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Opportunities and risks when connecting a control system to the Internet

By applying this technology onto a machine control system a great variety of PC features is now embedded within the actual control. At the same time the World Wide Web brought electronic communication and networking the virtually everyone. The combination of the Internet and embedded PC based controls now open opportunities especially
in the areas of remote maintenance and diagnostics that are mutually beneficial for both the manufacturer and user of a production machine. Though features like TCP/IP, web server, VNC, VPN, email have been available for around 2 years now they have not been adopted by many OEMs also because of security concerns and necessary implementation efforts of their customers. This article will provide an overview of available technology and show methods on how to maximize on diagnostics with minimal risk and implementation effort.

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