- October 14, 2020
- Rockwell Automation
adi Automation, a division of the UK-based engineering business, adi Group, was recently confirmed by Rockwell Automation as one of just a small number of accredited Recognized System Integrators for its ThinManager production platform.
With fully trained and qualified engineers, adi Automation has now begun partnering with manufacturing businesses to integrate a server-based technology that reduces production downtimes and allows for unprecedented control and security.
The emerging tech from the American automation giant is gaining traction in manufacturing circles. Offering significant cost and durability benefits, ThinManager is replacing a number of conventional "fat client" systems in production sectors as diverse as food and beverage, chemical, petrochemical and general manufacturing.
The sustainable and scalable platform is equally beneficial in all size and manner of industrial environments. Its thin client architecture allows for the deployment of inexpensive hardware and optimises applications and dashboards for individual users. That minimises management and maintenance costs, whilst also insulating operators from a range of cybersecurity threats.
Ian Millington, Managing Director of adi Automation, believes this type of technology will assist all businesses with traditional SCADA and software based systems, especially in the current COVID-19 climate, where more access points must be deployed to ensure the distancing of personnel.
“More and more manufacturers are becoming aware of the comparative advantages ThinManager has over more conventionally deployed SCADA based systems," Millington said. "Unlike PC-based platforms, ThinManager was specifically designed to cope with manufacturing environments that are typically inhospitable.
“With no moving parts, thin clients are less prone to overheating and breakdowns, whereas a PC will typically break down inside two to five years depending on the environmental conditions. If you have 20 screens in one plant, that can result in one serious outage every other month that takes approximately eight hours to fix at best. And that means you face an avoidable loss of data and the best part of two weeks’ production over the course of a single year, all for want of resilient equipment.
“If you factor that kind of durability in with ThinManager’s many other security and operational benefits, it’s easy to see why all types of manufacturers are showing an interest. Customers can use their existing fat client systems to prepare for thin clients, minimising their initial hardware spend until failures occur in the Fat client PC hardware. adi Automation is in a great position to help lead the rollout of this transformational technology. Its time really is now, given the challenges manufacturing faces in the months and years ahead.”
ThinManager has a number of unique features, including:
- Configuration Wizards - Easily configure every server, terminal and user without writing any code
- WinTMC - A client application that transforms a PC into a thin client terminal
- Virtual Machine Support - Connect to VMware ESXi servers to manage and control the virtual machines from ThinManager
- PXE Boot - Allows many common thin clients to become ThinManager capable thin clients
- VNC - VNC sources can be shadowed and deployed to any terminal including mobile devices
- CSV & HTML Reporting - Run reports that show the event log, configurations, uptimes, and other critical data
- RFID Smart Card Integration – Allows users to log on at any terminal to a customised, relevant interface with appropriate access privileges.
- Server & Terminal Grouping - Create terminal server groups and assign server groups with a single click
- Touchscreen Support - Easy to add a serial or USB touchscreen terminal
- Custom Variables - Add user-defined variables to terminals, users, and locations
Users can define their own individual variables at terminals and at different locations in a facility, giving them an optimised experience, with visual content presented to them where and how they prefer to view it. And the system has also been designed to accommodate serial or USB touchscreen terminals for even further operational advantage.
The adi Group is one of the foremost leaders in the engineering industry, delivering full 360 degree turkey solutions to big brands such as Coca Cola, Princes Foods and Mondelez International.
About adi Group
Designing, constructing and self-delivering robust client solutions from over 30 specialist disciplines, adi Group takes a holistic approach to sustainability, skills and partnership.
Consistent, organic growth since its establishment in 1990 has enabled the business to broaden the portfolio of services it offers clients in the Automotive, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Aerospace & Defence, Pharmaceutical and Petrochemical sectors.
Serving as a client’s single point of responsibility, adi Group overturns UK engineering’s niche model to offer clients 360° support across the spectrum – from the smallest expert installation or maintenance contract to large-scale capital projects. End-to-end, full lifecycle support.
Inspired by the same principles that serve Formula 1 so well, adi counts many of the world’s best loved brands among its loyal clients. A "right first time" culture ensures a team with a UK-wide reach creates and delivers the turnkey solutions that engineer the outcomes–and outputs–clients demand.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. We connect the imaginations of people with the potential of technology to expand what is humanly possible, making the world more productive and more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 23,000 problem solvers dedicated to our customers in more than 100 countries.
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