Nobody knows!

I thought they had a plan!” – Junker

At this stage it is difficult to say how automation will be effected. Ireland has always tended to be regarded (despite our best efforts) to be lumped in with Britain by many automation suppliers. In many cases Irish business is handled directly from Britain rather than within the country itself – despite the fact that not everybody in Britain understands that Ireland is different and not a smaller version of the British Market. There was also the problem of different currencies but that was a problem that pre-dated the introduction of the Euro.

BrexitNobody really expected this  result. So despite people saying that they had “contingency plans” in reality the answer to all questions is “Nobody knows!”

The puzzled words of the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Junker sum up European frustration – “I don’t understand those advocating to leave but not ready to tell us what they want. I thought they had a plan”

Arc Advisary’s Florian Gueldner has written “The impact could exceed the 2009 crisis for European companies, but ARC is actually less pessimistic. However, we think that the Brexit will hinder growth in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Overall, it is a difficult and challenging task to identify all the dynamics and even more to quantify them later.”

Comments from others!
What effect will Brexit have on Standards and complience for hazardous area industries (Tim Marks, AEMT, 13/4/2017)
Post-Brexit manufacturing investment to slow, report finds 
(Process Engineering – 7/11/2016)
Modelling the Medium to Long Term Potential Macroeconomic Impact of Brexit on Ireland (White Paper from ERSI – 7/11/2016)
Irish engineers say Brexit has slowed down business – but they won’t be sacking staff (The – 31/10/2016)
Irish engineers feel the effects of Brexit (Dominic Coyle, Irish Times – 31/10/2016)
Physics focus ‘can help’ food & drink manufacturing post-Brexit  (Process Engineering – 26/10/2016)
“Engineering a future outside the EU: securing the best outcome for the UK” (Report- pdf- Royal Academy of Engineering – Oct 2016)
‘Clumsy’ Brexit deal could do lasting damage says EEF.(Process Engineering – 21/9/2016).
GAMBICA publishes survey report on member priorities post EU referendum (6/9/2016)
Brexit woes continue (Nick Denbow Industrial Automation Insider 2/8/2016)
After Brexit: It’s Time to Model Your Supply Chain (Phil Gibbs, Logistics Viewpoints, 6/8/2016)
Brexit May Take A Toll On Tech Jobs In The UK And EU (Ron Schneiderman, IEEE Careers July 2016)
The two sides of solar (after Brexit) (Neil Mead, Automation, 21/7/2016)
Manufacturers fear ‘Brexit’ fallout as trading outlook weakens (Process Engineering 19 July 2016)
Fresh air with Brexit!

(Nick Denbow @processingtalk 5 July 2016)
How Will Brexit Affect Global Supply Chains?
(Steve Banker Logistics Viewpoints 5 July 2016)
The Future for EU and UK Laws on Cookies after ‘Brexit’
(Bmon 3 July 2016)
Concerned but Hopeful views from Irish Construction Industry Experts after Brexit Vote
(Irish Building 29 June 2016)
Effects of Brexit on the Automation Markets
(Arc Advisory Group 24 Jun 2016)
Industry bodies call for ‘clear’ exit strategy
(Process Automation 24 June 2016)

Ireland is unique in that there is a land border with the British state and it is our biggest trading partner. What will happen? Ireland an Britain have had a mutual co-operation and passport free travel since 1928 – pre European Union. That is now all has changed. What exactly this will mean? Nobody knows!

Britain may become less attractive to foreign investors as it may be cut off from the single market. This will effect Ireland of course. Trade in both directions will probably suffer. Nobody knows!

In Britain Siemens has stopped a major project it was planning in the energy field and we are hearing of more and more postponements in projects there. Certainties have become “maybes” or “Don’t knows!”

The IET said the vote to leave the EU could result in a number of negative impacts on engineering in Britain, including exacerbating their engineering and technology skills shortage by making it more difficult for companies to recruit engineers from other EU countries, including Ireland.

Other issues identified include changes to access to global markets and companies, a decline in funding for engineering and science research, and a weakening of their influence on global engineering standards.

In the area of Standards, there has been a gradual assimilation of standards between all 28 countries to a common European Standard in all sorts of areas. Standards, and many other activities are handled by European Offices which are based in various countries. (For instance we have just learned that the EU Office of Bank Regulation, which is based in London, will be moved to another European city.)

