It all began with the War of the Currents…


Today, people greatly appreciate having electrical energy available at the flip of a switch, seemingly at any time and for any occasion. But where does electricity actually come from? The answer most people would give you is: “from the wall socket, of course”. So does this automatically settle the question of security of supply? More on this later.

If we compare the history of electric current with the 75 years of the history of Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG, it is easy to see how they were interlinked at certain times in the course of their development. Why is that?

It all began with the War of the Currents – an economic dispute about a technical standard

It was around 1890 when the so-called War of the Currents started in the USA. At that time, the question was whether the direct current favoured by Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) or the alternating current promoted by Nicola Tesla (1856-1943) and financially supported by George Westinghouse (1846-1914), was the more suitable technology for supplying the United States of America with electrical energy over large areas and constructing power grids. Because of Westinghouse’s market dominance at that time compared to Edison General Electric (called General Electric from 1890 on), it soon became clear that the alternating voltage invented by Nicola Tesla was rapidly gaining the upper hand. This was not least because its approximately 25% lower transmission losses weighed unquestionably in its favour. Soon afterward, came the breakthrough for alternating voltage as the means of transmitting electrical energy using. Initially, the main target application was electric lighting, which to be spurred on by the invention of the incandescent lamp by Edison. The reasons for this were logical. Westinghouse was initially a lighting manufacturing company and wanted to secure as great a market share as possible.

As developments continued, it is no surprise that already by 1891, in Germany for example, the first long-distance transmission of electrical energy was put into operation, over a distance of more than 170 km from Lauffen am Neckar to Frankfurt am Main. It was a technological breakthrough using three-phase current technology. However, this has by no means been the end of the story for direct current. Not least because of digitalization, electromobility, decentralized energy supplies, etc., DC voltage has experienced a full-blown renaissance and now is treated almost as a brand-new topic.

The Camille Bauer story.
The foundation of the Camille Bauer company dates back to 1900, immediately after the War of the Currents just described, at a time when electricity was rapidly gaining in importance. At the turn of the century, the Camille Bauer company, named after its founder Camille Bauer-Judlin, began importing measuring instruments for the trendy new phenomenon called “electricity” into Switzerland for sale to the local market. Some years later, in 1906, Dr. Siegfried Guggenheimer (1875 – 1938), formerly a research scientist for Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845 – 1923) and who in 1901, became the first winner of the Nobel Prize for physics, founded what was a start-up company in Nuremberg, Germany, trading under his own name. The company was engaged in the production and sale of electrical measuring instruments. However, due to pressure from the Nazis because Dr. Guggenheimer was of Jewish descent, he had to rename the company in 1933, creating Metrawatt AG.

Four technological segments.

Four technological segments.

In 1919, a man by the name of Paul Gossen entered the picture. He was so dissatisfied with his employment with Dr. Guggenheimer that he founded his own company in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, and for decades the two rivals were continuously in fierce competition with one another. In 1944, towards the end of the Second World War, Camille Bauer could see that its importing business had virtually come to a standstill. All the factories of its suppliers, which were mainly in Germany (for example Hartmann & Braun, Voigt & Haeffner, Lahmeyer, etc.), had been converted to supplying materials for the war. At this point, a decision had to be made quickly. Camille Bauer’s original trading company located in Basel (CH), undertook a courageous transformation. In order to survive, it turned itself into a manufacturing company. In a first step, the recently formed manufacturing company Matter, Patocchi & Co. AG in Wohlen (CH) was taken over, in order to be get the business up and running quickly with the necessary operating resources at their disposal. Thus the Swiss manufacturing base in Wohlen in the canton of Aargau was born.

The story does not end there. In 1979, Camille Bauer was taken over by Röchling a family-owned company in Mannheim, Germany. At that time, Röchling wanted to quit the iron and steel business and enter the field of I&C technology. Later, in 1993, Gossen in Erlangen and Metrawatt in Nuremberg were reunited in a single company, after Röchling became owner of the Gossen holding company as a result of the acquisition of the Bergmann Group from Siemens in 1989, and Metrawatt was acquired from ABB in 1992. At the same time, Camille Bauer’s German sales operation in Frankfurt-Dreieich also became a part of the company. Today the companies operate globally and successfully under the umbrella brand of GMC-I (Gossen Metrawatt Camille-Bauer-Instruments).

A new era.
The physics of electric current have not changed over the course of time. However, business conditions have changed drastically, especially over the last 5-10 years. Catch phrases such as electricity free market, collective self-consumption, renewable energy sources, PV, wind power, climate targets, reduction of CO2 emissions, e-mobility, battery storage, Tesla, smart meters, digitalization, cyber security, network quality, etc. are all areas of interest for both people and companies. And last but not least, with today’s protest demonstrations, climate change has become a political issue. We will have to see what results from this. At the very least, the catch phrases mentioned above are perfect for developing scenarios for electricity supply security. And it really is the case that the traditional electricity infrastructure, which is often as old as Camille Bauer Metrawatt itself, was not designed for the new types of energy behaviour, either those on the consumer side or the decentralised feed-in side. As a result, it is ever more important to have increasing numbers of intelligent systems which need to work from basic data obtained from precise measurements in order to avoid outages, blackouts and resulting damage.

The overall diversity of these new clusters of topics has prompted Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG to once more face the challenges with courage and above all to do so in an innovative and productive way. In this spirit, Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG develops, produces and distributes its product range globally in 4 technological segments.

These are:
(1) Measurement & Display,
(2) Power Quality,
(3) Control & Monitoring,
(4) Software, Systems and Solutions.

Through its expert staff, modern tools and external partners Camille Bauer Metrawatt is able, for example, to analyse power quality and detect power quality problems. In addition, the Camille Bauer Metrawatt Academy, recently founded in 2019, puts its focus on knowledge transfer by experienced lecturers, with the latest and most important topics as its main priority. Furthermore, we keep in very close contact with customers, authorities, associations, specialist committees, educational institutions, practice-oriented experts and the scientific community in order to continually provide the requisite solutions to the market and interested parties.

#Camille_Bauer_Metrawatt #PAuto @irishpwrprocess

Closing historic gap in machine and factory automation.


B&R, the largest independent provider focused on product- and software-based, open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation worldwide has been acquired by ABB.

B&R, founded in 1979 by Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer is headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria, employs more than 3,000 people, including about 1,000 R&D and application engineers. It operates across 70 countries, generating sales of more than $600 million (2015/16) in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market segment. The combination will result in an unmatched, comprehensive offering for customers of industrial automation, by pairing B&R’s innovative products, software and solutions for modern machine and factory automation with ABB’s world-leading offering in robotics, process automation, digitalization and electrification.

