#ArcForum Manage risk for breakthrough performance!

Importance of cybersecurity acknowledged at premier meeting for industry executives and technology solution providers

The 7th annual ARC Forum assembled in Orlando (FL USA) last week (11/14 Feb 2013). Entitled “Achieving Breakthrough Performance with New Processes and Technologies” it attracted a large attendance of over 600, only slightly affected by the terrible weather that hit the North Eastern states of America the weekend before causing disruption of many air services. “With 2 ft of snow on the ground, can’t wait to get to sunny Orlando to attend #arcforum, see you there!” was one happy tweet! But not all were able to make it “Officially cancelled my flight to #ARCforum. I’ll miss Orlando considering the current temp of my house, but can’t get out.”

Other Blogs/Reports on #ARCForum 2013
•Paul Millar’s report on the ARC site:
Achieving Breakthrough Performance While Managing Risk. (ARC Advisory Group clients can view the complete report!)
• Gary Mintchell:
Early Thoughts
Process Expert System Optimizes Production And Energy Efficiency
First Community-Based Industrial Automation Software Module Store
Invensys Emphasizes Safety
• Invensys:
A Great Time for Industry! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

As you can see we followed the event from afar via twitter (#arcforum) and again this proved a wealth of information on what was going on with a less than usual commercial or marketing input . Control’s Walt Boyes remarked “There are fewer press conferences than previous years, but very interesting stuff.”

One of the first tweets remarked on the amount of space dedicated to cybersecurity. Indeed there was an entire day devoted to this topic on the first day with two half-day workshops: Threats to Industrial Control Systems followed by on for IT, Automation, and Engineering Managers. These were presented by delegates from the US Homeland Security Department, who have, not surprisingly, been very active in this area over the last few years especially since the discovery of control system infections caused by worms such as Stuxnet etc.

Other sessions on the first day included a meeting of the Intelligent Device Management ISA108 Committee Meeting. This standard seeks to define standard templates of best practices and work processes for implementation and use of diagnostic and other information provided by intelligent field devices in the process industries.

ARC’s Roy Kok also held a sessions outlining their Market Intelligence & Rapid Analysis (MIRA) Service which allows users have instant access to ARC research right at their own computer and their STAR (Solutions That Accelerate Results) Service to help end users with the supplier evaluation and selection process.

All threads came together on the second morning for two panel discussions. The first addressed managing risk and achieving breakthrough performance in business and manufacturing operations with new processes and technologies. ARC’s Andy Catha pointed out that with Information-Driven Manufacturing plant systems will become more intelligent, analytical, and autonomous. Another speaker EXXON’s Pat Farrell said that his company’s model for OIMS (Operations Integrity Management System) integrates people process and technology management with an outcome to manage risk and decision capability. Another tweet from this session commented: “Discussing cloud and #Internet of things i.e IT invasion to ICS ; I wonder if SCADA or ics engineers can manage resulting risks?”

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Risk management: The big topic for NASA, ExxonMobil, automation suppliers at the CEO Keynote Session

However the highlight of this morning – and quite possibly of the entire week – was the presentation by Doug McCuistion, Dir, Mars Exploration Program, NASA, describead as “an inspirational presentation on Curiosity mission, lots of cool pictures!”  “We must manage risk for breakthrough performance” he said. But why Mars? “Why Mars? Its warm and wet past.”  Their strategy for finding signs of life is to “Follow the Water!” Obviously attendies were impressed, ” NASA’s Curiosity rover mission successfully hits Mars target – technology at its finest! Cool stuff” gushed another tweet. And the total participation of the audience was demonstrated when they applauded the recording of the landing on the screen. 

That afternoon sessions handled such topics as, Process Optimization for Energy and Sustainability; Information Driven, Production; Managing Project Risks and the always important topic especially nowadays, Preparing for the Future Workforce.

killerwhale(Ibrahim Hamad)

Killer Whale
Tweeted by Ibrahim Hamad

The evenings were taken up with sponsored receptions and/or buffets and some entertainment including a breathtaking water “killer whale” event!

Wednesday and Thursday again wre occupied with tracks covering a multitude of interesting sessions. As the meeting progressed and divided into smaller sessions so the number of tweets diminished. Topics howerver included Critical Event Detection and Management; Remote Operations Management and Risk Management Strategies and Challenges. There was a welcome for the acknowledgement of the importance of security, “good to see the risk hierarchy aware of cyber security issues!”

The session, “Social Technologies for Industry” attaracted, as you would expect a good attendence of tweeters. “Keeping up with the pace of change is difficult – innovation is accelerating says Jon DiPietro (of Domestigating IT) in social media session!” There are many pitfalls as Social media like structures are being incorporated into yesterday’s planning, scheduling, and reporting applications used across enterprises bringing a new term to social media used on the plant floor or across the supply chain. His presentation, The Social Media Doppler Effect, may be found on his wewbsite!

This report can only be a brief twitter inspired account of this important event and we encourage our readers to watch out for the presentations as theuy become available on the ARC Advisory Groups’ pages in the days and weeks to come.

ARC is sponsoring a Process Management Academy event in Europe next month in Antwerp (B), March 4 & 5, 2013.

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