A new (3-D) perspective in presence detection.

06/04/2015
Irish/German co-operation in new technologies creating a paradigm shift in the planning of safety for current and future manufacturing systems.

Presence detection is a critical element in the basis of safety for many pharmaceutical and bio pharmaceutical processes. Detecting presence of workers prior to start-up and during operation of machinery and processes is an effective means of injury prevention. Likewise product can be protected from human contamination using collaborative robots allied with relevant 3-D presence detection. The pharmaceutical sector has always had to deploy sophisticated processes and technology in its manufacturing environment while maintaining the highest safety standards.

G-Funktionsprinzip-SafetyEYE-EN-568This is an approach which responds positively to the need for worker safety while minimising production disruption. Process components such as centrifuges and barrel mixers pose a significant risk to workers because of high speed rotational action or agitation. Likewise transportation of storage units such as intermediate bulk containers and the use of automated wrapping and palletising machinery create the need for effective safeguarding. 3D sensing systems provide many advantages through the introduction of barrier-free safeguarding.

SafetyEYE, a 3-D virtual detection system, provides a comprehensive protection zone around such machinery. Developed jointly by the Pilz Software Research and Development team in Cork (IRL) and the Product Development division in Ostfildern (D), the company considers SafetyEYE as an example of new technologies creating a paradigm shift in the planning of safety for current and future manufacturing systems.

Named ‘Safety Company of the Year’ for 2014 by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Desmond-South Munster Branch, the award recognised Pilz’s commitment to continuous innovation, singling out the development of SafetyEYE as central to this commitment.

Bob Seward, chair of the IOSH Desmond-South Munster Branch, said: “The development of this innovative SafetyEYE technology will make a significant difference in terms of protecting people at work while they operate around machinery danger zones. Our members were very impressed with SafetyEYE and what it can achieve in terms of accident prevention and safeguarding workers.”

The world’s first 3D zone monitoring system SafetyEYE comprises a three-camera sensing device, an analysis unit and programmable control capability.

The sensing unit creates the image data of the zone to be protected and the stereoscopic cameras allow for precise distance and depth perception. Adjusting the height of the camera device allows for varying zone dimensions and areas of coverage. The image data is processed by the analysis unit to detect any intrusion of the defined 3-D protection zone and is relayed to the programmable safety and control system (PSS) for activation of the appropriate safety response.

The avoidance of an obstacle-course of physical guards has obvious advantages for increased freedom of interaction and ergonomics between machinery and humans without compromising safety for both. Because of the highly configurable software a wide range of detection zones can be designed either using pre-defined geometric forms or bespoke shapes. These zones can then be assigned various safety-related actuations with reference to the risk from an audio-visual warning to shut-down.

SafetyEYE can be used to prevent start-up of machinery when persons are in a danger zone or provide warnings and if necessary activate a shutdown if an operator enters a danger zone while such plant is running. The system can be configured to signal a warning as the worker enters the perimeter of the defined safety zone and as he continues further into the zone initiate further safety actions. The machine can remain in this suspended state while the worker completes his task. Once the worker has cleared the area the machine’s activities can resume in accordance with the worker’s egress from the safety zone. This incremental reactive capability allows for minimum downtime and so optimal productivity is maintained. For workers who only encroach on the outer points of the safety zone the triggered warning will uphold the safety integrity of the work space without limiting operation. Likewise, the system can be configured to allow for pre-defined spaces within the protection zone to be breached without shut down. This is especially useful for supervisory personnel who need to access control components which lie within the safety zone. Again they may complete their task safely without the need to disrupt the manufacturing process.

To achieve the same level of safety in such a scenario as this, a whole range of other safety measures may have to be deployed, such as guard-doors, with the physical and visual restrictions these solutions will impose. Safety for workers venturing beyond these guards would then require optical sensors which operate two-dimensionally along a plane and may require a multiplicity of sensors to provide comprehensive monitoring. This mix of solutions can present significant cost implications and their static single-plane positioning will raise costly design challenges. As SafetyEYE is positioned above the manufacturing area it does not present any physical or visual obstruction and it is also far less likely to be interfered with than other ground-level safety measures which are always more vulnerable to intentional or accidental interference. The 3-D zonal capability means that one sensor unit can provide far more safety coverage than the planar sensors. Such imaging-based devices also have a recording functionality so that safety zone breaches can be recorded or production activity monitored to feed into productivity metrics.

These attributes were acknowledged by Bob Seward of the IOSH when presenting Pilz with the award. “With the introduction of this certified technology, safety can no longer be seen as a barrier to work, slowing work down or stopping work. It can be truly integrated in the work system.”

