New Rackmount Server/ SCADA Technologies
It’s impossible to ignore the influence the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is having on rackmount enclosures. One of the reasons is supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) spend is forecast to reach close to $182 billion in the next 5 years. The key factor is an expanding worldwide power sector.
Another aspect of this juggernaut that’s certain to have an effect on demand for rackmount enclosures is the expanding SCADA market itself. There are several market drivers that need to be looked at and these include the tech driven demand for industrial mobility. With remote management of different processes following, more industries than ever before are relying on SCADA to monitor the automated performance of their machines.
Cloud computing is a major factor that works to foster the integration of these systems. It makes remote work even easier than ever before.
Of course, Nemaco has been following this trend as it develops. We understand the future of hardware and software automation needs to be carefully monitored. It’s also clear that sensors and controllers, as well as industrial networks, will change but not disappear since they provide key data necessary for IIoT.
We’ve kept pace with all of the emerging technologies and offer 19 inch rackmount enclosure & cabinet products. These have a NEMA 3, 3R, 4, 4X and 12 ratings that work in a variety of scenarios including with our SCADA Control Cabinets.
The Cloud, SCADA and Custom Enclosures
The cloud and the storage systems it provides include data processing relevant to SCADA. However, this is still an emerging technology when it comes to the industrial sector. Of course, at the core of these systems is usually a computer that sends control commands to connected devices. Different applications include those in process control as well as manufacturing, fabrication and power generation.
Some of the other growing trends include developers looking to implement software updates remotely. They are also devising ways to tap into databases. Of course, it’s the case with any new trend there needs to be some focus—organizations are asking themselves important questions about processes like bottlenecks and how to improve them. They will also need to ask themselves how a trifecta of custom enclosures, SCADA and the cloud can work together to improve performance.
There are at least two big companies looking at the possibilities here.
Mitsubishi Electric has introduced a complete roadmap that will include user tools and other options when it comes to new SCADA technology. MAPS 4 will also provide secure data sharing.
GE is set to introduce a brand-new organization that centers around IIoT.
Ahead of the Curve
Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to rackmount enclosures means understanding the different variations and evolution of SCADA. It’s important to understand these systems have been around for four decades. The latest transformation through the Internet of Things coupled with cloud computing offers new possibilities in operability and scalability.
Traditionally, this technology is been adopted for certain functions like the management of traffic and other transportation systems and the transmission of electricity and gas. We’ve kept pace with customized air conditioning rackmount enclosures made of corrosion resistant stainless steel to name one option.
To get to the point where we are discussing IIoT, SCADA and custom SCADA Control Cabinets, it helps to know where the technology started. Most experts agree there were four generations culminating in this one.
They also highlight the fact that with new cloud computing and IIoT technologies, there are new upgrades and applications on the way.
Way back when, the very first of these systems were not even networked because there were no networks to speak of at the time. These quickly became outdated when mainframe systems began to be connected to remote terminal sites.
With the advent of large-area network (LAN), the second generation of these systems could distribute command processing information across several different stations that were connected.
It should be no surprise that cost savings was the big driving force behind this third generation of SCADA. The ongoing focus on network design means these systems will spread across various LAN networks. The common term for this architecture is a Process Controlled Network (PCN). The result for most organizations was cost savings that came about by implementing complicated systems across larger areas.
As we’ve already discussed, IIoT and the cloud are altering and tweaking SCADA. However, any investment still needs to be protected from elemental and corrosive environments with proper NEMA 4 – 19″ Rack Servers.
Some 19 Inch Rackmount Enclosure Design Considerations
Matching the right SCADA components with the right enclosure requires some careful design considerations. The type of materials used is a priority. Choosing the right kind of metal with the appropriate thickness is critical. Usually, enclosures are made from a variety of materials ranging from carbon steel to stainless steel, aluminum and even copper in some circumstances.
Aluminum is a popular choice since it is light weight and corrosion resistant at the same time. There’s one caveat to using this popular material. It needs to be chromated coated when making electrical contact.
Stainless Steel is another option. Because this choice contains nickel and chromium, it is also highly resistant to corrosion. Cold rolled steel offers the durability that many of our clients are looking for.
NEMA Rackmount Enclosures and IIoT. Moving Forward Together
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is well aware of all these recent developments and is keeping pace. In fact, a recent press release highlighted how these three groups got together to recognize the need to modernize electric grid infrastructure.
The backdrop was the IIoT Energy Forum. NEMA partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to take a look at different components in the energy grid and how they fold into these emerging technologies.
Some of the topics the groups focused on included industrial analytics, smart grids and security. The organizations got together and took a serious look at the requirements as far as information management as well as communication when it comes to diverse infrastructures.