A video of This announcement and other details here on the ABB Website (4 April 2017)

Benefits for Austria
With this acquisition, ABB becomes the largest industrial automation player in Austria. ABB has operated in Austria for more than 100 years. With the strong future role, B&R and its headquarters in Austria will play as part of ABB, Austria, particularly Upper Austria, will benefit. The planned expansion of the R&D and production activities in Eggelsberg and Gilgenberg will strengthen Austria’s high-tech industrial landscape.
Transaction financials
The transaction multiple is in line with peer valuations. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. ABB will finance the acquisition in cash. The transaction is expected to be operationally EPS accretive in the first year, and is expected to add significant synergies of about 8% of B&R’s stand-alone revenue in year four. The transaction is expected to close in summer 2017, subject to customary regulatory clearances.

Through the acquisition, ABB expands its position in industrial automation and be uniquely positioned to seize growth opportunities resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industrie 4.0). In addition, ABB takes a major step in expanding its digital offering by combining its industry-leading portfolio of digital solutions, ABB Ability, with B&R’s strong application and software platforms, its large installed base, customer access and tailored automation solutions.

“B&R is a gem in the world of machine and factory automation and this combination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This transaction marks a true milestone for ABB, as B&R will close the historic gap within ABB’s automation offering. This is a perfect fit and will make us the only industrial automation provider offering customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This acquisition perfectly delivers on our Next Level strategy. With our unique digital offering and our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices, 70,000 control systems and now more than 3 million automated machines and 27,000 factory installations around the world, we enable our combined global customer base to seize the huge opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“This combination offers fantastic opportunities for B&R, its customers and employees. We are convinced that ABB offers the best platform for the next chapter of our growth story. ABB’s global presence, digital offering and complementary portfolio will be key for us to further accelerate our pace of innovation and growth,” said Josef Rainer, co-founder of B&R.

“This is a strong signal for our employees as our operations in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global center for machine and factory automation,” said Erwin Bernecker, the other co-founder of B&R. “The most important thing to me is that the companies and their people fit so well together and that our founding location will play such a key role.”

Complementary strengths
With the acquisition, ABB will expand its industrial automation offering by integrating B&R’s innovative products in PLC, Industrial PCs and servo motion as well as its software and solution suite. ABB will offer its customers a uniquely comprehensive, open-architecture automation portfolio.

B&R has grown successfully with a revenue CAGR of 11 % over the last two decades. Revenues more than quintupled since 2000 to more than $600 million (2015/16). The company has a rapidly growing global customer base of more than 4,000 machine manufacturers, a proven track record in automation software and solutions and unrivaled application expertise for customers in the machine and factory automation market segment.

Both companies have complementary portfolios: ABB as a leading provider of solutions serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure; B&R as a leading solution provider in the automation of machines and factories for industries such as plastics, packaging, food and beverage. The joint commitment to open architecture increases customer choice and flexibility facilitating connectivity in increasingly digitalized industries.

Substantial investments in innovation
Innovation is at the heart of both companies. B&R invests more than 10 percent of its sales in R&D and employs more than 1,000 people in R&D and application engineering. ABB spends $1.5 billion annually on R&D and employs some 30,000 technologists and engineering specialists. Going forward, ABB and B&R will continue to invest considerably in R&D.

Automation of machines and factories is a key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the IoT. ABB will continue B&R’s strong solution-based business model and build on its deep domain expertise to develop new software-based services and solutions for end-to-end digitalization. ABB’s industry-leading digital offering, ABB Ability, will now capitalize on the large installed base, application and solution know-how, simulation software expertise and advanced engineering tools of B&R.

Proven integration approach
On closing of the transaction, B&R will become part of ABB’s Industrial Automation division as a new global business unit – Machine & Factory Automation – headed by the current Managing Director, Hans Wimmer. Both companies consider B&R’s management and employees as a key driver of future growth and the business integration together with their counterparts from ABB. The co-founders of B&R, Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, will act as advisors during the integration phase to ensure continuity.

The integration will be growth-focused and live by the “best-of-both-worlds” principle, with ABB adding its own PLC and servo drive activities to the offering of the new business unit in a phased approach. ABB underlines its clear commitment to continuing the B&R growth story by articulating a mid-term sales ambition to exceed $1 billion.

ABB is committed to further investing in the expansion of B&R’s operations and to building on the company’s successful business model and brand. B&R’s headquarters in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global center for machine and factory automation.

@ABBgroupnews #PAuto #Industry4

“What 35 years in engineering has taught me!”

Brian Booth, VP of the Water Treatment Innovation Platform of global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider with NCH Europe shares what he has learned.

Brian Booth of NCH Europe

I’ve worked in the engineering industry for the last 35 years, starting out as a chemist in the water treatment sector in 1985.

One of the biggest changes I’ve witnessed over the last three decades is the rise of legislation covering every aspect of the industry. It started with basic health and safety and now reaches into countless niche areas, such as the consideration of industry challenges including legionella outbreaks.

While my generation were classically trained chemists recruited to solve problems with scale, corrosion and bacteria in the water industry, new graduates are now required to have a deeper understanding of general issues affecting the whole industry. Engineers are under increasing pressure to show how localised issues fit into the wider socioeconomic and legislative context.

Another change has been the industry’s approach to transparency, traceability and accountability. In this age of globalisation, formal contracts and job responsibilities allow each action to be traced to an individual. This maximises resource allocation, improves training accuracy and improves safety.

However, all of these changes pale in comparison to the opportunity provided by mobile technology to communicate in real time. The rise of the internet has fundamentally altered the way we interact.

Engineers whose jobs involve working in the field might be asked to respond to another incident while on a job. Twenty years ago engineers on the road used carbon paper to record actions. Now smartphones, tablets and laptops allow a continuous link to the office, using graphs and charts to visualise data on the go. This technology has improved productivity and means that engineers in the field can get more done than ever before.

Building trust
Despite all of these changes, some things have stayed the same. The importance of building valuable customer relationships is as great today as it’s ever been. Inspiring confidence in a customer and building trust wins contracts.

Once you’ve got trust, being able to deliver on your promise is vital. The need to prove reliability and credibility, especially in a service industry, is something I don’t think will ever change. At the end of the day, people like to do business with real people and not faceless corporations.

However, there is no doubt that the industry will see significant changes in the future. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is already allowing us to make use of embedded sensors in engineering environments to provide better big-data transparency and interpretation, using novel graphing and visualisation techniques. I’m already seeing this evolve to the point where our engineers can remotely prompt customers to turn off a valve in response to a cooling system alert, a change in the pH of process water or if the level of a specific chemical such as bromine is too high for example.

Advice to graduates
My advice to new graduates is that, now you’ve left university, you can no longer expect to be spoon fed. You are responsible for your own continuous professional development (CPD) and, while employers provide on-the-job skills to allow you to work on profit-making business functions, you have to read around the subject, to develop professionally.

