ABB upgrades Freelance DCS for process industries
ABB says that security is a top priority in the age of Industry 4.0 so enhanced security is one of a range of new features and benefits included in Freelance 2019.
Originally launched in 1994, Freelance is ABB’s distributed control system (DCS) solution for process industries. It combines the advantages of a DCS with programmable logic controllers (PLC) and is characterized by ease-of-use, scalability, flexibility and reliability.
The Freelance suite of solutions comprises Freelance Operations for use at operator level, a scalable process level option and Freelance Engineering which is used to configure and commission the system including the operator interface.
New features and benefits of Freelance 2019
Improved usability: Freelance 2019 provides a significant increase in efficiency and usability for its Operations and Engineering solution by adding features such as advanced navigation, filter and sort functionality. The UI has been improved.
Scalable: A new controller, PM 904F, expands the Freelance AC 900F controller family in the upper range, supporting four communication interfaces. It also provides more application memory and enables the reservation of specific memory. As with all Freelance controllers, user applications are 100% runtime-compatible which also enables smooth upgrade opportunities.
More connectivity: Up to four monitors can now be connected to a single operator workplace. The available display types per monitor, as well as the arrangements of the monitors, are easily configured and fulfil the typical requirements for occupational safety and operator effectiveness.
Enhanced security: Freelance provides an additional alternative to its user management capabilities known as Security Lock by a solution called Extended User Management. This new option makes use of Windows user accounts, supporting both local and domain accounts. As a result typical requests for options such as central password management, rules for password complexity or password aging can be fulfilled.
Compatibility: Freelance 2019 can run on both Windows 10 and Windows 7 in the same system architecture. This allows customers to do a step-wise upgrade to modern IT infrastructure which helps to reduce maintenance costs.
As in earlier versions of Freelance, customers have the option of staying automatically up-to-date by subscribing to the Automation Sentinel life cycle program by, for example, providing automatic cyber security patches.
Available in a wide range of languages, Freelance takes five minutes to install on any standard computer and can easily be self-learned. The intuitive operator interface enables easy operation and diagnosis of the entire system and being just one file it is easy to back up as the entire application fits on a small memory stick.