Engineering qualifications is another area where things may change. Will the EU recognise British qualifications and vice versa? Probably, but we don’t know! As a straw in the wind we do know that the legal profession may be effected and the Law Society of Ireland has had an extraordinary increase in applications from British Lawers for affiliation as outside of the EU they will not be able to practice in European Courts. Will that apply to other professions?

The legal situation at present is that Britain is a fully paid-up member and will remain so until they activate Article 50 application. In reality Britain is being excluded already from important meetings for the first time in forty three years.

As mentioned earlier Arc Advisory issued a short paper, in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result, on the effects of Brexit on the Automation Markets. It is worth a quick look.Florian Gueldner concludes his paper, ‘All I can say at this point is, to quote the British writer Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic!”’


#Brexit #PAuto #TandM

Invensys acquisition: “Now, it is up to how well we execute.”

Craig Resnick of Arc says “Schneider Electric acquisition of Invensys creates value for automation market”

Schneider Electric announced the completion of its acquisition of Invensys on January 17, 2014. The acquisition of the €2.18billion ($3 billion) software, automation, and controls company will enhance Schneider Electric’s position as a solutions integrator, especially for automation in the process and power generation industries.

schinvThe merger should create synergies between the two companies’ software for energy automation, industrial automation, and process automation, while also providing a wider service base for its customers as the combined company will be able to reach more market segments throughout the world due to the minimal overlap of markets and customer base. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, and Clemens Blum, Executive Vice-President of the Industry business unit both commented on the complementary technologies and capabilities of both companies and the potential value to their customers worldwide.

At their recent Orlando Industry Forum in Orlando (FL USA), ARC Advisory Group met jointly with leaders of both firms. Just weeks after beginning to collaborate, both firms talked about their high degree of cultural match, and voiced optimism for the merger as a growth deal, rather than acquisition of an installed base.

While clearly stating that Invensys developments and operations will continue, there are strong areas of shared knowledge that ARC expects to benefit both companies.

  • How will this translate to plant owner/operators, especially those who have been using Invensys products for many years?
  • How well will their investments be protected?
  • How will Schneider Electric position and use these products going forward?

Invensys’ large client base will need to hear specific and unequivocal answers to these questions before moving forward and extending their commitments to the newly merged organization.

The firms have been making joint calls on key customers and, according to company executives; a more detailed integration roadmap will be developed via a “transparent, thoughtful, and deliberate process.” While the merger now elevates Schneider Electric to the top rank of the automation business, as company executives acknowledged, “Now, it is up to how well we execute.”

Strategic Fit to Drive Higher Growth and Value Creation
From Schneider Electric’s perspective, the Invensys acquisition augments its business in industry and infrastructure by boosting its positions in key process segments and strengthening its software for operational efficiency. The company cites that industrial automation is a strategic and attractive business for the firm. As a global specialist in energy management, the solutions of the Schneider Electric Industry business unit are a key part of its portfolio. The Invensys assets help the company better address owner/operators’ challenges relative to productivity, input costs management, workforce scarcity, wage and raw material inflation, complexity of production constraints, and sustainable development.

Integrate Power and Automation
Owner/operators today seek solutions that converge previously separate domains, such as power and automation. This was a prime reason Schneider Electric went forward with this acquisition. Energy management in electro-intensive industries requires deeper architectural integration. Software is critical to converge IT and operational technologies to enable operational efficiency. Convergence involves integrating:

  • Business systems, such as customer management, order management, supply chain management, and document management
  • Operations management, such as production management, quality compliance, asset utilization, process analytics and decision support
  • Control and supervision, such as production automation systems, and interfaces for operators (HMI); and finally
  • Design and simulation, such as supply chain planning, process design, and simulation

What Invensys Brings to the Table
Invensys is a global automation player with large installed base and a major software presence. The company has strong credibility with end users in the refining, chemical, power, pharmaceutical, and food & beverage industries. The company has a strong software business, with particular strengths in HMI/plant intelligence, simulation, optimization, and asset management. It brings major brands in process automation and safety and global reach in process automation, safety, and instrumentation systems via its Foxboro, and Triconex brands. The Eurotherm brand adds temperature and process controllers.

