Engineered Solutions for Manufacturing



Added some new Add On Instructions under the RSLogix 5000 section.  Also available for custom Add On Instruction development for manufacturing facilities and OEMs.


A very important topic these days.  The US Governmental has a Control Systems Security Program that posts vulnerabilities to software and hardware typically used in industrial automation.  These usually include general descriptions of the security issue and links to the vendor for more detailed information on how to implement workarounds of patches for the problem.

Very good website.

Then for people in the utilities industry the DOE also has some specific information for your industry.


Have started some general information posts on different topics.  These typically include general solutions to common issues across several industries Odesta is involved in.  The technologies involved include (at this point); VMWare, SQL Server and I/Gear.  Check the posts out under the General Information section.  Hope you find something useful.

If you have any questions or comments you are welcome to contact us at


The requirements and capabilities of safety systems have drastically changed over the past several years.  This has come to the forefront of several projects the past couple of years.  The new programmable safety systems offer much better functional safety than in the past, better capabilities to integrate with existing or new control systems, lower wiring requirements, complete diagnostics and can increase the uptime of your equipment in complex systems.

Below is a simple look at the different systems for programming a simple E-Stop with manual reset and dual monitored output contacts.


In case you have not been keeping up with the security issues with HMI, SCADA and DCS systems over the past year and a half with the issue with the STUXNET worm that attacked Seimens systems.  Here are a couple of links to look at that has some good information papers and potential solutions to the security issues.

Tofino is a dedicated security appliance that has specific filters for typical industrial communications (OPC, Modbus TCP , etc) and they have some good general information.

SCADAhacker is a general blog dedicated to SCADA security issues and of course the author is available for training and consulting.

Of course some basic help from internal IT departments can help quite a bit by implementing VLANs and VPN access to your control networks. 


Check out this very cost effective network time server that uses GPS from NetBurner.  You will also need to purchase the external antenna.  See this link for details.


Found a great open source version of a Network Time server (NTP - Network Time Protocol).  A customer used this to set the time on his Cognex cameras so that if there was a power cycle the cameras would still report the correct date and time through the Cognex Software.  The Cognex cameras use the simpler form, SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) and this works great as a basic time server.

You can find it here

Of course they also have some high end hardware based solutions for network time servers that use GPS or other precision time sources.


Web Based Report of Equipment Process Data

Data can be exported to PDF, Excel or Word.  With the full version of SQL Server scheduled reports can be run and emailed to required personnel based on default report parameters.  Reports can also include drill down data as shown with the data summarized by a daily average.

This makes your process data easily accessible to your engineers with a basic web browser.  Yet they still have the option of importing the data into Excel for additional analysis.

Report Designer

The report designer is included with the web based reporting system for installation on multiple customer machines.  The reporting tool is comparable to many that are used by IT departments (Crystal Reports, MS Access, etc).  Since the data is in SQL Server, it is also possible to create queries / reports from within Excel if that is more familiar.



Looking at moving to a total opensource solution in the Investment Casting Shell Management System for the reporting and the database storage by moving to MySQL and JasperReports.  To check out the opensource project view these links: 

This seems to be the best way to provide the most cost effective solution that has the most active online communities for end user support beyond what Odesta is able to provide.  Our goal still remains to provide a solution that the customer can extend on their own if they want to.


Check out the latest version of SQL Server Express 2008 R2.  Microsoft has bumped up the database size limit for the free version from 4GB to 10GB.  Now quite a few of the applications for historical logging that used to require the full version of SQL Server can use the Express Version.


- Investment Casting Shell Management System

Completing work on a shell management system for the Investment Casting industry that has a few different ideas than other systems you may have seen in the past.

For a more technical description of features look on this PAGE.

If you are unfamiliar with this term then let's describe what a Shell Management System consists of:

Contact us today if you would be interested in upgrading from your existing shell management system to one with unlimited possibilities.  Call us if you would like to see a demonstration of the system,