Lindsey Guajardo

The role of the IT professional in Industry 4.0

The role of the IT professional in Industry 4.0Building and maintaining an automated industrial process is changing. Improved networking capabilities is bringing a wave of businesses into Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things. So much so, that younger professionals have come to expect the ability to monitor their installations remotely from their desk, smartphone, or tablet, and companies like KEB are building a new generation of products that speaks to this need. When a product comes with a choice of communication interfaces, wireless or wired, WAN, LAN, and serial, the most informed consumer will be the one who knows the communication network inside and out.


In most installations, setting up network connectivity falls to a department that previously wouldn’t have been involved in purchasing decisions for the factory floor – the IT department. Recent surveys among integrators that have begin setting up IIoT-ready automation processes have indicated that nearly a quarter of all purchase decisions for these installations will involve IT, and in many cases these purchases will be a line item in the IT budget. Though a product may be used by the engineers, KEB recognizes every department within a company will have different business goals, different bottom lines. In IIoT, there’s an intersection of interests between engineers and IT so the products offered need to serve both of these.


In a previous post, I went over how data-gathering techniques that are a part of IIoT devices can be used to improve the productivity of an installation. KEB drives, like the F5 Inverter, have the ability to send data to devices with logging capabilities. Being a part of industry 4.0 is building a system in which this communication takes place as part of the IT department’s new role in factory automation. KEB’s products are able to speak to each other using one of more than a dozen communication protocols. Additionally, our C6 VPN Router can be integrated wirelessly, or using a wired network. By using KEB products an integrator will give their IT department maximum flexibility for designing the communication network.


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It’s more common, however, for our customers to be updating their existing installations rather than starting from the ground up. Many of KEB’s products are designed for a long product and support lifetime. The F4 series of drives, for example, was produced for over twenty years before we updated to the F5 which has now been going strong for fifteen years. We hope that all of our products will see many years of use in a customer’s installation, so we endeavor to make our new products easy to integrate into existing systems. Even third party products can work well with KEB’s IIoT-ready devices. Are you using an Allen Bradley PLC? We can work with that. This feature – the ease of integration – is what we feel makes our IIoT products truly IT-friendly.


When it comes to industry 4.0 and the IT department’s role in a company, we know they have loads of responsibilities on their plate. Adding into this the necessity of installing and maintaining the factory floor’s communication network shouldn’t be a roadblock to the newest technology and the future of machine automation. Give us a call, or send us an email and we’ll help you make your IT professional’s job easier.


High temperature industrial router for outdoor datalogging and communication

Here at KEB, summertime is great for picnics, bike rides, or a cool dip in one of Minnesota’s 10,000 beautiful lakes. Unfortunately, finding relief from the heat of the summer air isn’t as easy for many industrial installations. A high temperature router is important to maintaining consistent datalogging and communication in installations that may lack cooling or air conditioning. In this post we’ll highlight the extended temperature range and optional communication options of our C6 Industrial VPN Router.


The largest benefit our customers see from creating a networked automation system is that it can save time and money when it comes to maintenance and monitoring. When something goes wrong with a machine it can be looked into from a remote connection anywhere in the world using KEB’s secure global network.


C6 Router for Remote Connection


The standard router is a great tool for monitoring many types of installations, but we know some of our customers work in environments that lack climate control or Ethernet networking. Wastewater, oil and gas, wind turbines, and many other types of outdoor installations can benefit from communication options that can be used on any cellular network, as well as an extended operating temperature range.


For applications in environments prone to extreme temperatures – like a cabinet without air conditioning in the Arizona desert – the router comes in an extended temperature version. With the extended range, the router can safely be used in temperatures as low as -20°C and up to 70°C. This option is available for all four models of our router.


The M1 and M2 models come with one push-pin type SIM card and a SMAStecker antenna. An auxiliary Diversity antenna is optionally available as well. The antenna can be directly mounted to the device, connected via extension cable or extension cable with wall mount, or the router can be connected with an outdoor antenna.

Industrial router antenna


Every C6 router is made from rugged industrial-grade materials. It has a stainless steel enclosure that can be DIN rail or wall mounted, and has no fans or moving parts. They carry CE and cULus approvals and an IP20 protection rating. Communication to other devices is set up using the WAN or LAN Ethernet ports. The standard router will operate in temperatures ranging from 0° to 50°C.


If your application can benefit from the extended temperature range or cellular communication options for our C6 Router please contact us today and we’ll get you set up with a risk-free trial.

KEB technology at Elevator U

KEB America will be attending the Elevator U Conference and Vendor Show in Charlottesville, VA June 19th through the 22nd.


Elevator UElevator U is dedicated to supporting the exchange of ideas and information and encouraging innovation in the vertical transportation industry serving academic facilities. Members of the group include university facility managers, elevator and lift consultants and integrators, as well as vendors and suppliers. Now in its 20th year, the annual conference and vendor show brings together members from across the United States for three days of education, networking, and demonstrations of the latest technology.


This is the first year KEB will be attending the Elevator U conference. We have been working with the academic facilities industry for many years, and look forward to this new networking opportunity. We will be bringing several pieces of KEB technology that we think will be part of the future of the industry, including our regenerative drives and catalog of automation products for machine-room-less elevator solutions.


For the latest information on elevator, escalator, and lift innovations from KEB America be sure to follow us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and YouTube – let’s connect!

Estimate ROI with our elevator regen calculator

Could your elevator save money using KEB America’s R6 line regen? Use our online calculator to estimate ROI and savings. The tool, which is free to use, provides an estimate of annual energy savings when using a KEB regenerative unit and a breakeven analysis for the investment.