In industrial software, Invensys is a major supplier, including design, simulation, optimization, operations management, and asset management via its Wonderware, SimSci, and Avantis brands. Except for parts of the Wonderware portfolio, these brands will fill obvious gaps in Schneider Electric’s process offering.

Invensys’ Market Position
With Invensys, Schneider Electric becomes a leader in process safety via Triconex process safety and critical control systems. Schneider Electric gets a DCS offering with a large installed base via Foxboro, which has significant brownfield expansion potential. Schneider Electric can expand this potential with its own portfolio of low and medium voltage drives, motor control, and smart infrastructure intelligence. The company also gains domain expertise and execution capabilities in key segments, including refining, petrochemicals and power generation. Schneider Electric will no longer be viewed largely as a strong factory automation company. With Invensys, it clearly becomes a strong process automation company as well.

Even more to the point, the combined software and product portfolio will provide a far more complete suite of converged automation and power solutions.

From ARC’s perspective, Schneider Electric’s acquisition of Invensys will be a positive development for owner/operators. Owner/operators would not have been as well served had Invensys been bought by a direct competitor focused more on its installed base, which would have introduced significant product redundancies and might well require expensive and painful migration.

Also, some owner/operators were uncertain of the long term prospects for Invensys remaining independent. That uncertainty can now go away. Schneider Electric has a strong balance sheet, a long-term commitment to industrial automation, and a very good track record with industrial acquisitions. The joint entity is also in an excellent position to supply the converged solutions in areas such as power and automation that many of today owner/operators seek.

Owner/operators, however, will want to see action and proof points to see how well this acquisition is being executed and how well the firm integrates its platforms to exploit obvious synergies.

ARC recommends that owner/operators should actively participate in the company’s upcoming customer conferences, looking for both continuity and a combined vision showing solutions that leverage both Invensys’ process solutions and Schneider Electric’s power and energy management solutions.

Cybersecurity, the cloud & other ICS topics vented at academy

Focus on Profitability & Efficiency in the Process Industries

ARC Advisory Group’s 9th Process Management Academy (PMA) took place in Antwerp (B) from March 4 to 5, 2013.  Overall, ARC Advisory Group had more than 100 participants who shared their experiences and took the opportunity to network. The forum included presentations from Euriware-Areva, Siemens, Bayer Technology Services, SAP, OMV, HIMA, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, and ARC, among others. The following topics were addressed:· Continuous vs. Batch: How Technology Helps Us to Rethink Traditional Production Methods;  Real-time Process Feedback;  Energy & Material Efficiency Optimization;  Enterprise Asset Management in the Regulated Industries.


The venue: Radisson BLU Astrid Hotel, Antwerp (B)

Among the highlights were four workshops dealing with Cyber Security, Big Data & the Cloud and Managing Process & Product Data in the Information Age, 3D Simulation & Training in Process Applications, and Optimizing Supply Chains & Demand Response. In these workshops, suppliers and users shared their experiences and needs with respect to products and applications.

Cyber Security in Industrial Control Systems
One of the hot topics at the Process Management Academy 2013 was cyber security in industrial control systems (ICS). The well attended workshop showed that the interest of companies for solutions to protect themselves from cyber attacks is increasing. Within the last few years the amount of reported cyber attacks on the ICS of companies has increased significantly. Also the quality of incidents has changed dramatically. In the past most of the attacks were committed by “script-kiddies” or amateur hackers and the targets in most cases were office IT systems. Nowadays an increasing number of attacks on the industrial infrastructure takes place. While office IT systems can be rebooted, reinstalled and the biggest loss is (leaked) information, attacks on ICSs pose a different risk.

On the one hand organizations close to the governments may have the ability to perform such attacks. On the other hand rival companies or competitors also have the knowledge. Another source of threats may be (former) employees or (sub-) contractors who could have grudges against their former employer and mean to harm him or sell or gain confidential information, said ARC Analyst Stefan Miksch.
• See also our ICS & Scada Security Page!

