ATOP is pleased to share with you the following article issued with the latest edition of the industial magazine "The Next Factory".
With more than 30 years' experience and internal R&D and production actvities, ATOP develops highly technological devices for industrial data interconnection.
ATOP, active in the design and production of industrial networking and pick-to-light systems, with over 30 years of history, is configured as a family structure strongly capitalized and represented in the world from a series of offices spread across the Asian continent, Russia, Germany, Italy and North America. Founded in Taiwan where the headquarter is located, today ATOP operates in the industrial networking sector producing solutions for industrial automation such as Industrial Ethernet switches, Industry-specific switches for the power supply / railways sectors, fieldbus gateways (Modbus), wireless servers and gateways, media converters and serial devices servers.
Full in-house development and manufacturing
"The long experience gained in industrial applications installed around the world, together with an international and extremely lean corporate structure, represents an element of differentiation for ATOP - says Matteo Tabarelli de Fatis, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing of ATOP Technologies Inc. - The first real strength that characterizes us, concerns the research and development activities that are internal to our company and are related to hardware, to software embedded and to the mechanics of our products. The importance of research for the company is evident if we consider that about 35% of ATOP personnel work in these research centers, located in Taiwan, India and Thailand. ".
Another key to ATOP's success is that manufacturing is completely in-house at Taiwan plant. About 50% of ATOP products (ATOP brand or third parties) are manufactured in this plant, while the remaining 50% is in contract manufacturing. The combination of research (to achieve continuous updating of the product), development (to evaluate the effectiveness of the designed solutions) and internal production (to control and therefore guarantee the quality of the products) makes it more effective and the entire process of technological innovation of the devices is efficient, as well as considerably increasing the company's know-how.
A third strength of ATOP is represented by the particular attention paid to cybersecurity, as explained by Matteo Tabarelli de Fatis. «For years our company has understood the great importance of security in the transmission and sharing of data; we first declined this on the company by certifying ourselves according to the IEC 62443-4-1 Standard, secondarily on products according with the IEC 62443-4-2 Standard ». This production and design independence allows ATOP to supply both standard products and customized solutions, for customers with specific needs.
ATOP solutions are market vertical, so to cover various technological levels pertaining to industrial connectivity, but at the same time the cut across different industrial sectors: from power sector to the railway one, from the automation of process to smart cities / its, from maritime to Oil & Gas. In particular, among wire products there are switches with various degrees of Ingress Protection (up to IP67), of immunity to electromagnetic disturbances, up to Level 3 switches. This further highlights the verticalization of the ATOP portfolio towards the Industrial Networking market: a complete range of solutions applicable to the various industrial sectors, based on the relative specific reference standards which determine the characteristics of the devices to be used.
The same approach is also replicated for the wireless sector, overseen by a variety of solutions. In addition to the embedded software for smart device operation internally designed, ATOP provides Windows-based utilities for the configuration and diagnostics of the data network, which allows customers to configure the devices installed and monitor their operation in real time. There are many successful installations for ATOP. It ranges from electrical substations connection for one of the largest oil refining plants in the world, to the on-board equipment of one-way gateways to guarantee cybersecurity in the entire monitoring and control system of the machine, to continue with the video surveillance system of large underground infrastructures for roads up to airport and railway solutions.
An Ally for Cybersecurity
In recent years, many companies have increased their investments in the digitization of manufacturing processes: a trend that the Covid-19 has even increased. This evolution in view of Industry 4.0, however, poses new and important challenges in terms of cybersecurity with renewed application needs. "Industrial Cybersecurity - explains Matteo Tabarelli de Fatis of ATOP - has and will play a fundamental role in this process. Also for this reason ATOP considers IT security at the basis of its proposal and has undertaken a company and product certification process in this sense (IEC 62443-4-1 and IEC 62443-4-2). Today ATOP is able to develop solutions that guarantee a high and certified level of safety ».
An example of this approach is A4GATE, a co-engineering project that involved ATOP together with Applied, a company of the IMA group, and Terafence in the development of a solution for the Industrial IoT that ensure the maximum cybersecurity level. «A4GATE - concludes Tabarelli de Fatis - is an IoT gateway that introduces an element of physical protection. In fact, the data diode technology has been integrated which makes the gateway unidirectional, forcing information and data to flow in one direction only ».
By Edoardo Oldrati and Andrea Cataldo
Here at page 90 you can check out the full original article( Italian Only )