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

24/03/2014
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.

Conclusion
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.


Thoughts and comments on Invensys happenings last month!

14/10/2013
Nick Denbow, in the October issue of Industrial Automation and Process Control Insider shares his thoughts on the news from Invensuys during the past month. 

iaiInvensys buys InduSoft – for OEM/machine business
Invensys pulled off a surprise acquisition this month with an agreed takeover of InduSoft. Based in Austin, Texas, InduSoft is a manufacturer and supplier of HMI/ SCADA systems particularly focused on OEM and machine building markets – the main point made by the Invensys official release, which quoted the InduSoft users as “primarily industrial computer manufacturers and machine and system builders, who embed InduSoft software into their products”. Ravi Gopinath, president of the Invensys software business, said “InduSoft strengthens and broadens our leading software solutions portfolio, particularly in the embedded HMI segment, and provides a continuing driver for growth”.

Indusoft poised to expand
For privately owned InduSoft the approach from Invensys – it was not by any means the first such approach in their long relationship – came at the right time. With 90+ employees, no debt, and significant R&D spend, the next step to be made in their geographical business expansion is to move outside their established bases in the USA, Brazil and Germany, and needs much more resource. Invensys can provide the resource, and has an established distribution network: they also have worked with InduSoft before, since the two firms co-operated to enable Invensys to develop InTouch CE, based on InduSoft technology. Marcia Gadbois, president of InduSoft, commented that the deal would bring “end-to-end HMI, SCADA and MES solution to our customers”, adding historian and advanced applications such as MES software and solutions.

European Advantage!
● Post haste: In their enthusiasm to tell their customers the news of the acquisition by Invensys, the InduSoft newsletter email announcing the deal arrived in the INSIDER inbox in the middle of the night UK time on 24 September, when the announcement was officially embargoed until the Tuesday morning US time, ie 1400 hours UK time. After a little surprise from both camps in Europe, the deal was confirmed, but with the time advantage helping the INSIDER, compared to USA based websites, publication of the news led to the best day ever for hits on the INSIDER blog, with 250 readers of that story in one morning!

European operations
Mike Bradshaw, vp of European sales at InduSoft for the last two years, is wanting to grow their presence in the UK and Europe, building on the OEM technical support and order processing base in Germany. He says he has found the company an exciting place to work, and anticipates that it will continue as an independent business within the Invensys software business group, with continued development – particularly for example in terms of the Wonderware interface. InduSoft already offer a gateway that allows an interface to Wonderware – a fact slightly embellished in the press release:

mikebradshaw“Companies using InduSoft software will be able to expand their solutions with Wonderware supervisory, historian and manufacturing operations management software”.

They already have been able to do that, but the real point for Invensys is, as Norm Thorlakson, vp of HMI and supervisory software at Invensys commented: “InduSoft technology quickly makes us more competitive and gives us immediate entry to new customers and a stronger OEM sales channel, with a focus on machine builders and embedded systems”.

Bradshaw confirms the view that InduSoft will add horizontal reach to the Wonderware offering, into the InduSoft OEM and machinery customers, particularly for smaller systems. Bradshaw should know – he worked for Wonderware previously. Founded in 1997, InduSoft has delivered more than a total of 250,000 HMI software licenses to be embedded in the products of more than 700 customers worldwide.

Users hear of continued Invensys R&D investment
The InduSoft acquisition announcement was timed to be made in the opening session of the September Invensys User Conference in San Antonio, Texas, as another fact demonstrating their continued development activity and investment in the business, under the (imminent) Schneider Group banner. Possibly some unscrupulous competitors have suggested that this would no longer be the case!

In another major product announcement, Mike Caliel released the Foxboro Evo next generation DCS and safety system, the development promised in an interview with London based analysts last May (INSIDER June, page 4). At the time, Wayne Edmunds (ceo of Invensys Group) stressed the “far more flattering cost profile” of the new unit, but not surprisingly this was not a major feature in Mike Caliel’s presentation to the users..