3D Simulation and Training in Process Applications
Immersive training simulation (ITS) is a form of modern training using 3D models of a process plant where the user can directly control the avatar, giving him the perception he is part of the environment. To train field operators and maintenance personnel of industrial process plants, it is more effective to provide them with a 3D simulation environment in which they can virtually move around, make decisions on their route and their interactions with equipment, than showing them a movie. Someone trained using ITS, has a ‘déjà-vu’ experience when seeing the real plant. Some ITS propose head-mounted devices, 3D projection within a ‘cave’ to make the experience more realistic. These measures increase the cost of ITS, and are not necessary for the immersive experience that can be realized on a flat screen of a standard PC.

A recent trend is to couple traditional operator training simulation (OTS), based in high-fidelity dynamic process simulation, where an operator operates a virtual plant behind a virtual console, and while simultaneously the field operators experience the plant changes on instruments in the simulated field.

What do Big Data and the Cloud Mean to the Process Industries?
At the workshop to explore the impact of Big Data and the Cloud a panel of experts from Siemens, SAP, Microsoft and independent consultant Klaus Koch set the tone for discussion with statements about what Big Data means in the process industries.

One cause of “Big Data” is the digitalization of information that used to be stored on paper. For process users, this means CAD drawings of facilities and process documentation. The move from 2D to 3D CAD caused a leap in the size of CAD files, as does the integration of images created with 3D laser scanners. At the same time, system configuration data for DCS, field devices and engineering and operator stations have grown explosively. Finally, data recorded for operator training and simulation means huge, unwieldy files have to be stored, archived, retrieved and managed.

The Cloud is a solution for Big Data that will play a growing role for process users in the near future. The “public” Cloud is simply any public area on the internet where data can be stored and viewed. This includes social media sites and blogs. A “private” Cloud is data center, usually off-site, that either belongs to the process user’s organization or is operated on the organization’s behalf by a service provider. The workshop attendees brought in views from a variety of end-user industries to discuss which data belong in the Cloud and which data should be handled locally. It was agreed that all mission-critical data should be stored and handled onsite, while other data, such as product schedules that are shared with supply chain partners, would be good candidates for the open, but secure, environment of a private Cloud.

Supply Chain Optimization and Demand Response
The most futuristic discussion at the 2013 PMA was the one in the workshop on “Supply Chain Optimization and Demand Response”.
The main theme in the discussion was the challenge to deal with the constant urge to produce smaller batches and react fast to consumer demand. The workshop was kicked off with an obligatory Henry Ford quotation: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants…so long as it is black”. This comparison to the good old days showed the difference between the variations of the Tin Lizzy and modern cars, such as the Opel Adam (60,000 variations for the outside, 82,000 for the interior).

So, what are the next steps? Production in containers is currently tested but not likely to have a broad impact on the landscape within the next 5 to 10 years. PAT is already changing the pharmaceutical industry today. Single use technologies are also enabling shorter response times in batch processing – especially in the pharmaceutical industry and bioactive materials – where they are established, but still an emerging technology. Micro reactors also have the potential to change manufacturing as you know it today; here a similar system of modularization and scaling up in numbers is used. The technology is available today, but there are still technological issues to solve. In the future, 3D printing can alter the manufacturing landscape fundamentally – ARC has published various reports on this topic. Research shows that at some point in the future micro reactors can be printed by 3D printers … imagine that you can print a chemical plant in 50 years.

Looking at the market dynamics and technological challenges ahead, profitability and efficiency in the process industries will surely keep everyone busy until ARC Europe’s next year’s event.

Automation in Water & Wastewater

Increased automation helps water & wastewater industry improve business processes

ARC believes that the water & wastewater industry represents one of the greatest opportunities for the automation business through the next 20 years. Throughout much of the developed world, including North America, Western Europe, and Japan, the existing water & wastewater infrastructure is aging rapidly and often suffering from neglect.

UntitledAccording to ARC’s recent reportAutomation Expenditures for Water & Wastewater Industry Global Market Research Study”, automation expenditures in the water & wastewater industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8 percent over the next five years. The study team for this study includes Allen Avery, G. Ganapathiraman, David Clayton, and Piyush Dewangan. According to Allen Avery, Senior Analyst and co-author of this study, “Both developed and developing regions are seeing improving economies and thus are looking to either upgrade or install new water and wastewater treatment and distribution systems.”

