantum Interface Modules

 

The Modicon Quantum series has a variety of communication interface modules which are listed and described below.

RIO Modules (CRA/CRP)

–          Quantum RIO head and drop modules use a S908-based networking I/O configuration. Communication is done via single or dual coaxial cabling u to 15,000 feet away. This configuration supports a mix of the following product lines:

When Quantum RIO is required, the Modicon Quantum interface modules controller may support up to 31 RIO drops. In an RIO configuration, an RIO head module is connected with a coaxial cable to RIO drop modules at each remote drop.

DIO Module (CRA)

–          Quantum DIO is implemented over a Modbus Plus network. The CPU or NOMs module may be the network head via their Modbus Plus ports. The Quantum DIO Modbus Plus drop adaptors are specifically designed to link Quantum I/O modules to the head via twisted pair shielded cable (Modbus Plus). The DIO drop modules also provide the I/O with power (maximum 3A) from a 24VDC or a 115/230VAC source. Each DIO network supports up to 63 distributed drops using repeaters.

Network Option Module (NOM)

–          Quantum NOM modules provide extended communication capabilities for the Quantum system within a Modbus Plus configuration.

Modbus Plus on Fiber Module (NOM)

–          Quantum Modbus Plus on Fiber modules provides connectivity to Modbus Plus nodes by fiber cable without fiber optic repeaters and allows the creation of a pure fiber optic network or a mixed fiber optic/twisted-pair network (with the use of a 490NRP254 Fiber Optic Repeater).

Ethernet TCP/IP (NOE) Modules

–          Quantum Ethernet TCP/IP modules make it possible for a Quantum controller to communicate with devices on an Ethernet network using TCP/IP – the de facto standard protocol. An Ethernet module may be inserted into an existing Quantum system and connected to existing Ethernet networks via fiber optic or twisted pair cabling.

SY/MAX Ethernet Modules (NOE)

–          Quantum-SY/MAX-Ethernet modules are Quantum CPU network option modules that can be placed in a Quantum backplane to connect to Quantum controllers to SY/MAX devices and applications.

MMS-Ethernet Modules (NOE)

–          Quantum-MMS-Ethernet modules are Quantum CPU network option modules that can be placed in a Quantum backplane to connect Quantum controllers to MMS devices and applications.

InterBus Interface Module (NOA)

–          The Quantum InterBus is the interface module to the InterBus bus. The InterBus bus is a Fieldbus network designed for I/O blocks and intelligent devices used in manufacturing. It offers a master/slave topology that permits deterministic I/O servicing over its 13 km twisted pair network.

LonWorks Modules (NOL)

–          Quantum NOL modules provide connectivity between a Quantum controller and a LonWorks network, based on Echelon’s LonWorks technology. The NOL module is offered in three models for different transceiver types, and supports three twisted-pair media types with different network topologies or data transfer speeds.

Profibus Interface Module (CRP)

–          Quantum Profibus module is the interface module to Profibus-DP networks. The interface modules use Type A, shielded twisted pair to join inline connectors, with or without service ports and bus terminators.

AS-I Interface Module

–          Quantum AS-i modules provide connectivity between a Quantum controller and AS-i networks. AS-i bus cable is an unshielded flat two-wire link on which communication and power are transmitted to connected devices. The media insulation is self-healing to accommodate junction block removal.

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.

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.

Modicon Unity Pro Software for Quantum series

modicon quantum

Modicon Unity Pro Software for Quantum series

Modicon PLC Unity Pro Software upgrades are becoming increasingly popular for MRO Electric customers. We find ourselves quoting the software often, but before we can give you a price we need to know which version of the software is necessary for your purposes. That’s why we’ve created this blog post – the table below shows all the variations of part numbers for Unity Pro. Just find your part number and include it in your RFQ… we’ll have a price back to you in no time. Some common questions are answered at the bottom of this post.

If you’re upgrading from Concept, PL7 or ProWORX Modicon PLC, here’s the designation you should purchase based on the version of your current software:

  • From Concept S, PL7 Micro, ProWORX NxT Lite, and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Small Version 7.0
  • From Concept S/M, PL7 M/J, ProWORX NxT Lite, and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Medium Version 7.0
  • From Concept S/M, PL7 M/J/P, ProWORX NxT Lite, and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Large Version 7.0
  • From all models Concept, PL7, ProWORX NxT and ProWORX 32 purchase Unity Pro Extra Large Version 7.0

Other notes:

Software Features:

  • “All-in-one” software
  • 5 IEC61131-3 languages
  • Customizable Function Block Library (DFB) integrated
  • Use the PLC simulator to validate your Program on a PC before installation
  • Full range of Online services

For product descriptions directly from Schneider Electric, check out this link: http://www.schneider-electric.com/products/ww/en/3900-pac-plc-other-controllers/3950-pacs/548-unity-pro/

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