This might mean becoming a member of a professional body such as the Water Management Society for Chartered Chemists, attending networking sessions, conferences or trade shows or finding a mentor who can guide you to success.

#HUG2014 Americas’ symposium adjudged success!


A record number of attendees were at the annual gathering of Honewell customers from across a wide range of industries throughout the Americas.

hug2014Other stories from HUG 2015
In addition to the Americas conference, Honeywell will also hold HUG events in Queensland, Australia (Sept. 21-23) and The Hague in The Netherlands (Nov. 10-14).

More than 1,300 customers, distributors and Honeywell leaders and engineers attended the 2014 Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas symposium held between June 2nd and 6th in San Antonio, Texas. The conference brought together many of the world’s largest process manufacturers to discuss how to apply new technologies to overcome challenges facing their respective industries and operations.

Attendance was 25 percent higher than the 2013 Americas conference held in Phoenix, Ariz., with about 40 percent attending HUG for the first time. The record number of attendees represented more than 475 companies from 36 countries and more than 60 industries. Almost 200 participants attended Honeywell’s Channel Partner conference, which was held in parallel with HUG.

“Honeywell’s User Group is a great opportunity for us, and our customers, to share and discuss issues they are facing in an open, collaborative environment,” said Vimal Kapur, president of Honeywell Process Solution. “A number of our technologies for industrial processors had their beginnings in discussions with customers at HUG. The information shared here helps us develop products and solutions that help our customers overcome their specific issues or issues common to their industries.”

Key themes for this year’s event centered around delivering information and improving collaboration. Honeywell announced availability of its Experion® Orion Console, an advanced display technology designed to reduce operator fatigue and improve situational awareness through features such as improved ergonomics and a large, flexible, high-definition display. Other highlighted technologies designed to better deliver information and improve collaboration included:

• Uniformance® Release 320, software which helps plant managers make better and faster decisions with superior data management, and significantly improved event investigation and trend analysis.

• Intuition® Operations Logbook Release 100, software that provides a unique tool to better log operational activities in a plant, resulting in a more-effective workforce better able to minimize incidents, improve operations and meet regulatory requirements.

• Intuition® Executive Release 220.5, which features improved dashboard call-up performance and enables multiple site deployments for a corporate-wide view of safety, operations and business metrics.

In addition to control room technologies, the company also featured technology to deliver better information in the field and in remote locations. For example, the company showcased its new SmartLine™ industrial temperature transmitters, which can improve overall plant and employee efficiency in harsh and noisy process environments. SmartLine transmitters use advanced displays to show process data in graphical formats and communicate control room messages, and use modular components to simplify field repairs.

Modularity was also a theme with SCADA applications, such as the Honeywell RTU2020 Remote Terminal Unit – a modular and scalable controller capable of all remote automation and control applications. In conjunction with SCADA technologies, the RTU2020 provides an integrated solution to solve complex remote automation requirements in applications such as remote well-head monitoring.

Finally, Honeywell showcased a new approach to project execution called LEAP™, that combines several proven technologies to help companies more quickly design, build and start their plants. LEAP project services combines HPS’ proprietary hardware and software, virtualization and cloud engineering to reduce risk and total automation costs by up to 30 percent. The approach represents a significant departure from the way plants are typically designed and built, by using lean execution methodologies and parallel workflows to keep automation systems off critical implementation paths.

Apprenticeship as an option to degree!

Company fosters apprenticeships as a means of introducing and nurturing talented youngsters, thereby paving the way for further growth.

Enjoying an excellent start to 2012 and scheduled to start work on a new factory extension this summer, Keighley Laboratories is keen to recruit and train its next generation of skilled heat treatment technicians and metallurgists to pave the way for further growth. With many of its qualified staff approaching retirement age over the next decade, succession planning is now a priority for identifying and developing personnel with the potential to fill future leadership positions. Two of its bright young prospects are enrolled on the new BTEC Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering at Bradford College (GB), while the company is currently training a cohort of three apprentices and maintains an in-house programme of skills training and career development.

Debbie Mellor, MD, Keighley Labs

But Debbie Mellor, MD of Keighley Labs and one of relatively few female chief executives in the engineering industry, is concerned that today’s young men and women, and their families, believe that university is the only career path open to them. Yet vocational training like an engineering apprenticeship still leads to a qualification, involves hands-on learning that suits many people better and results in a real job, with established career prospects.

“According to a recent report, an estimated 55% of this year’s university graduates will fail to land a job that requires a degree, becoming either under-employed or unemployed. So with increased course fees and students running up debts of up to £27,000, many young people will now be wondering whether it’s worthwhile going to university,” she says. “Whereas with an apprenticeship or a BTEC diploma course, you learn while you earn and have the opportunity to study for a foundation degree or higher qualification, as your career progresses.

“Apprenticeships is also an area of education and training that has not been affected by budget cuts, with the Government pledging to create 75,000 new places over the next three years and Skills Minister, John Hayes, even considering the option of being able to study apprenticeships at university, to improve the status of vocational training.”

Debbie is an enthusiastic supporter of the new BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering, being delivered by the largest provider of higher education outside the university sector, Bradford College. Redesigned in collaboration with members of the Contract Heat Treatment Association and revised to fit the new Qualifications & Credit Framework, which cumulatively awards credits for individual learning units, the course now includes modules relevant to metallurgy and heat treatment, including the structure and properties of metals, mechanical and thermal treatment, and metallurgical techniques. Keighley Labs has enrolled one trainee from Induction Hardening and another from its Inspection department on the 2-year programme, in the pilot intake of a dozen sponsored students, and expects to fund another two people each year.

Although some of the thermal heat treatment processes are still physically demanding, Keighley Laboratories’ work involves a growing number of high technology roles that would appeal to today’s computer generation. These include the application of spectroscopy to the analysis of metal components, the use of metallographic microscopes for examining the microstructure of specimens, the programming of PLC-controlled furnace processing routines, the skilled operation of non-destructive testing and inspection instruments and, when the new factory building comes on stream, the introduction of ‘cleaner’ heat treatment processes.

A recent study found that 56% of teachers said their knowledge of apprenticeships is poor and Debbie Mellor is worried that schools are pushing their students toward university education, because they are not aware of vocational training opportunities. She is also dismayed by the Government’s recent decision to downgrade the Diploma in Engineering from its current value of five GCSE’s to just one, undermining industry efforts to create a new generation of apprentices and technicians. She joins leading industry names in calling for more effort to be put into developing appropriate technical training and promoting the engineering profession more effectively.

When its new production facility is up and running and the company can present a more modern face to young visitors, Keighley Labs hopes to continue arranging familiarisation trips for schools across the region, aiming particularly at 13-14 year olds who have yet to commit fully to university. In this way, it hopes to put forward the learning and career prospects of apprenticeships to undecided youngsters.