In addition to market analysis and forecasts, the study covers the current market nuances, strategic issues, and the future outlook. The report also highlights the factors that influence the global water & wastewater market and its dynamics.

The Energy-Water Nexus
Water is not only essential for producing fossil fuels and for generating electricity from both conventional and non-conventional energy sources; water withdrawal, treatment, and distribution are all highly energy-intensive activities.

On the energy supply side, water is critical for developing the increasingly important, non-conventional oil and gas resources (such as shale gas and oil sands), for growing biomass for biofuels, and for cooling electric power generating plants.

On the energy consumption side, transporting and treating water are both highly energy-intensive activities, requiring a significant amount of water to operate pumps, motors, and filtration systems.

Automation Suppliers Can Help Utilities to Overcome Challenges
Strategic planning for water & wastewater infrastructure investments and transitioning the operation and management of existing assets to incorporate new advances in technology is critical. Challenges and issues the water & wastewater industry must address include:

  • Aging infrastructure and increased demand for water supply
  • Inadequate and/or ineffective wastewater infrastructure in many parts of the world
  • Funding for large projects during periods of economic uncertainty
  • Privatization and public/private partnerships (PPP) require efficient transition of legacy systems to meet new demands from all stakeholders
  • Increasing concern over security issues
  • Increasing demands upon the aging, shrinking, internal workforceAutomation suppliers can play a major role in providing solutions to overcome the above challenges.

Pressure Tx demand boosted in Asia

Escalating energy demand  to  boost Asia’s pressure transmitter market

Pressure transmitter shipments, after returning to pre-recession levels in 2010, saw strong growth in 2011, even surpassing 2010’s growth by several percentage points. Despite the return to positive growth, risks remain. In a connected world, market volatility and political instability impact industrial growth, which in turn affects the pressure transmitter business. The relative slowdown in China and India further increases the risks facing pressure transmitter vendors. Due to the numerous challenges and the lag between orders and final shipment for new projects, many vendors are weighing the financial viability before investing in their manufacturing capacity and after-market service capabilities.

tempTXAsiaAccording to G. Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC India and co-author of ARC’s study titled Pressure Transmitters for Asia Market Research Study  , “Ongoing financial instability continues to plague markets in Asia. However, ARC expects the developing countries such as China and India to drive the majority of Asia’s growth in pressure transmitter shipments going forward.” Countries such as Indonesia and South Korea are also growing at above average growth rates. Despite the country’s slower GDP growth in recent quarters, the electric power industry in China continues its investments, creating opportunities for pressure transmitter suppliers. In India, the need for both increased generating capacity and a more stable power infrastructure to reduce brownouts drives the need for more pressure transmitters.

Market Potential for Pressure Transmitter Suppliers
The oil & gas, electric power, chemicals, and metals & mining industries are leading for the deployment of pressure transmitters. Among these, the metals & mining industry is experiencing above average growth. Asia’s ongoing demand for energy will require more oil and gas, driving demand and long-term energy prices. Finding new oil deposits is becoming more difficult and those that are found tend to be more challenging to develop. Many of these new oil fields produce heavy oil rather than lighter sweet crude oil. The high sulfur content increases refining costs and requires different refining methods. This will spawn investment in new refineries capable of refining the heavy oil deposits in the Asia Pacific region. At the same time, environmental concerns are increasing, creating significant opportunities for pressure transmitter suppliers in the oil & gas industry.

Smart and SIL-rated Transmitters See Big Gains
Sales of smart pressure transmitters will continue to outpace those of conventional and low-cost devices, as users seek to utilize recent technological advances to improve visibility into plant operations to help maximize productivity and the availability of production resources. This user focus on asset management also fuels demand for transmitters that incorporate onboard diagnostics capabilities and use digital communication protocols.

Increasingly tough safety and environmental regulations have helped drive increasing adoption of safety integrity level (SIL)-rated transmitters for safety instrumented systems (SIS) to mitigate the risk of catastrophic events. Pressure transmitters are an integral part of safety instrumented systems, and most leading pressure transmitter suppliers now offer SIL-rated transmitters.

Energy drives flowmeters!

