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Industrial Control & Automation Systems – ICAS

Industrial Control & Automation Systems

An industrial control system (ICS) is integrated hardware and software designed to monitor and control the operation of machinery and associated devices in industrial environments.

Industrial control systems monitor, automatically manage and enable human control of industrial processes such as product distribution, handling and production. ICS are used in extraction resources like mining, oil, gas and coal, as well as factories, water/waste water treatment, power plants, pulp and paper and transport industries. The systems have helped bring about an increase in speed, responsiveness to conditions and reliability.

Technologies used in ICS include distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The separation of these systems is becoming less defined as remote telemetry units used to input change become more capable of local control and information technologies (IT) are increasingly integrated with operational technologies (OT).

Modern plant control room
A modern plant control room


The following protocols are some of the languages that the industrial control systems use to communicate across the Internet. Many of them were developed before the Internet became widely used, which is why Internet-accessible ICS devices dont always require authentication – it isnt part of the protocol!


Modbus is a popular protocol for industrial control systems (ICS). It provides easy, raw access to the control system without requiring any authentication.


S7-Communication is a Siemens proprietary protocol that runs between programmable logic controllers (PLCs) of the Siemens S7 family.

 icas-dnp3DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol) is a set of communications protocols used between components in process automation systems. Its main use is in utilities such as electric and water companies.  icas-tridiumThe Fox protocol, developed as part of the Niagara framework from Tridium, is most commonly seen in building automation systems (offices, libraries, Universities, etc.)
 icas-bacnetBACnet is a communications protocol for building automation and control networks. It was designed to allow communication of building automation and control systems for applications such as heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and fire detection systems.


 icas-ethernetipEtherNet/IP was introduced in 2001 and is an industrial Ethernet network solution available for manufacturing automation.


 icas-gesrtpService Request Transport Protocol (GE-SRTP) protocol is developed by GE Intelligent Platforms (earlier GE Fanuc) for transfer of data from PLCs.  icas-hart-ipThe HART Communications Protocol (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol) is an early implementation of Fieldbus, a digital industrial automation protocol. Its most notable advantage is that it can communicate over legacy wiring.


 icas-mitsubishiMELSEC-Q Series use a proprietary network protocol for communication. The devices are used by equipment and manufacturing facilities to provide high-speed, large volume data processing and machine control.


 icas-omron FINS, Factory Interface Network Service, is a network protocol used by Omron PLCs, over different physical networks like Ethernet, Controller Link, DeviceNet and RS-232C.
 icas-redlion The protocol the Crimson v3.0 desktop software uses when communicating with the Red Lion Controls G306a human machine interface (HMI). icas-codesysOver 250 device manufacturers from different industrial sectors offer automation devices with a CODESYS programming interface. Consequently, thousands of users such as machine or plant builders around the world employ CODESYS for automation tasks.


 icas-IEC60870-05-104 IEC 60870 part 5 is one of the IEC 60870 set of standards which define systems used for SCADA in electrical engineering and power system automation applications.


 icas-ProConOS ProConOS is a high performance PLC run time engine designed for both embedded and PC based control applications.



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