Pilz Ireland managing director John McAuliffe said: “Pilz were honoured to receive this award. The area of safety in which we work is constantly changing and Pilz need to be innovative in order to provide our customers with solutions that achieve safety in lean manufacturing environments.” Providing services from risk assessment, safety design and safety training to customers all over the world the company views continuous development of processes and products, such as SafetyEYE, as vital in meeting the constantly evolving demands of the modern manufacturing environment.

The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) estimates that 34% of primary pharmaceutical operations in North America by 2018 will be carried out by robots, compared with 21% in 2013. This increasing automation, along with the rapid growth of collaborative robots across all sectors, is heralding a new era of human-robot interaction in manufacturing.

SafetyEYE is especially effective in ensuring the safe deployment of collaborative robots which are ideal for handling materials and ingredients in a decontaminated environment but which require some level of interaction with operators who need to approach to carry out supervisory, control or intervention tasks.

Such are the potential production efficiencies brought about by collaborative robotics in the bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing sector that Health and Safety managers, engineers and suppliers will need to align their safety strategy in line with this new industrial environment.

As with all new technologies care and due process must be exercised in the integration with other plant and machinery. Structured risk assessment considering the specific hazards leading to intelligent safety concepts are the key to successful adoption of such new technologies. Pilz is pioneering safe automation with the continuous development of its services and products, such as SafetyEYE, ensuring that its customers can anticipate the safety challenges presented by industry developments such as collaborative robots.


The US cybersecurity framework for implementation!

14/02/2014
A unique, public-private partnership effort now turns to the plan’s implementation

The official rollout of the US Cybersecurity Framework, recognized this past Wednesday in an announcement delivered by President Barack Obama, represents the completion of a successful partnership effort among The White House, the Automation Federation and its founding organization, the International Society of Automation (ISA). Now, the second phase of the partnership—working together to implement the framework—begins.

US President Obama

US President Obama

The US Cybersecurity Framework, the result of a year-long initiative to develop a voluntary how-to guide for American industry and operators of critical infrastructure to strengthen their cyber defenses. is a key deliverable from the Executive Order on “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” that President Obama announced in his 2013 State of the Union address.

During the past year, representatives of the Automation Federation and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have been assisting the US government—at the White House’s request—to help develop and refine a draft of the US Cybersecurity Framework. Both organisations were sought out as essential government advisors given their expertise in developing and advocating for industrial automation and control system (IACS) security standards. The ANSI/ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards (known internationally as ISA99/IEC 62443), are recognized globally for their comprehensive, all-inclusive approach to IACS security.

ISA’s IACS security standards are among the framework’s recommendations because they’re designed to prevent and mitigate potentially devastating cyber damage to industrial plant systems and networks—commonly used in transportation grids, power plants, water treatment facilities, and other vital industrial settings. Without these defenses in place, industrial cyberattack can result in plant shutdown, operational and equipment impairment, severe economic and environmental damage, and public endangerment.

A significant step forward in protection
President Obama, in his statement released on last Wednesday in Washington, DC, said that “cyber threats pose one the gravest national security dangers that the United States faces. I am pleased to receive the Cybersecurity Framework, which reflects the good work of hundreds of companies, multiple federal agencies and contributors from around the world.”

The 41-page framework takes a risk-management approach that allows organizations to adapt to “a changing cybersecurity landscape and responds to evolving and sophisticated threats in a timely manner,” according to the document.

Though the adoption of the framework is voluntary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program to increase awareness and use of the Cybersecurity Framework. The C3 Voluntary Program will connect companies, as well as federal, state and local partners, to DHS and other federal government programs and resources that will assist their efforts in managing their cyber risks. Participants will be able to share lessons learned, receive guidance and learn about free tools and resources.

Automation Federation Chairman Terry Ives

Terry Ives, Automation Federation Chair

Attending the Wednesday launch event in the nation’s capital was a contingent of Automation Federation officials, including Michael Marlowe, Automation Federation Managing Director and Director of Government Relations; Terry Ives, 2014 Chair of the Automation Federation; and Leo Staples, a past Chair of the Automation Federation who serves as leader of the Automation Federation’s Cybersecurity Framework team.

“Given that the risk of cyberattacks targeted to industrial automation and control systems across all industry sectors continues to grow, it’s important that the Automation Federation and ISA have been actively involved in the development of this national cybersecurity initiative,” said Ives. “The Cybersecurity Framework provides an effective, comprehensive approach for industry sectors to determine their vulnerability to these kinds of attacks and the means to mitigate them.”