Worldwide flowmeter market driven by energy sector project activity

After a slight stumble in 2010 in the wake of the global recession, the worldwide flow meter market has rebounded strongly, growing at double digit rates through 2011 and 2012 as suppliers fulfilled pent up demand in the power, mining, and oil & gas industries.

flowmetermkt“Sales of major flowmeter technologies will continue to move at brisk rates going forward, driven by increased business in the chemical and energy sectors. Flowmeter suppliers will benefit from investment and expansion activities, and they have aligned their business goals to capitalize on growing industry segments and geographic regions that will enable them to increase market share,” according to Senior Analyst Allen Avery, principal author of ARC’s “Flowmeter Global Market Research Study”.

Energy Sector Activity to Drive Growth
The energy sectors will see the strongest growth in the years ahead. Oil prices are on the rise again with the economic recovery, increased demand, and political and social unrest in the Arab world. This should continue to drive demand for flowmeters going forward, as higher prices favor increased exploration, production, and processing of fossil fuels. Also, the need to bring refined fuels to growing markets in Asia will drive construction of pipelines and fuel terminals, increasing demand for custody-transfer capable flow measurement devices. Mining will also see steady growth if commodity prices hold.

Intelligent Flowmeters Deliver Benefits to Users
More widespread adoption of intelligent field devices such as ultrasonic and coriolis flowmeters has helped owner/operators to improve the accuracy of their flow measurements, with repeatability and reliability previously unavailable with older mechanical meters or crude methods such as orifice plates or PD meters. Device intelligence has helped flowmeters to evolve beyond their basic purpose to be indispensable tools for process and business improvement.

Asia, Middle East to See Strongest Growth
North America will see strong activity, particularly if oil prices remain high, justifying continued investments in oil sands projects in Canada. The unfolding shale gas plays in the U.S. will also present suppliers with significant opportunities in the coming years. In the EMEA region, growth will be driven by oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Africa, as well as investments in refining capacity and liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and loading facilities. Asia will continue to be the engine of global growth as new construction in the power, oil and gas, and water and wastewater sectors continues as the economies in China and India advance, and demand for consumer goods and transportation increases. Latin America, though the smallest global market for flowmeters, will nevertheless see strong activity in oil and gas exploration and production, mining, and renewable fuels over the next several years.

Control elements in India


Control valves, actuators, and positioners market in India driven by domestic demand

Tionscna hIndeThe control valves, actuators, and positioners market in India is largely driven by process industries, which are under multiple pressures: to improve energy management; adhere to standards and regulations; streamline production processes; and reduce costs. Economic instability and exchange rate fluctuations caused some uncertainty in 2011 but the market is still growing. India’s domestic demand driven market propels rapid industrialization and economic growth. Growth is further regulated by monetary and fiscal policies. While the economy of India has slowed down due to weakening external demand, the robust domestic demand continues to remain strong. Due to its domestic-demand-driven economy, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

According to ARC Advisory Group’s research, the total control valve, actuator, and positioner market in India will register CAGR of over 7.5 percent by 2016. ARC’s latest study, “Control Valves for India Market Research Study”   provides an in-depth analysis of the control valve, actuator, and positioner business in India. In addition to market analysis and forecasts, the study also covers the current market nuances, strategic issues, and the future outlook. The report also highlights the factors that influence the control valve market in India and its dynamics.

Expanding Economy Drives the Market for Control Valves in India
According to G. Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group, and co-author of this study, “Process industries, such as chemical, oil and gas, power, refining, and others, which extensively use control valves, are expanding in India and this provides the impetus for the growth of the control valves market. India is emerging as an important market for control valve suppliers seeking sustainable long-term growth oriented markets.”

India Attracts Global Control Valves Suppliers
According to the principal author of ARC’s study, Ritika Agrawal , “Global suppliers are attracted not only by the country’s demand for control valves, but also by the advantages that the country offers, such as the low cost arbitrage, availability of design and engineering capabilities, and world-class casting and forging facilities, and such others.”

The country not only acts as a good demand-centric market, but also as an excellent manufacturing base that can serve the growing markets in the region. While the market offers opportunities, the suppliers’ strategies ultimately contribute to success in the marketplace. Suppliers should understand the market nuances, identify emerging opportunities aligning with the overall corporate objectives, and develop their growth strategies.


Mexico an industrial leader – “Land of opportunities!”

