Opto 22’s groov EPIC Firmware Update Enhances Secure Remote Access with VPN, adds Inductive Automation Ignition Options

Sept. 4, 2019
New update adds virtual private networking, new network diagnostic tools, and choice of Inductive Automation’s Ignition editions

Opto 22 announces the release of firmware update 1.4.1 for the groov EPIC® Edge Programmable Industrial Controller, expanding the capabilities of this next-generation industrial control system. Engineers and developers will find helpful new networking options and tools, plus new software choices for their automation and industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications.

For secure remote access to the groov EPIC, the system now offers VPN (virtual private network) client technology to connect to an OpenVPN-based VPN server. This option is a rare feature in programmable controllers and a key to creating secure data communication architectures, particularly with geographically dispersed systems.

For example, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) embedding groov EPIC in their machine design could benefit from establishing a remote connection to their equipment using

industry-standard, IT-friendly VPN technology for diagnostics and predictive service. Likewise, a system integrator could use the VPN technology to provide continuing integration services after equipment is installed at a plant or location.

Also with the new release, users can choose between Inductive Automation’s® Ignition Edge® or the full Ignition platform, whichever edition is better suited to their application. Choosing the full Ignition option allows groov EPIC to serve as an industrially hardened OPC-UA server to legacy PLCs—like Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Modbus, and more—eliminating the need to purchase, configure, and deploy Windows-based computers to perform this function. This option can also significantly reduce the need for IT involvement in many cases.

In addition, the full Ignition edition allows users to install and utilize more Ignition modules, including those for database connectivity, reporting, text/email alarming, and Sepasoft MES.

New diagnostic and troubleshooting tools have also been added to groov EPIC for testing network connectivity, including ping, test TCP port, traceroute, and nslookup. All are now available from the embedded groov Manage application to assist in quickly isolating or pinpointing networking problems.

Other enhancements in this upgrade include the following:

  • The two independent, segmented Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces now have complete control over gateway and DNS/DHCP configurations. Each interface can have its own gateway and DNS server; users can now manually override gateway address, name servers, and search domains, and set the priority for backup gateways and DNS provisioning.
  • The included IEC 61131-3 compliant CODESYS Runtime now supports Opto 22’s new groov EPIC serial communication module (GRV-CSERI-4), so control programs that need serial communications support can be developed.
  • The embedded, open-source Node-RED runtime and editor has been upgraded to version 0.20.5.
  • Other improvements include accessing console log files and preserving all groov Manage settings during firmware updates.

Version 1.4.1 is a free upgrade for all groov EPIC users. Current customers can log into manage.groov.com and simply download the file and update their EPICs. Complete upgrade instructions are available in the groov EPIC User’s Guide. For new customers, all groov EPICs now ship with this latest firmware version.

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