At various times during a traction elevator’s operation, energy is both delivered to and returned from the elevator system.  An R6 unit allows regenerated energy to be returned to the utility line instead of being dissipated as heat across a braking resistor grid.


“KEB’s R6 elevator regen drive has proven to be a very economical option to capture regen savings” says KEB America sales manager, Jonathan Bullick.  “In some cases, the payback period is only a year or two.  However, the amount of savings and the payback period can vary greatly depending on the usage, elevator capacity and type of elevator technology being used.  This calculator is a tool managers can use to justify the regen investment and determine prime regen candidates.”


The calculator and cost analysis tool was developed through the years by KEB elevator engineers.  It allows a user to enter basic elevator, usage, and investment parameters and approximates the regen savings one could expect.  When we launched our blog, we decided to publish the tool online so anyone interested in checking the numbers for themselves.


The calculator can be found at  Additional questions can be directed to, or you can use our contact form.






Download a sample report



View the latest KEB technology at Hannover Messe

Hannover MesseKEB Automation KG is excited to be attending Hannover Messe again this year. The fair, billed as the world’s leading industrial show, will take place April 25th through the 28th in Hannover, Germany and will host innovators and leaders from around the globe.


During the Hannover Fair visitors can find KEB Automation in Hall 15, Booth B10. Engineers will be available to discuss some of the new and upcoming technology from KEB, like a new family of application drives and a variety of new safety tools.


The F6 Application Drive is a compact, flexible VFD designed with the most up-to-date technology. It’s suitable for either asynchronous AC motors or synchronous servo-drives. There will be a variety of sizes and models available, so bring your application questions to the KEB booth and our sales engineers will be happy to walk you through the features and how they can be used to improve your system.


KEB knows our partners require a high standard of safety in their automation applications. Our latest programmable Safety PLC and Remote I/O modules comply with the requirements of IEC 61508 SIL 3 and DIN EN ISO 13849-1 Ple safety standards. The PLC and modules use EtherCAT for real-time communication and easy installation into an existing system. Make sure your automation solution meets the most stringent safety standards by checking out these new solutions with KEB.


KEB America is a wholly owned subsidiary of KEB Automation KG (formerly Karl E. Brinkmann GmbH). KEB was founded in 1972 and has 5 global production sites, 9 subsidiaries and over 1,200 employees. Today, KEB products can be found in the most demanding applications across the world and are supported from their 40+ sales and service centers.


KEB at Hannover Messe - hall 15, booth b10

COMBIVIS security certification – Connect receives certification in latest release

COMBIVIS security certificationKEB America announces COMBIVIS security certification.


The latest release of their COMBIVIS Connect software, version 8.0, was independently certified by ProtectEM, an organization specializing in auditing security solutions in the industrial and process automation industry.


COMBIVIS Connect is KEB’s remote access software solution for PLCs and HMIs. Using the software to connect a remote or distributed installation allows the customer to save both time and money by monitoring equipment and performing maintenance without having to leave the office.


Security is a core feature of COMBIVIS Connect and the recent software enhancements. Thanks to the careful design and high security standards of KEB hardware, software, and server infrastructure, COMBIVIS Connect has successfully passed the security audit in accordance with the standards set by ProtectEM. Key components of COMBIVIS such as Connect Access Servers, Control Center, Runtime and the C6 VPN Router were individually tested and analyzed as part of the security audit. Each element has been certified in accordance with the IEC 62443-3 standard.


In addition to the security certification, the following new features are now available:


  • Strong Password Requirements (IEC 62443-3): The domain administrator can enable strong password requirements. All passwords are required to meet complexity standards defined by IEC62443-3.
  • Update functionality of device runtimes: Auto- update of runtime software to remote devices.
  • Static IP VPN pool: LAN devices reachable by VPN can be defined by a range of IP addresses.
  • Multiple monitors: Simultaneous display of multiple screens with Combivis Connect Remote Desktop for C6 devices supporting multiple monitors.
  • Full-screen support: Full screen mode for viewing the remote desktop.
  • Export connection log: Runtime logs of remote C6 devices consisting of all activities executed during the remote connections session can be exported to CSV.


The latest version of the software can be downloaded from Questions can be directed to or (952) 224-1400.

Upcoming events – Elevator solutions from KEB in NYC and NOLA

The KEB Elevator Group will be hitting the road this spring to meet with other industry leaders in New York at the ECNY Supplier Showcase and in New Orleans at the IAEC Forum. If you’ll be in the area, we’d love to visit with you and discuss some of the ways KEB is working toward the future of elevator, escalator, and lift innovation.



The ECNY Supplier Showcase will be held April 5th at the Villa Barone Manor in New York from noon to 7pm. The annual event gives industry professionals a chance to network and discuss trends and new developments. KEB will be available to discuss our products that have been specifically developed for elevator applications, like our dedicated elevator drives and line regen units.



From April 25th to the 28th KEB will be at the IAEC Forum in New Orleans. Trade show booths will be open each day of the Forum and there will be many informative seminars for IAEC members. You can visit with KEB at the trade show to see our latest developments, or chat with us about our recent experience in the future of high-speed elevators. More information on the Forum and membership in the IAEC can be found on their website.


If you’re not connected with the KEB Elevator Group on social media, you’re missing out on the latest updates! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and YouTube. Be sure to check in on for the latest news and expert technical information from KEB, and on our social pages for interesting articles, videos, and discussion topics.

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