The stereotype is “The Lazy Mexican”, but in reality, Mexicans are among the hardest working people in the world, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)!

mexicoARCMexico is a significant market for manufacturing and automation products. Mexicans are the hardest workers in the industrialized world, China included. The OECD—the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, of which the United States is a member—studied working trends in three dozen countries, including paid and unpaid work. Mexicans topped the list, and exceeded the United States in both categories.

In 2011, Mexico received almost 20 billion dollars of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), consolidating Mexico as one of the top recipients of FDI among emerging economies in the world. Mexico’s manufacturing industry and the financial services sector are top among the most preferred investment targets. Among the manufacturing sectors, the main recipients are automotive, iron & steel, beverages, and chemicals.

“Mexico has signed 11 Free Trade Agreements with 43 countries, including the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Japan, some of the largest and most lucrative markets in the world. Mexico actively participates in world trade. It is the 10th largest exporter and importer worldwide, accounting for 2.5% and 2.6% of the world’s total exports and imports, respectively. Mexico is a land of manufacturing opportunities,” according to Steve Clouther, the principal author of ARC’s “Automation Systems Market Outlook for Mexico” .

Economic Stability
In contrast to the widening crisis in the euro zone, Mexico can point to 17 years of macroeconomic stability, low inflation, manageable debt, an open economy, and increasing competitiveness. The gross domestic product expanded 3.9 percent in 2011, and there are forecasts suggesting that by 2050 it could be larger than that of France. Mexican factories are exporting record quantities of televisions, cars, computers, and appliances, replacing some Chinese imports in the United States and fueling a modest expansion.

Process Industries
In 2010, Mexico was the seventh-largest oil producer in the world, and the third-largest in the Western Hemisphere. State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is one of the largest oil companies in the world. Mexico is consistently one of the top three exporters of oil to the US, along with Canada and Saudi Arabia.

• The Distributed Control System (DCS) sector is by far the largest automation technology for the process industries, especially oil & gas. All of the major DCS suppliers have a strong presence in Mexico.

• The DCS and SCADA sector accounts for more than a third of the revenues, and PLCs, IPCs, and Panels account for another fifth

Discrete Industries
The automotive industry is a very strategic industry for Mexico. In 2011, the automotive sector accounted for approximately 4 percent of the Mexican GDP and 20 percent of Mexico’s manufacturing GDP. According to the ranking of 40 countries by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), based on car production, Mexico ranked eighth globally. The aerospace industry is another very strategic industry for Mexico. From an automation perspective, GMC and drives account for the largest investment, followed closely by PLCs, IPCs, and panels.

Two social media pioneers in Automation ask “Why?” and “How!”


There are many treasures hidden on the internet and sometimes we miss them. These are two interesting videos that I came across during the week which obviously I missed when they were first published. I thought that I would share them with you.

First stirrings
Many times during our time blogging here we have quoted or referred to various people who have great experience in this media. One, Jon diPietro of DomesticatingIT,  I first came across at an ISA leadership meeting and he was the first person I heard who recognised what I had myself had felt in my gut but didn’t quite know how to express it. This was the fact that this thing we call social media is a paradigm shift.  Indeed it is as revolutionary a shift as Gutenberg’s printing press in the fifteenth century. He introduced me to some of Seth Godin works and one sentence, one quote,  in one of his works (Meatball Sundae) possibly encapsulates what is happening.

“….we don’t have to just change our website – we are going to have to change everything about our organisation. our mission, our structure, our decision making…”

Living the dream!
The second person is perhaps an exponent of what is happening. He is Jim Cahill of Emerson Process Experts. He decided to use this “new” technology in the service of his company. I think it is fair to say that, initially, his innovative methods were tolerated by his employer but gradually the importance and influence of his contribution came to be recognised. In effect he is living the dream, using this new medium in a practical way.

Now look and listen!
These are two videos – they are a year old  and were given at the ARCForum in 2012. They last about 30 minutes in toto. They are recordings of presentations made at ARC’s 2012 World Industry Forum, an annual event held in the United States usually in February of each year.

The first is Jim Cahill on Social Media and Callaboration – Start with “Why?” (11.15 mins)

The second is Jon DiPietro showing us “How not to fail at Social Media.” (21.22 mins)

#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?”


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.