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HANSA 07-2021

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Behördenschiffe · Abwasser-Behandlung · Big Data & Cyber Security · Car Carrier · IMO & Klimaschutz · Wasserstoff-Technologien · Deutsche Bulk-Reedereien · Piraterie & maritime Sicherheit


TECH-INNOVATION POWERED BY VDMA - MARINE EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS WAGO Secure communication Ships are increasingly networked. The exchange of data on board and from board to shore is increasing. To enable a secure exchange here, the automation specialist Wago and the Finnish company Tosibox have jointly developed a solution. © Wago With the »Tosibox Lock for Container« software, a solution has been developed to enable secure communication on board and to systems outside the ship. With the help of the software, users can access their industrial IoT devices via an encrypted VPN connection over the internet and most LAN and WAN networks. For this software, Tosibox uses Wago‘s PFC200 controllers with so-called Docker® technology. According to Wago, the Linux-oriented Docker container technology makes it easier and faster to use applications on the PFC200. In addition, different applications can run separately on one device. Furthermore, Docker grants users many degrees of freedom, so software from third-party suppliers in particular can be used with it. The software solution offers an infrastructure to monitor, analyse or optimize the components of an automation system – for example controllers, operating units or condition monitoring systems – at a higher level. To do this, the software uses Docker to open up secure connectivity between the devices in the form of machine areas or system monitoring on site and streaming or storage services above them, as well as tools for data analysis. These can be, for example, visualizations or solutions from the field of machine learning. According to the developers, an essential added value of the overall solution, apart from secure data transmission, is to enable users to access the data in the simplest possible way. It is irrelevant which hardware is used to connect to the devices: the Tosibox key is available in the form of a USB stick for the computer as well as a soft key for laptops or as a mobile client for pads and smartphones. 3 questions to… Steffen Friedrich Global Industry Manager Marine & Offshore – Wago Kontakttechnik, Minden »Flexible installation« Could you explain Docker technology in a few words? Friedrich: Docker technology enables software applications to be isolated in so-called containers. All the files needed to run an application are packed into a handy package. Applications can thus be distributed, installed and operated more quickly. Docker containers are comparable to a virtual machine; applications are separated from the underlying operating system as well as from other applications. Docker containers are very resource-efficient and their origins can be found in the IT world. In the beginning, server applications were managed, but today the technology has found its way into the automation world and quickly and easily offers an extended range with management functions on controllers or edge devices. For which applications on board can the technology be used? Friedrich: Various systems can be found on board ships. For example, it can be a Wago PLC control system with a Linux operating system and a Microsoft Windows computer. In the past, applications had to be compiled at great effort so that they could run on the respective operating system. With Docker technology, proven applications, such as a VPN client from leading providers, can now be flexibly installed on other systems in a container. Future applications can also be efficiently managed in the expanded area, for example an analysis tool for preventive maintenance and optimizing ship operations. Complete isolation of PLC programmes is also conceivable. What advantages does it bring to the crew or the owner? Friedrich: Docker containers are very resource-efficient and inherently bring good management functions. With the © Wago quick and easy distribution of applications (so-called deployment), software can be flexibly added, for example for a secure internet connection. Existing systems can thus be used and expanded or updated with different containers. This means that there is no need for new installations on board, which saves costs. In the future, it will also be possible to optimize ship operation and open up new possibilities with regard to the digital maintenance of equipment. The most important thing, however, is that a classified system remains untouched in its origin. 48 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 07 | 2021


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