Engineers working at a high-security facility in Europe needed to provide access to subsets of the data without breaching network security or permitting any non-authorized personnel into the location. The goal was to connect equipment at the facility to two remote SCADA systems so that technicians could monitor the machines without physically accessing the site.
At first it looked like a typical networked OPC application, using DCOM. But in addition to the expected configuration problems with DCOM, the team also found that this particular OPC server behaved strangely, refusing to re-establish a DCOM connection after a network disconnect. To avoid DCOM problems altogether, they decided to use the Cogent DataHub’s tunnelling feature.
At the secure facility, they connected the DataHub to the OPC server for the process equipment, and to several other pieces of equipment as well. Then they configured outbound tunnel connections to the OPC DataHubs running on two different machines at the monitoring stations. The two SCADA systems are now physically remote from the machinery they control, but since the tunnel connection is real time, technicians can access and work on it as if they were on location. The physical separation prevents accidental or malicious contact with the equipment, and minimizes service visits to the facility.