Flexible operator stations for remote access
Classic workstations and server units are increasingly giving way to virtualised solutions that provide connected, intelligent and swift computing and storage capacities, which are far more easily scalable with lower costs and maintenance requirements. Distributed control systems and cloud applications running on virtual machines enable flexible remote access to a wide range of systems – from process automation to condition monitoring and maintenance programs through to tracking and management systems. As far as operating systems are concerned, conventional KVM systems have reached their limits here. Modern thin clients are therefore replacing them.
As Industry 4.0 will drive transformation from analog to digital operations on the production floor and beyond, the increase in the volume of data and information will become cumbersome while using legacy systems that use pure hardware-bound control and data transfer architectures. Virtual machines or cloud-connected systems have therefore become established as more flexible, efficient and instantly scalable. To provide constant secure access to process values, system status and production and maintenance processes from the field to the control station, both the hardware and the software of the field operating devices must meet the requirements of process and system control. Thin clients with Industry 4.0-optimised software are therefore replacing traditional standard computers and KVM systems for remote access to distributed control systems.