“Work-based training is a viable option for young people to consider,” says Debbie. “Getting into employment earlier, not running up student debts and earning proper money, means young apprentices definitely have an edge. They also have an opportunity to go on and gain a diploma or degree, at the expense of the employer.

“Since we work with advanced industries like aerospace, automotive, energy, defence and petrochemicals, Keighley Labs and the heat treatment sector generally need the skilled technicians, metallurgists and managers of tomorrow and can offer properly-defined career paths,” she concludes. “Nowadays, apprenticeships are not about training people to do a single job for life, they are about unlocking their full personal potential. After all, I started as an office junior and progressed to become Managing Director.”

#EMreu The Insider view!


Although we have presented a report on many usergroup meetings and press happenings we find it useful, and we hope our readers find it too, to reproduce other reports. Here we have Nick Denbow’s take on the Emerson Press Event in Brussels in November (Our own report!). This appears in the December issue of Industrial Automation Insider. In this action packed issue he also has further items on items on Rockwell Automation, Phoenix Contact, Wireless developments, “Son of Stuxnet” etc,  and the, by now traditional, newsy back page – we hesitate in using the word gossip!

Emerson drives ahead on technology innovations of CHARMS and wireless – and targets energy efficiency

By Nick Denbow, Industrial Automation & Process Insider

The Emerson Group results for the year to 30 September 2011 continued their upward path, with their 55th consecutive year of an increased dividend per share, sales up 15% at $24Bn, and operating profit up 21% at 17.5% of sales, a record margin compared to all of the past 40 years. This is for a business that has the main divisions of Process Management and Industrial Automation, together providing over 50% of total group sales. The group return on capital is now 19.6%, and 59% of sales are outside the USA.

Bob Sharp, president of Emerson Process Management Europe (including Eastern Europe and Russia) expanded on these figures at their European press conference last month, explaining that his European sales were $1.5Bn, or 21% of the total Process Management business ($7Bn). After a dip in Process Management orders during 2009 and 2010, the intake globally, and for Europe, had risen substantially in 2011. With over 8000 employees, a significant network of manufacturing centres, and approaching 100 sales and service offices, the Process Management commitment within Europe was said to be considerable.

Innovations in technology
Travis Hesketh, vp for Emerson Process Management, plus wireless and PlantWeb director for Europe, presented two recent innovations in technology, to explain “the sort of things that Emerson are doing to help our customers be more successful, and to address the big problems that they have in front of them every day”. For six years Emerson have used their “Human centered design in automation” approach to understand these issues, to understand the jobs and the tasks they think their customers have to face on process plants, and make these easier to do. The issues customers face have developed and changed, particularly in these uncertain times, and now plant availability and resource efficiency have become more important, as well as energy use and monitoring.

Hazardous area CHARMS
The first innovation offered by Hesketh was the intrinsically safe version of the CHARMS intelligent interface modules for hazardous area use, as discussed at the Emerson Exchange, and in the INSIDER last month, page 8. CHARMS is designed to reduce the wiring complexity on plants, the engineering work and the documentation needed, so reducing project timescales and improving plant availability. But Hesketh also stressed the savings in resources by having remote CHARMS units in the field, connected to the DCS via a single Ethernet cable, and the indication was that there would be Zone 2 approved housings for such intrinsically safe module equipped CHARMS outstations available shortly.

Perhaps to stress the European links and input to the Emerson development projects, Hesketh also pointed out that the intrinsically safe technology embedded in these new CHARMS modules had indeed come from an active and co-operative relationship with Pepperl + Fuchs, using their acknowledged expertise in hazardous area protection systems.

Earlier, Hesketh had demonstrated another example of technology transfer, by showing that the concept of flameproofprotection had in fact started with the Davy miner’s lamp, first used in coal mines in around 1815. Apparently the example shown in the photo on right had been used by his father, some time ago, although not quite dating back so far. In contrast, the rather fetching black and yellow ATEX certificated intrinsically safe LED torch from ecom instruments presented to the members of the press for use should they ever find themselves in anywhere approaching Zone 0, was produced in 2010, and gave a much better light.

Emerson wireless is an ever-expanding portfolio

Travis Hesketh then presented a review of the ‘wonderful world of Emerson wireless’. This made the claim that 6100 of their Smart wireless networks have been installed, and have clocked up 580 million hours of operation to date. Above all their wireless systems have established and proved their integration compatibility with all of the major automation suppliers’ systems (eight of them). From Emerson, 17 distinct hardware product ranges now have a wireless capability, and the Thum adaptor makes many more accessible: Hesketh also promised 9 new Emerson wireless products would be coming in 2012.

Wireless standards
At the Emerson Exchange user conference in the USA in October, it was reported in the press that there had been little discussion on the WirelessHART versus ISA100 topic, and the impression from Hesketh was that the market “pull”, with most customers accepting and adopting the Emerson WirelessHART system and sensors, had exceeded even their most optimistic forecasts.

The message was that the majority of customers do accept WirelessHART as the global wireless standard for sensors – as confirmed by the IEC. Hesketh stressed that whatever develops in terms of wireless standards for the future, because of the existing market acceptance and the WirelessHART installed base, “There must be backward compatibility in any future wireless standard”.

Market and sales dynamics
The adoption of wireless for sensors used in process automation has moved faster than many other industrial technologies, and is perhaps more akin to the growth of consumer product acceptance, such as is seen with mobile communication devices. Since industrial sales engineers are keen to become involved with a successful new product, but are sometimes reticent to adopt and enthuse over more technically challenging products from corporate acquisitions, it is interesting to speculate on how wireless might have had some motivational effects.

In the INSIDER last month, page 7, it was noted that the development of wireless gas detection systems
from BW Technologies (in Calgary, Canada) within Honeywell Analytical had brought together the analytical and process systems operations within the company, in a very positive way. These hydrogen sulfide (sulphide) detectors were for the Shah Gas project in Abu Dhabi.

Similarly within Emerson, it appears the customer demand for adding the wireless vibration monitoring systems from their CSI machinery health monitoring business has maybe triggered a stronger interest in the promotion/adoption of these products within the established process industry customers: wireless might be seen as the glue linking vibration monitoring and process measurement
sensors. From comments by Hesketh, it seems the customer doorways suddenly opened to approaches discussing machinery health monitoring by wireless – or maybe the barriers to entry were lowered sufficiently for the sales engineers to start raising the subject with confidence. The overall message is that with a wireless infrastructure in place, the customer is able to do tasks that were considered too difficult before, and calls for new applications. So what other doors are opening for Emerson…

Wireless gas detection

Emerson Process Management has acquired Net Safety Monitoring of Calgary, Canada, a company specializing in the design, development and manufacture of fixed
toxic and combustible gas detectors, IR flame detectors, safety systems, and other safety products, many SIL rated and offering industry leading technology.
The acquisition will expand the Emerson capability to provide comprehensive process control and safety monitoring in tough industrial environments.
For nearly two decades, Net Safety has built a reputation for developing products engineered for continuous performance in the most extreme conditions, particularly for the oil and gas industries.
“Emerson and Net Safety share a passion for providing products and solutions that help our customers run their operations under strict safety standards” said Ken Biele, president of the Emerson Process Management Analytical Group. “Together we will be able to help not only manage and control processes, but also ensure the safety of people, facilities and property”.
Net Safety chief operating officer, Kevin Algar, added: “Emerson’s technical leadership, global presence, and financial strength will help us expand our offerings and better serve our customers around the world”. Net Safety has sales and support offices in Calgary, Houston, Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Singapore.

