Originally launched in 1994, Freelance is ABB’s cost-effective distributed control system (DCS) solution for process industries. It combines the advantages of a DCS with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and is characterized by ease of use, scalability, flexibility and reliability. Freelance 2019 is the latest version of the DCS. The Freelance suite of solutions comprises Freelance Operations for use at operator level, a scalable process level option, and Freelance Engineering which is used to configure and commission the system including the operator interface. The new versionprovides significant improvements throughout the complete system.
Freelance 2019 provides a significant increase in efficiency and usability for its Operations and Engineering solution by adding advanced navigation, filter and sort functionality. The user experience has been improved with a new, very modern UI. A new controller, PM 904F, expands the Freelance AC 900F controller family in the upper range, supporting four communication interfaces. It also provides more application memory and enables the reservation of specific memory. As for all Freelance controllers user applications are 100% runtime-compatible which also enables smooth upgrade opportunities. Up to four monitors can now be connected to a single operator workplace. The available display types per monitor, as well as the arrangements of the monitors, are easily configured and fulfil the typical requirements for occupational safety and operator effectiveness. Freelance now provides an additional alternative to its user management capabilities known as “Security Lock” by a solution called “Extended User Management”. This new option makes use of Windows user accounts, supporting both local and domain accounts. As a result typical requests for options such as central password management, rules for password complexity, or password aging can be fulfilled.
To ensure compatibility Freelance 2019 can run on Windows 10 and Windows 7 in the same system architecture. This allows customers to do a step-wise upgrade to modern IT infrastructure which helps in reducing maintenance costs. As in earlier versions of Freelance customers have the option of staying automatically up-to-date by subscribing to the Automation Sentinel life cycle program by, for example, providing automatic cyber security patches. Available in a wide range of languages, Freelance takes only a short time to install on any standard computer and can easily be self-learned. The intuitive operator interface enables easy operation and diagnosis of the entire system and being just one file it is easy to back up as the entire application fits on a small memory stick.