Moving forward to implementation 
“Now that the Cybersecurity Framework has been officially launched by the Obama administration, we have been asked by The White House and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to assist in the framework’s implementation,” reports Marlowe. “We are actively underway in planning a series of implementation seminars throughout the US and as far away as London.”

In fact, the first implementation seminar is to be conducted  on Friday, 21 February 2014 in Birmingham (AL USA). The seminar will be sponsored by the Automation Federation and the Alabama Technology Network, a Working Group of the Automation Federation.

At the seminar, representatives from the White House, NIST and leading cybersecurity subject matter experts will outline the provisions and details of the Cybersecurity Framework, and will illustrate why IACS security standards are such fundamental components of the plan and its implementation.


Cybersecurity cert programme launched!

19/12/2013
Programme based on its ISA99/IEC 62443 series of industrial automation and control systems security standards

Drawing on its internationally recognised leadership and expertise in industrial automation and control systems security, the International Society of Automation (ISA) has developed a knowledge-based industrial cybersecurity certificate program.

Through the work of its Committee on Security for Industrial Automation & Control Systems (ISA99), the Society has developed the ANSI/ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards (known internationally as ISA99/IEC 62443).

ACFF741This new certificate program, the ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals Specialist Certificate, is designed to help professionals involved in IT and control systems security improve their understanding of ISA99/IEC 62443 principles and acquire a command of industrial cybersecurity terminology.

Developed by a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia, the series of ISA99/IEC 62443 standards apply to all key industry sectors and critical infrastructure, providing the flexibility to address and mitigate current and future vulnerabilities in industrial automation and control systems.

The ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals Specialist Certificate will be awarded to those who successfully complete a designated, two-day ISA classroom training course, Using the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) Standards to Secure Your Industrial Control System (IC32), and pass a 75-question, multiple-choice exam.

While there are no required prerequisites to register for the certificate program and an application is not required to take the exam, it is helpful if interested professionals possess at least three to five years of experience in the IT cybersecurity field, with at least two of those years in a process control engineering environment in an industrial setting.

“Our new cybersecurity certificate program is another step forward in ISA’s development as a global leader in industrial cybersecurity standards, training and education, and in building on our commitment to meeting the needs of industrial control systems professionals throughout the world,” says Dalton Wilson, ISA’s Manager of Education Services.

Throughout 2013, both ISA and its sister organisation, the Automation Federation, have played prominent roles in helping the US government develop a national Cybersecurity Framework designed to thwart a potentially devastating cyberattack on critical infrastructure, such as a power plants, water treatment facilities and transportation grids.

The exam
The paper/pencil-formatted version of the ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate Program exam is available now. The electronic version will be available through the Prometric global network of testing centers during the first quarter of 2014.

In order to sit for the exam, applicants must register for both the aforementioned ISA course (IC32) and exam, and successfully complete the course.

The exam will cover the following areas:

  • Understanding the Current Industrial Security Environment
  • How Cyber Attacks Happen
  • Creating a Security Program
  • Risk Analysis
  • Addressing Risk with Security Policy, Organization, and Awareness
  • Addressing Risk with Selected Security Counter Measures
  • Addressing Risk with Implementation Measures
  • Monitoring and Improving the CSMS
  • Designing/Validating Secure Systems

Certificate renewal requirements
Because the ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate Program is a certificate and not a certification, certificate holders are not required to renew the ISA99/IEC 62443 Certificate.

However, once obtained, the certificate will only be considered current for three years. After the three-year expiration date, a certificate holder will no longer be able to claim that he or she holds a current/active ISA99/IEC 62443 certificate. In order to extend the current status of an expired certificate, a certificate holder must register for and take the related ISA99/IEC 62443 Certificate Knowledge Review. A score of 70% or higher is required to extend the current status of a certificate.


A handy compilation of expert cybersecurity resources!

01/08/2013

“…the latest cybersecurity strategies, recommendations and tools that can immediately be applied to protect your industrial control systems and process control networks..”

A complete list of inclusions in the Cybersecurity Tech Pack.