In listing some of the recently introduced Emerson wireless products, Hesketh included a Thum adaptor integrated with “a hydrogen sulphide (sulfide) detection system from Net Safety”, which triggered my interest, following the Honeywell activity in this area. Maybe there had been similar interest triggered in Emerson, because Net Safety Monitoring, the gas and flame detector company – specialising in the oil and gas industry – was acquired by Emerson back in July this year. The side panel has the full story, such as it is, but note that Net Safety are also based in Calgary, Canada.

Steam trap monitoring
The second innovation described by Hesketh was a Rosemount wireless acoustic transmitter, typically used to monitor and analyse the sound emitted by a high pressure gas, such as steam, when escaping from a faulty steam trap or pressure relief valve. The transmitter is a listening device, which is strapped to the pipework close to the potential escape point, which of course could be a steam trap, valve or seal that needs monitoring.

The immediate question is where did this new product come from, and why? Maybe this is from customer pull, with users asking for a wireless sensor to monitor steam traps, because energy costs and waste from losses has become a significant problem for customers recently. It is also a major opportunity for Emerson to further expand their wireless portfolio, ahead of other people. But where did the Rosemount steam noise analysis expertise come from? Surely the closest you would expect Emerson to get to steam control hardware is with Fisher valves, if we ignore Rosemount vortex and Annubar flowmeters?

Technology from Armstrong
The answer was provided by sub-titles on the Rosemount software, and the examples of steam traps, all on display in the press event, which came from Armstrong International, a major Michigan, USA based family run and fiercely independent company, which has been providing energy management solutions for industry for the past 110 years. Armstrong in fact launched their own SteamEye WirelessHART based steam trap leakage monitoring sensors and systems nearly five years ago (See IAI 31 January 2007). Emerson has benefited from a significant input of Armstrong expertise in designing this Rosemount 708 Wireless Acoustic Transmitter (that seems to be the product name being used, not the Rosemount WAT), and as the press release says, the product is “Backed by Emerson’s proven experience in Smart Wireless field instrumentation”.

The Rosemount 708 press release also mentions that about 20% of the steam leaving a boiler is typically lost through faulty steam traps. In refineries, and other process plants, this is a major on-going problem, and these represent the target for Emerson’s new ‘Smart Energy Initiative’, offering efficiency services for steam systems across industry. More of this will be reported next month.

● As an aside, in the UK there is a well established commercial boilerhouse servicing operation dealing with the maintenance of steam boiler level controls, relief valves and other steam equipment, which provides the regular 3-monthly servicing required for industry to conform with UK Health and Safety Guideline PM5. This is the Mobrey On-Site Boilerhouse Service, operated by Mobrey since 1923. It was 37 years ago that your editor joined Mobrey and spent two weeks learning about steam boiler control, climbing over steam pipes alongside one of these service engineers! Mobrey is now a business within ……Emerson Process Management!
The above appeared in the December 2012 issue of the Industrial Automation Insider and is reproduced by kind permission of the author!

Press releases issued at this event.

#OpsManage ’11 – EURA is (virtually) first!

By Nick Denbow, Industrial Automation Insider (IAI) November 2011
Our Report on OpsManage EURA includes links to releases for new products!
Paris event from a distance!

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Control are producing a daily newsletter from OpsManage Nashville event (8-10th November 2011) and we link to them from our home page!

The OpsManage11 customer and partner 2011 worldwide series of events organized by Invensys Operations Management (IOM) and their global sponsor, Microsoft, kicked off with a well attended Europe, Africa and Russia (EURA) region meeting held at the modern CNIT conference centre, in the La Défense area of Paris, early in November.

Cloud-powered Exhibition
Most of the exhibition stand displays of the software and systems were shown on thin-client based screens and keyboards linked to programmes hosted in cloud computers. This led to a discussion about virtualization, and IOM stressed that all their software systems have been thoroughly tested for operation in a virtual environment, whether using VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V, and this work was initiated over five years ago: being able to offer the IOM enterprise control system for use in a virtual computing environment was essential for them to be able to meet the requirements of their customers.

High availabilty virtualization
At OpsManage11, one of the product launches was of ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Workflow 2012 software. In the full description, the ArchestrA System Platform 2012 is said to provide “A single, scalable and open platform for the entire spectrum of automation and information applications, addressing the business and functional needs of industrial automation, operations and information personnel. Its plant-model based, integrated configuration environment provides a logical representation of the physical processes being controlled and supervised, enabling rapid configuration and deployment of component object-based industrial applications. When deployed, the software improves performance; strengthens security; simplifies installation; increases operator and engineering productivity and efficiency; and supports new high-availability disaster recovery implementations using Windows Server Hyper-V virtualization from Microsoft. In addition, ArchestrA System Platform 2012 software supports all the latest remote desktop services that are part of Windows Server 2008 R2.”

Within this the interesting aspect is that even ArchestrA high availability systems can now be hosted on Hyper-V virtual servers, providing a change-over between servers that takes less than 45 seconds: and the systems can offer up to at least four separate servers to create a multiple fall-over back-up, for example for the extremes of reliability that might be needed on a nuclear power plant. “Many Windows Server Hyper-V
customers in manufacturing and processing need to integrate legacy automation, monitoring and reporting systems across different locations,” said Manlio Vecchiet, director of product management, Windows server and virtualization, at Microsoft. “We are pleased that to address this, Invensys Operations Management has created ArchestrA System Platform 2012. By supporting the full spectrum of Windows Server Hyper-V capabilities, Invensys is enabling the flexibility and technology their customers need to achieve real-time business optimization.”

Invensys half year results The Invensys Group half year results were published on November 4th, the first day of the main conference, so Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and ceo of IOM, commented on these in his keynote speech and in separate discussions later. IOM is undoubtedly the star in the Invensys crown at the moment.

IOM sales revenues were up 21% for the half year at GBP618m, driven by a doubling of the income from large projects, now 17% of the business. Orders were up 4% at GBP599m: however, during FY2011, last year, there had been a significant order from China Nuclear in this first half, boosting the overall order intake level – by excluding this contract value, the 20% growth in base business orders shows the IOM position is “surprisingly strong” with the “order base distributed across a broader range of customers”.

