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Online Development Partners with Kepware

August 26, 2008

The alliance will combine resources to develop a new M2M communications gateway for use with third-party automation controllers.


PORTLAND, ME /Marketwire/ -- Kepware Technologies, a leader in communications for automation, announced that it was selected as a strategic provider of communications for Online Development Inc. (OLDI) and their development of a new machine-to-machine (M2M) communications gateway for use with an Allen Bradley Control Logix controller and as a stand-alone solution for use with other third-party automation controllers.

Online Development Inc. is a leading developer of add-on and private-labeled modules for Allen Bradley automation solutions. Their next generation of intelligent module is targeted at enabling the Allen Bradley ControlLogix platform to communicate with other automation equipment in a high-performance and reliable M2M configuration. A partnership with Kepware is making this possible through the licensing of Kepware's KEPServerEX and LinkMaster products. The new product is currently under development and will be available in the fall timeframe. This product will be available in both stand-alone and PLC module configurations and will be marketed and supported by Online Development.

In addition to licensing Kepware products, Online Development has joined the "Connected with Kepware" vendor protocol program and has developed specialized backplane communications between an Allen Bradley ControlLogix processor and their co-processor solution to enable a reliable and high-performance integration.

The stand-alone configurations will enable the delivery of gateway communication solutions, allowing M2M connectivity between thousands of different devices via over 100 communications protocols, encompassing both serial and Ethernet communications.

"Online Development is an excellent partner for Kepware, able to leverage our technologies and deliver new capabilities to a market ready and eager for improved machine-to-machine connectivity," says Roy Kok, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Kepware. "We first met almost a year ago, and our companies seemed a perfect match for a joint product initiative. I couldn't imagine a better partner to kick off our embedded systems and gateway communications initiative."

"Kepware offers an exceptional range of communications options, second to none," explains Ron Monday, President of Online Development Inc. "They are the industry standard in discrete manufacturing protocols, and the architecture of their KEPServerEX product has enabled us to develop and test these new communications solutions knowing that we will deliver a solid and proven solution on day one. This offering will enable Rockwell Automation ControlLogix users to reliably tie their control systems to third-party solutions. In the stand alone module configuration, we can support the integration of various protocols simultaneously, for example, the connectivity of data between GE Fanuc, Rockwell, Siemens, Mitsubishi, Omron, and dozens of other vendor offerings."

According to Craig Resnick, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group, "Manufacturers demand solutions focused on enhanced collaboration, whether the collaboration is between corporate IT and manufacturing, machine to machine, or other disciplines, such as engineering and operations. The combination of OLDI's proven communication products, such as xCoupler and cATM, along with Kepware's proven standards-based communication software, such as KEPServerEX and LinkMaster, will accelerate the availability of solutions that manufacturers can leverage to further collapse barriers to information and the openness of systems and applications."

About Kepware
Kepware Technologies is a world leader in communications software for automation and offers a unique experience in both OPC and embedded device communications. Since 1995, Kepware has focused on the development of communications drivers to automation controllers, I/O, and field devices. Applications include M2M and machine-to-computer) communications. Operating system support includes Microsoft Windows Desktop, Windows Server, and Windows Embedded (Windows CE and Windows Embedded NT/XP). Today, with over 130 communications protocols and through the efforts of our direct sales, distribution, and embedded partners, Kepware is a leading provider of communications, with annual shipments exceeding 100,000 units. Kepware's responsiveness to customer needs and strong partnerships with other leading automation suppliers ensure that your next application will be a success.

About Online Development
Online Development Inc. is a fast track developer of factory automation data appliances. Since its founding in 1989, the company has led the industry in developing the technologies needed to enable various leading brands of PLCs/PACs to communicate with field devices or other controllers on the factory floor. The technologies developed by the company provide very simple, yet highly effective, connectivity between various proprietary factory automation devices, including barcode scanners, modems, printers, robots, HMIs, sensors, RFIDs, and popular factory/warehouse network systems.

Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Online Development is privately owned and has offices in Cleveland, OH, Cincinnati, OH, and Barcelona, Spain. The company's headquarters address is 7209 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920. The main telephone number is 800-625-8678.


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