Technical papers
cybersecurityshieldCyber Security Implications of SIS Integration with Control Networks
Practical Nuclear Cyber Security
Establishing an Effective Plant Cybersecurity Program
LOGIIC Benchmarking Process Control Security Standards
Stronger than Firewalls: Strong Cyber-Security Protects the Safety of Industrial Sites
Integrated Perimeter and Critical Infrastructure Protection with Persistent Awareness
Applying ISA/IEC 62443 to Control Systems
Establishing an Effective Plant Cybersecurity Program
Getting Data from a Control System to the Masses While Maintaining Cybersecurity–The Case for “Data Diodes”
Reconciling Compliance and Operation with Real Cyber Security in Nuclear Power Plants
Wastewater Plant Process Protection—Process Hazard Analysis
Water/Wastewater Plant Process Protection: A different approach to SCADA cyber security
Using Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET) for a Wastewater Treatment Plant
Improving Water and Wastewater SCADA Cyber Security
An Overview of ISA-99 & Cyber Security for the Water or Wastewater Specialist

Technical books
Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security Principles by Ronald L. Krutz
Industrial Network Security, Second Edition by David J. Teumim

InTech magazine articles
“ISA Fully Engaged in Cybersecurity”
“Leveraging DoD wireless security standards for automation and control”
“13 ways through a firewall: What you don’t know can hurt you”
“Defense in Depth”
“Executive Corner: What’s on YOUR mind?”
“The Final Say: Securing industrial control systems”
“Uninterruptible power supplies and cybersecurity”
“Physical Security 101: Evolving ‘defense in depth’”
“Web Exclusive: Control network secure connectivity simplified”
“The Final Say: Network security in the Automation world”
“Executive Corner: Defense in depth: It’s more than just the technology”
“Web Exclusive: Stuxnet: Cybersecurity Trojan horse”

To help manufacturers and plant and facility operators improve their cybersecurity defenses and better confront the growing dangers of cyberwarfare, the International Society of Automation (ISA) has produced the ISA Cybersecurity Tech Pack.

“The ISA  Cybersecurity Tech Pack is an assembly of the latest technical papers, PowerPoint presentations, technical books and InTech articles developed by some of the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity and industrial automation and control systems security,” says Susan Colwell, manager of publications development at ISA. “These materials—which can be downloaded from the ISA website—include the latest cybersecurity strategies, recommendations and tools that can immediately be applied to protect your industrial control systems and process control networks.”

As a widely recognized, world leader in cybersecurity standards development, training and educational resources, ISA provides the proven technical expertise and know-how to help safeguard industrial automation and control systems.

For instance, the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62433), Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards—developed by a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia—represent a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity in all industry sectors. ISA and its sister organization, the Automation Federation, is currently assisting the Obama administration and US federal agency officials develop the initial version of a national cybersecurity framework—as called for by President Obama in February of this year.

The ISA Cybersecurity Tech Pack also includes two cybersecurity-focused ISA books: the popular Industrial Network Security by David J. Teumim; and the recently introduced Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security Principles by Ronald L. Krutz, Ph.D. As an added bonus, the compilation includes many highly relevant and informative cybersecurity articles published in InTech magazine, ISA’s bi-monthly magazine for automation and control professionals.

• See also our ICS & SCada Security page


Advanced industrial cybersecurity

16/05/2013
Course aims at protecting industrial networks and control systems,

It was that well known and respected Automation commentator Walt Boyes who said after the 2011 Automation Week in Mobile (AL USA) that what the International Society of Automation (ISA) does best is “…leverage the strength and capabilites of the volunteers and ISA members to do….red hot symposia– with allied training…” Today we learn of a new and extremely relevant topic been added to their comprehensive portfolio of training and education programme.

The ISA has just introduced a new, upper-level course, Advanced Industrial Cybersecurity (TS13).

Other Relevant Courses from ISA’s stable of courses:
Cyber Security for Automation, Control, and SCADA Systems (IC32E)
Database Management for Industrial Automation and Control Systems (EA05)
Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) Standards (IC32C)

This technical training course capitalises on ISA’s well-established, in-depth knowledge of industrial networks and applications, and cybersecurity standards that detect, assess and prevent security threats in industrial settings.

Students can learn how the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards—developed by a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia—provide comprehensive cybersecurity capabilities in all industry sectors.

Given the interconnectivity of today’s advanced computer and control networks—where vulnerabilities exploited in one sector can impact and damage multiple sectors—the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) standards are particularly effective since they are broadly applicable across industries.

“In today’s industrial production environments, the risks of cyberwarfare are growing and represent serious threats,” says Larry Thompson, an industrial network and control systems consultant and ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®), who developed this new course. “There have been many serious cyberattacks throughout the world. Everyone involved in system-wide industrial networking and SCADA systems should take this course. The stakes are simply too high to not be prepared.”

The course covers the latest developments in cybersecurity, including practical guides to the design, implementation and testing of industrial networks and applications to ensure their security and reliability. Topics include the use of Internet technologies, web servers, TCP/IPV6, fiber optics, intrusion protection systems (IPS), virtual private networks (VPNs), firewall configuration and cryptography.