While the growth and spread of their base business was noted as a solid indication of the success of their systems, in the uncertain business climate, Bhattacharya highlighted two major award recognitions received by Invensys Operations Management this year.

First, Microsoft chose IOM as their Number 1 partner for the year, out of a possible 3000 current partners – Microsoft is the co-sponsor of the OpsManage events, which continue in seven further locations over the next two months, with a visit to Nashville in the USA following in the week after the European event. Other locations are in Australia, Tokyo, AbuDhabi, South Korea, Taiwan and India.

Also significant, Bhattacharya mentioned that a recent ARC report had placed IOM as the Number 1 world supplier of HMI software, with 22% of this market, beating Siemens, the nearest competitor, by a clear 4.5 percentage point margin.

New appointment
So Bhattacharya’s strategy for IOM is seen to be working. Alongside that, and important for the European region, he has appointed Rob Rennie as president of the EURA region, as well as being in charge of the equipment business – measurement and instrumentation. Rennie is an internal appointment, a long term Eurotherm manager, and Bhattacharya is impressed with the results of tapping the talent pool available within the company.

Studying his approach more closely, the whole Invensys (ie IOM) concept with their InFusion enterprise control system is to empower their customer organization, ie their operators, to give them the input to make the right business decisions. Bhattacharya is using the same approach internally, with his engineers – his ideas people, in other words – so that they have assessed and negotiated development priorities and plans before he ever gets to hear about the ideas. When he does hear the final proposal, his decisions are also easier! He calls it a talent management programme, but it would seem also to encourage delegation, making the business run more efficiently, based on open communications.

Rob Rennie showed the same pragmatism in his approach when I tried to pin him down about the Invensys development of instruments with embedded wireless capabilities: his R+D budget is not limitless, so quite reasonably they have shelved that topic for the moment. There was some interesting contract news in the half year: IOM signed two contracts with TNK-BP, the third largest oil company in Russia, to provide comprehensive automation solutions and services to help drive control, environment and safety excellence at their Saratov 7 mtpa oil refinery in western Russia.

They also signed a multi-million dollar contract to implement an integrated refinery information system (IRIS) for Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total France. In a strategic alliance with Wipro Arabia, IOM will provide an integrated InFusion enterprise control system solution for the 400,000 bpd refinery being constructed in Jubail.

Sharing the honours with Honeywell?
The news item that triggered some questions for me was that IOM particularly quoted performance improvements at the Codelco copper producer in Chile (1.8mtpa) as a result of the use of InFusion advanced control solutions. But Codelco was quoted the week before in the Honeywell video, mentioned on page 1 (of Industrial Automation Insider) this month, as an example of Honeywell systems improving plant performance. It appears Honeywell systems are primarily Invensys in the smelters, but Invensys advise that their InFusion advanced control, being DCS agnostic, operates on top of Honeywell and other control systems on several Codelco sites. Plus one aging Honeywell DCS was recently migrated to an Invensys system, in the InFusion ECS.

This article appeared in the November issue of Industrial Automation Insider

Country tweets from #EMrex in Opryland


We first reported on the Emerson Global Users Exchange in 2009 in a report entitled #EMRex tweets rule where we spoke about our real and virtual attendance at the event held in Orlando (FL US). Last year we penned “So much information, so much going on, too little time!” which reported breathlessly on the San Antonio (TX US).

This year
This year they went “country” and Emerson Global Users Exchange (#EMrex) travelled to Opryland, Nashville (TN US) but for various reasons, including the fact that we were recovering from jetlag having travelled back from the ISA’s successful ISA Automation Week in Mobile (AL US) that weekend! This was an interesting juxta positioning as usually the #EMrex preceeds the ISA event. However be that as it may we were able to form some sort of impression of how things went – mostly from tweets and the very excellent newsletters provided by the team from Control. Links to these reports and others we have been able to find are to be found on the box at the bottom of this page.

Pic by Mike Boudreaux shows standing room only at keynote

The event started with an address from Steve Sonnenberg, the new (since last year) president of Emerson Process Management. Immediately tweets started flying. We learned there were approx 2850 delegates and that they all seemed to be crammed into the hall to hear the address. Indeed Mike Boudreaux’s pic was tweeted very early on showing standing room only. Despite the dismal and gloomy news we hear in the media these days he was optimistic about the future. Emerson had increased staff levels throughout the world although he did note that “in a sea of unemployment, we were unable to fill all our technical positions with qualified personnel.”  However his main point was that Emerson personal were present primarily to listen. They were anxious to foster an atmosphere of trust among their users. Automation World’s Jim Chrzan commented favourably, “It was refreshing, to say the least, to hear a top exec talk about more than numbers. Sonnenberg’s honesty about continuing to build a listening culture is excellent advice for all business managers, and was appreciated by all.”

Down to work!
They had over 351 workshops and short courses throughout the week on a wide range of engaging subjects giving an excellent opportunity to learn best practices, see what colleagues and peers were achieving with automation and generate new ideas. There were industry and technology forums, product & service roadmaps, training courses and the possibility to meet the experts in all sorts of technologies and processes throughout the week.

Click for demo video voiced over by Jim Cahill

Something new
Something new introduced at this years event was Emerson Exchange 365. This is a way to keep #EMrex alive for the rest of the year! Jim Cahill, Emerson’s social media pioneer, stressed, “…it’s about connecting with Emerson experts and developers, but it’s first and foremost about bringing our customers together with each other!”
Here is the presentation from Jim Cahill and Mike Tongwarin on “How the Emerson Exchange 365 Online Community Benefits You!

Europe ahoy!

Many times we have asked if this event will come to Europe and received answers which expressed an interest though hardly a ringing endorsement of the idea. “We’re thinking of it!” was the usual mollifying response. Well this year we got a positive response. “Emerson Exchange IS coming to Europe!” And so it is, dates and venues have been announced: Duesseldorf (D), 29-31 May 2012. So maybe Europeans, many of whom envy the excitement the #EMrex tweets convey, will have their own opportunity to tweet “Live from #EMrex on the banks of the Rhein!”

And still the eclectic tweets came!
We’ve collected a small selection of the hundreds of tweets (and pics) that were flying through cyberspace during the event. We hope they give a flavour of atmosphere experienced there.

Tweet: Mike Boudreaux

“Emerson wireless, 6100 networks installed with 580 million hrs of operation. Expect more products to come,”
“…tip…if there are people standing in the back of the workshop, scoot in to put empty seats on the aisle for them.”
“Our products (Pepperl+Fuchs USA) at booth 317 integrate well with PlantWeb and the overall Emerson platform.”
“Nail a speech, launch a career – Mr Dave Beckmann at Emerson Exchange #EMRex just starting. 90 mins of greatness,”
“People gathered outside the doorway for @thomsinger’s #EMRex session 5 Ways to Navigate Your Career” (see Mike Boudreaux’s pic – right) “Come visit booth # 319 to learn more about MYNAH & MiMiC Simulation Software,”
“…musician’s jam session again tonight in Washington B. Cold beer, great tunes, Nice Bike!!!!”
“Course “Web Devmnt Tools” has forward thinking tools & technologies that will be game changing! Worth checking out!”