The meeting highlighted how the technical foundation is being developed for the next era in SCADA and rackmount enclosures by proxy. The IntelliGrid Vision exemplifies new infrastructure for electrical delivery. This will integrate advancements in electronics, computing and communications. The idea is to meet the energy needs of the new digital era.
Once you consider how this technical foundation comes together, it’s easy to see how all the elements we’ve been discussing including rackmount enclosures factors in.
- The Communications Aspect. With the advent of the digital age and all of the accompanying controllers and devices need to be able to talk to each other. The new architecture for SCADA means interoperability for the kind of two-way communication gateway needed. NEMA ratings become even more important to ensure the rackmount enclosures are properly rated. NEMACO offers customized enclosures made to six different NEMA ratings. We also have custom enclosures with various options and features.
- The Computing Aspect. Modeling simulation needs to be state-of-the-art when it comes to the software that will be needed to run the smart grid model. The software for the distribution and transmission system will need to be properly encased and protected. Once again, we are on top of the needs of this burgeoning industry with 19 inch adjustable rack rails enclosures. These also come with NEMA 3, 3R, 4, 4X and 12 ratings which are specifically designed for SCADA systems. Keeping this kind of interconnected grid system up and running depends on having rackmount enclosures that have submersible waterproof applications in some instances. We can provide engineered standard designs and custom air conditioning rack enclosures to fit a variety of needs.
- The Monitoring Aspect. Making sure the intelligent grid is maintained and operated efficiently means there’s a need to constantly measure and monitor parameters. Modern digitization requires what’s being called integrated monitoring and a clear definition of data requirements.
It’s clear that there’s a digital evolution sweeping all industries. Although SCADA will certainly be transformed by this juggernaut, it won’t be cast off. That means increased need for the kind of custom enclosure modifications that we can provide including precision installed accessories.
NEMACO™ also offers performance testing for certain applications which lends itself to the for ever-increasing pace of digital transformation.
Keeping pace with the ever changing tech landscape so that your components work in the way they were designed is our number one priority.
SCADA and Analytical Software: Proactive and Cost Efficient
Although there are some concerns that a cloud-based SCADA technology presents some security concerns, most experts feel the trend toward SaaS in the cloud lessens the chance of being hacked. Identifying and predicting possible errors will be made easier by predictive modeling which will rely in part on analytical software.
This type of statistical analysis in this software that’s available in advanced process control technology (APC) and SCADA have made these statistical tools one of the products that automation companies are selling. Today, there are some sophisticated systems that are being widely used in solar powered and wind generation plants.
A Few Words on Cybersecurity, SCADA and Rackmount Enclosures
There have been a number of different configurations and varieties of 19 inch rackmount enclosures over the years. With the advent of the digital era, these enclosures have kept pace with a number of new features including sliding rails that can lock in place.
It’s just one of the ways that this product has worked with the ever evolving digital landscape that SCADA technologies need to stay relevant. Taking just a few minutes to consider the findings in the 2019 global ICS & IIOT Risk Report paints a clear picture.
Different Configurations for Custom Rackmount Enclosures
Having an eye toward cybersecurity means having a custom enclosure that protects the SCADA components you use. Ventilation is one of the features that every organization needs to consider. The SCADA electronic components that keep your enterprise up and running generate heat. There are certain engineering calculations that need to be made to ensure that your rack enclosures have proper ventilation rates. These ensure SCADA Control Cabinets work efficiently.
These are the rates that help to determine how the flow moves through any enclosure. Of course, fans are one of the requirements, but there’s more to making sure these custom rack enclosure works properly.
Natural convection is another cornerstone of making sure there is proper ventilation. For devices using a tremendous amount of power, the number of cutouts is the next consideration.
Here’s a few other things that you’ll need to consider surrounding ventilation. Using any type of thin metal means that you will need to be aware of warping. If you use a series of tiny holes and sheet metal, this can become an issue.
Data and SCADA
The data clearly shows that there is lots of work left to be done in cybersecurity as it relates to both SCADA and rackmount enclosures. The report clearly demonstrates how industrial control systems are continuing soft targets for cybercriminals. In fact, it even goes so far as to name the areas where there are security gaps that need to be addressed including plain text passwords and direct connections to the Internet.
There are some quick fixes suggested in the document and these include monitoring any ICS network continually to spot any attempts to exploit unpatched systems.
Automated threat modeling is another one of the suggestions the report highlights.
NEMACO™ provides a number of different quality products to each of our customers. The 19 inch Rackmount enclosures and cabinets we offer can be customized to meet exacting specifications. The Stainless NEMA 4X enclosures in our inventory are guaranteed and we have a good variety of Indoor and Outdoor Nema 4x Stainless Computer Server Racks -Air Conditioned with removeable and hinged covers.
We offer a variety of rackmount closures with a variety of solutions and options. Why not get in touch with us today so we can build the one that’s right for you?