“This is a great class with an excellent instructor,” commented one student, Chih Shen. “I am more sober to the attack scenarios out there in the wild, and more confident that I have the knowledge to defend against them.”

Lawrence Thompson is author of an ISA Best Seller

Lawrence Thompson is author of an ISA Best Seller

As part of the course, students participate in a variety of hands-on laboratory exercises, which include configuring industrial network security parameters and settings, utilizing security diagnostic tools and employing various troubleshooting tactics.

In developing the course, Thompson drew upon his vast experience in industrial data communications and encryption. Throughout his many years in automation, Thompson has served as a technician, technical trainer, test engineer, test engineering supervisor and course developer in electronics, measurement and control and computer networking.

He served 20 years in the American Air Force, most of which studying, instructing and installing electronic encryption equipment. He became department chair of e-commerce technology at Texas State Technical College, eventually leaving the role to pursue his consulting business.

He has designed and taught ISA courses for more than 23 years, serving as an adjunct ISA instructor and author of several ISA books. His book, Industrial Data Communications, is an ISA best seller currently in its fourth edition.

Thompson received a bachelor in applied arts and sciences degree from Tarleton State University, and has conducted work on a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas.


Instruments to strike up in Music City USA!

02/04/2013

Attendee registration for ISA Automation Week 2013—the premier annual event for automation and control professionals worldwide is now open.

5049-AW-panel-for-2013

Leading automation and control experts, authors, innovators and thought leaders across the globe will come together at the event to demonstrate how to fully leverage the power and potential of automation solutions. Attendees will learn that decisions in one organizational area can have significant, sometimes adverse, effects in others, and that the key is addressing core operational needs—safety, people, business and technology—in a more proactive, farsighted and integrated manner. See our report on last years event in Orlando (FL USA) – Not a Mickey Mouse affair.

ISA Automation Week will be conducted 5-7 November 2013 in energetic and exciting Nashville (TN USA), also known as Music City USA!  Registration by 20 August 2013, will save $150 (say €120,00) off the full-price registration fee. Register Here!

ISA Automation Week Partners
ARC Advisory Group, the leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
Beamex, a technology and service company that develops, manufactures and markets high-quality calibration equipment, software, systems and services for the calibration and maintenance of process instruments.
Cooper Bussmann Wireless, the manufacturer of North American- and European-styled fuses, and the producer of inductors and transformers for power quality in electronic applications and wireless solutions.
ExperTune, the designer of pre-packaged industrial software for the process industries worldwide.
Falcon Electric, a leading manufacturer of award-winning power protection and conversion solutions.
GE Energy Management, the designer of technology solutions for the transmission, distribution, management, conversion and optimization of electrical power across multiple energy-intensive industries.
MAVERICK Technologies (also an ISA Strategic Partner), a global leader in industrial automation, enterprise integration and sustaining services for clients across a wide range of manufacturing and process industries.
OSIsoft (also an ISA Corporate Partner), the leader in real-time data and events infrastructure through the PI System, a streaming data and event management software product for use in manufacturing, energy, utilities, life sciences, data centers, facilities and the process industries.

A new Attendee Networking Hub
Attendees and vendor companies will connect with conference attendees in ISA Automation Week’s new Attendee Networking Hub.
Dedicated space at the Nashville Convention Center will be provided for solutions providers to allow for direct and interactive contact with attendees. This gathering space – known as the Attendee Networking Hub – is ideally situated adjacent to the conference session rooms. The Attendee Networking Hub will be the focal point for workshops, presentations and solutions demonstrations as ISA Partners and suppliers make their technical experts, resources, solutions and product information available to conference attendees.
In addition, the Hub will be open for evening receptions, entertainment, and conference breaks.

Keep an eye on theCorporate Partners
ISA Automation Week’s Corporate Partners (see box on right!) are committed to helping attendees get the most out of their conference experience, and introducing to them new and innovative marketplace solutions.

These companies represent a group of select companies who serve the automation and control marketplace. Their partnership agreements with ISA provide them with the opportunities to offer their technical resources and expertise to conference attendees, and to demonstrate product applications and unique automation solutions.

ISA’s Corporate Partnerships Program offers companies customized packages, combining ISA products and services with marketing opportunities across all channels, and providing a streamlined approach to corporate sponsorship. ISA’s program features three main levels of sponsorship: ISA Strategic Partners, ISA Corporate Partners, and ISA Automation Week Partners. The program, in its fourth year, is limited to a select group of companies at each level to maintain the highest level of visibility for each partner.


#ArcForum Manage risk for breakthrough performance!

18/02/2013

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.