"Great turn out for the On-line Batch Analytics talk from DSM Martek" (Bruce Greenwald )

“Great turn out for the On-line Batch Analytics talk from DSM Martek”
“HP editors forecast spending in HPI to exceed $222 billion in 2012. What’s the ROI? Attend ‘Best Practices in Asset Management!'”
“What was your favourite presentation, short course or workshop you experienced this week and …”

Healing? Heading?"

“Conferences are key to continued education. Academics can learn a lot from industry conferences and vice versa!”
@Rosemount_TG is healing in the Irish Pub after another successful day at #EMREX” (we feel sure that heading is what is meant…er maybe not! – see pic!) “Power cut at #EMRex. Michel Lefrancois from Lubrizol continues to present in total darkness”
“Lots of great Flow workshops at #EMRex today! Check out these sessions: 6A-2789, 6A-2638, 6A-2382, and 6A-2525.”
“Tim Highly was stuck in the elevator during power outage. Wow he has a great attitude and is laughing :-)”
“ISA Bookstore is up and running! Stop on by at #EMRex. Great Automation resources.” (I would put that in wouldn’t I!)
“Emerson Process announces Smart #Energy Initiative at #EMrex!”
“Tweet about Jim’s session about his blog for the new online community features! Social media overload…”
“My presentation “5 Ways to Navigate Your Career” is at 1:15 (right after lunch… so no sleeping in the audience!)”
“Day 3 of #EMRex, and show going on despite power issues. Nearly 2,900 attendees & big energy news is being made…”
“It’s hard to tweet in the dark….”
“Where are best slides from #EMRex? I thinking off the humor slides. They need to be uploaded at the exchange page!”
“I worked hard on the Rosemount Flow booth so be sure to check it out! :-)”
“The two smartest guys in Process Control I have ever met – Terry Blevins and Willy Wojsznis..”
“Thanks for best trade show ever at #EMRex and good luck to all us that have a 08:00 session in the morning.”
“Having great social media and brand recognition conversations with some Control Dynamics guys”
“Continue to meet new people at every break and plan for follow up (even though I am gone, I am still here).”
“I’ve picked lots of new twitter followers here at #EMRex and have started following others. Don’t stop tweeting when the conference ends!”
“We have received our first presentation abstract for Dusseldorf!”
“Neil Peterson is shouting at people to change the DeltaV default password – it’s all about security.”
“4th day of Emerson Exchange is coming to an end… Now time for some networking at the country music hall of fame…”
“Have a safe travel home from #EMRex and thanks for a good week”

I think it is safe to say that a good and instructive time was had by all and the social side of things was not ingnored. Lots of networking happened and will continue to happen and this cannot but have good repercussions in the wider automation community. And so to next spring in Duesseldorf and in the Autumn in Anaheim.

Automation engineers outside the Music Hall of Fame (Pic Reidar Eikeland )

Emerson Global Users Exchange was held in Nashville (TN US) with over 2800 delegates.The most immediate way to follow was to follow the #EMrex tweets

This year they introduced Emerson Exchange 365, “The Peer-to-Peer Online Emerson Global Users Exchange Community”

They also provided a mobile app to “enhance Your Emerson Exchange Experience!”

This is a list of the Third Party Vendors at the event

Daily News Letter from #EMrex
Day One [-] Day Two [-] Day Three [-] Day Four

Emerson Exchange (Jim Cahill Emerson Process Experts – always lots of interesting posts all worth looking at!)

Exchange Kicks-off with Steve Sonnenberg Keynote (Automation World 24/10/2011)

Emerson Touts Customer Focus, ‘Smart Energy’ at Users Exchange (FlowControl 24/10/20101)

Smart Energy Initiative (Emerson Exchange News from Gary Mintchell 25/10/2011)

Emerson Announces ‘Smart Energy Initiative’ at Exchange 2011 (Jim Montague Sustainable Plant 25/10/2011)

Three Tips For Follow Up After A Business Conference (Thos Singer 26/10/2011)

Fieldbus Foundation at Emerson Global Users Exchange (2/11/2011)

The 2011 Emerson Exchange A Success! (Neal Ingram, Micromotion Blog, 7/11/2011)

Emerson Exchange Brings 2,800+ to Nashville (Peter Cleaveland, Valve Magazine 9/11/2011)

#EFMExpo – an industrial event in Cork


Instrument Technology exhibit at EFM Exhibition in Cork

It is quite a number of years since the capital of Munster hosted an industrial exhibition so it was a great pleasure to reaquaint ourselves with many old and indeed new friends at the ENFMExpo held in the Silver Springs complex on the 27th and 28th of September.

The Exhibitors!
ABB Limited
ACE Control Systems
ADA Security Systems
ADI Ireland Ltd
Alpha Sign Nameplate & Decal
Alternative Heating & Cooling Ltd
Apex Fire Ltd

Bord Gáis Networks
Business Safety
Butler Transtest

Camfil Irl Ltd
Clarke Energy Ireland

Clasit Beecher
Complete Alternative Energy
Cooper Industries
Cross Hire
CSC LTD Chemical Systems
Cylon Active Energy


Edina Ltd
EFT Control Systems
EMC Energy
Eurotech Calibration Services Ltd

Finning (Ireland) Ltd
Firebird Boilers
Focus Hygiene Supplies Limited
Frontline Energy & Environmental

GARO Electric Irl
Gem Utilities
General Electronic Access Ltd
GSH Group Ireland

HSG Zander Ireland Ltd

In’Flector Ireland Ltd
Instrument Technology – ABB
Irish Cooling Towers
Irish Industrial Coatings
Irish Power & Process Ltd

Kellihers Electrical

Moloney & Associates

Newbridge Metal Products Ltd

O Neill Industrial Ltd

Phoenix Contact (Irl) Ltd
powerPerfector Ireland Ltd
Premium Power

Radio & Security Products Ltd
Rittal Ltd
RPS Group

Sartorius Mechatronics Ireland Ltd
Sartorius Stedim Ireland
Screenguard Ltd
Sirus Engineering Systems

Traka KMS Ltd


The event promised the  latest developments in Energy Management, Facilities Management along with Safety Health & Security. It was an opportunity too to meet industry experts at the concurrent seminars discussing the latest ideas, technology and services capable of helping plants to increase efficiency.

Over 60 companies exhibited and some of these provided speakers for the almost 20 different seminar talks given throughout the period of the show.

Of course our principal interest was the area of automation and there were a number of instrument companies and system providers among these. We provide a short impression of some of these here.

Manotherm is a company which hardly needs an introduction in Ireland. They have, since time immemorial it seems, been supplying Irish industry with control and instrumentation products, the basics of all process, manufacturing and construction industry automation requirements. They have been called the Instrumentation Supermarket and many times they have come to the rescue in solving a knotty problem with an instrument, sensor or valve, from their extensive stock.

John Watts

JS Watts of Schubert & Salzer

One of their principals, Schubert & Salzer gave one of the seminars on control valves in reducing energy consumption, handling and maintenace costs. John Watts discussed their GS 3 valve – a handy light and highly accurate valve based on principles discussed many centuries by Leonardo da Vinci. Known as a sliding gate valve, the GS3 seat design features a non turbulent, straight through flow path.  The flow is broken apart into multiple streams creating a reduced field of energy.  The result is greater service life, quieter operation and a control valve that performs at the highest levels possible within extreme conditions.

Instrument Technology, who are now  associates for marketing the line of ABB process instruments, had a large selection of flow, pressure and temperature instruments from this range. They marketed the Fisher & Porter range for many years and after the takeover of F&P by ABB their association with the larger entity is a logical development.

A new company to us was Eurotech Calibration Services (ECSL) where Kevin Davis showed the New Zealand based Temprecord range of temperature mapping and monitoring instrumentation. Aplications included the transportaion of blood for transfusions a truly critical application. This company provides calibration to the pharma, medical device, food and beverage industries as well as to other sectors.

Representing the Yokogawa interest, Irish Power & Process  displayed field instrumentation and calibration equipment. These cover, data acquisition, analytical, pressure, flow, wired and wireless – using ISA 100 standard. This company also represents Fluke test and measurement equipment and Camille Bauer.

Phoenix Contact are leading edge manufacturers of industrial control and automation solutions. They have an enviable reputation in the energy industry as suppliers of terminal blocks, DC UPS and Power Supplies surge protection devices, HMIs, IPCs and Wireless communications.

The very active Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation (ISA) also had a stand under the watchful eye of Douglas Control & Automation’s Declan Lordan.

The event was organised by SDL Exhibitions with their usual flair an  professionalism and hopefully this successful show will see a return of industrial events as the ecnomic situation improves in the years to come.

The busy Manotherm Stand at EFM

Major acquisition strengthens war on Stuxnet and other malware


Byres Security has been acquired by Belden! Byres recently have been in the forefront of the battle against the malware known as Stuxnet – see Abominable security commitment! But before that they are well known for their work in ensuring the security of process automation through their Tofino system designed to protect industrial networks, SCADA systems and process control facilities from external cyber threats and internal network incidents.

Eric's war against Stuxnet will be strengthened by deal!

A new awareness!

A recent Pike Research report states:
“Industrial Control System (ICS) Security, including SCADA security, was ignored by most… until recently – Stuxnet changed all that. Nearly overnight, ICS security went from a non-issue to being critical.”
The positive side of Stuxnet is that awareness and action about ICS and SCADA Security has increased dramatically since it was discovered.
Now, as part of Belden, we look forward to making our vision of robust security tailored for industrial requirements a reality in many, many sites around the world.

What does this mean?
In a statement on their site that the company “will run as an independent business unit under Belden, and the Tofino Security brand will remain the same.” Thus they will continue:

•    Developing technology for robust industrial control system security
•    Helping companies adopt industrial security solutions
•    Advocating for a higher level of industrial cyber security within organizations
•    Contributing to the development of industrial cyber security standards

Joann Byres and Eric Byres will carry on leading Byres Security, with Joann as General Manager and VP and Eric as CTO and VP Engineering, and “we are committed to developing the business for many years.  Our experienced BSI team remains intact.”

Existing Tofino Security product lines will be actively developed, sold and supported. Red and blue Tofino Security Appliances are going to continue to appear in factories and plants around the world, only in more shapes and sizes.

“Our partners, who have been key to our success, will continue to remain very important to us.  We look forward to continuing to work with MTL Instruments, Honeywell, Invensys and all of our Tofino Certified VARs and SIs.”

So why this new arrangement?
A principal reason  doing this deal is that it provides them with the support needed to realise the market potential of Tofino Security. Inevitably there will be changes. Some of the things that will change are:

• Investment in R&D and product development will increase
• Tofino Security technology will be incorporated into Belden’s industrial networking and automation products, including embedded products (“Security by Tofino”)
• The BSI product line will be expanded to include a wider range of hardware platforms

And Belden?
They had been working with the Hirschmann group in Belden for about two years and maintained a strong working relationship with them, having completed technology integration projects with them.
Belden is already using Tofino Security technology in its Eagle line of security products, and BIS use Belden’s Hirschmann hardware in many of their Tofino Security products.
So it is felt that there is good synergy between the companies’ technologies and capabilities, and they believe that bringing the two entities together will result in leadership in both industrial networking and industrial security.

Joann Byres & Eric Byres

In a statement commenting on the news Joann Byres, VP and General Manager, Byres Security said,  “The deal is beneficial to us because it provides financial and organizational support for realizing the market potential of Tofino Security technology. The industrial control system security market is growing quickly, and now, as part of Belden we will be able to truly to seize the opportunity.”

Eric Byres, CTO and VP Engineering also commented,  “Industrial Control System and SCADA operators have experienced a wake-up call over the last year with a large number of PLC vulnerabilities disclosed and with the Stuxnet cyber attack.  There is now high interest in improving cyber security at both the plant and management levels of organizations.”

“As part of Belden we will be able to fully realize the potential of Tofino Security technology and make our vision of robust security tailored for industrial requirements a reality in many, many sites around the world. This is a terrific opportunity and we look forward to joining Belden and making it happen.”

Peter Fröhlich, Ph.D., Director R&D for Belden’s industrial networking business gave his view.  “BSI is a leading provider of industrial control system security and their Tofino Security technology will strengthen Belden’s position as the world’s leading provider of complete industrial networking solutions. As an independent business entity within Belden, BSI will continue its growth and success and contribute to our vision of delivering secure communications to mission critical networking solutions.”

“We already use BSI’s technology in our EAGLE line of security products and intend to leverage it across our entire industrial networking product portfolio, particularly the Hirschmann and GarrettCom industrial network products.”

“This will also include embedded offerings, providing customers with “Secured by Tofino” inside their networking and automation equipment. BSI will also expand its industrial security product portfolio with a greater range of hardware platforms.”

Other reports:
Automation World: Belden Acquires Canadian-Based Byres Security (1/9/2011)
ControlGlobal: Belden acquires Byres Security Inc! (1/9/2011)
Digital Bond: Belden/Hirschmann Buys Byres Security/Tofino(1/9/2011)
ISS Source (The Shield): Belden Deals for Byres Security (1/9/2011)