Foxboro Evo launch
Caliel said the Foxboro Evo offers a high- speed, fault tolerant and cyber secure hardware platform, integrating the capabilities of the Triconex safety system. The name Evo applies because the product is an evolution of the proven I/A series DCS/Process Automation System introduced in the 1980s, and also because it is structured so that as companies/ users themselves evolve, the system can also grow.

MikeTellerIn a recent presentation in London, Mike Teller, md for Invensys Systems for northern Europe and Africa, explained that the coupling of control and safety at the heart of the Evo enables state-of-the- art cyber security throughout the PAS structure. Current Foxboro I/A Series DCS users can migrate to the Foxboro Evo system with little or no downtime: users of competitor’s automation systems can also migrate to the Evo, using the existing wiring terminations. Michael McKenzie, distributed control systems specialist for BP in Brisbane, Australia, had faced this issue. “We needed to upgrade the vast majority of our DCS, but like most sites, we didn’t have the luxury of a site-wide shutdown to make a full change possible. We were facing a substantial obsolescence issue, which we had ranked as a significant risk to on-going operations, so we needed a solution that would allow us to upgrade components as we needed them, without sacrificing functionality or usability for operators. The new Invensys system allowed for a much easier upgrade of all components.”

Cyber Security
In the Invensys London presentation, Jay Abdallah, senior lead engineer at Invensys EMEA Cyber Security Services based in Dubai, explained some of the aspects and background to his work. The scene has changed radically since 2010, with SCADA and ICS cyber-espionage and malware vulnerabilities and attacks becoming far more numerous than any other. Power companies are targeted by approx. 10,000 cyber-attacks per month. The hackers who target proprietary ICS, PLC or SCADA systems use typically specific knowledge of a platform they are to attack – often by being, or using, and ex-employee (who might bear a grudge of some form). Abdallah discussed the Shamoon virus, discovered in August 2012, which did not reach through to the actual plant operating systems, but destroyed around 42,000 office based computer systems in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reaction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can be more positive than in the democratic west: the King issued a directive that everyone had 2 months to install a DMZ, and that Windows 2003 and Microsoft XP would no longer be used.

Reinforcing the message
The main message from Abdallah was that “Creating and Maintaining a Cyber Security plan is absolutely critical”. In Europe, the impression is that industrial managers treat EU legislation as irrelevant: but a study by Tripwire (a provider of risk- based security and compliance management solutions) and the Ponemon Institute (dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy/data protection management practices in business and government) discusses a new EU Directive on cyber security. This states that organizations that do not have “suitable” IT security in place to protect their digital assets will face extremely heavy fiscal penalties: ie fines, “of up to 2% of their annual global turnover”. Mind bendingly large. The survey found that 28% of organizations do not have a security strategy, and only 5% have an up-to-date risk-based security management programme.

The problem was then illustrated by the security breach at the Adobe Systems HQ, where encrypted customer credit card data and Adobe passwords were removed from their system. This is the sort of breach the EU Directive is aimed to prevent, by requiring proper security.

• No corporate combination stand for Schneider/Invensys this year at Offshore Europe (OE13) –
we have that to look forward to in two years. For the moment the Schneider space looked a little unloved and bare, although they were showing the fairly topical subsea power distribution systems.

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

10/11/2011
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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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

#Opsmanage Paris event from a distance!

09/11/2011

“Journey to Excellence” starts from French capital and continues in Nashville!

Paris is a beautiful city! Everybody agrees and perhaps that is why this years OpsManage Eura returned to Paris this year. Last year it was held in the Paris Disneyland as we reported, (Innovation is everwhere! 22/11/2010), however this year it was held in the ultra modern sector of the city known as La Défense. This is the part of the city where there is a large Arch which is in a direct line from the Arc de Triomphe.

Product Releases
Eurotherm nanodac Recorder/Controller

ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Workflow 2012

More Open and Powerful SimSci-Esscor ROMeo Optimisation Software

New Evolution of the Foxboro I/A Series System

Wonderware InTouch 2012 released!

Invensys OPEN Winners announced!

Official Photos from Paris!


Reports in other publications listed at bottom of page!

We were looking forward to attending again this year but due to circumstances beyond our control we didn’t make the trip this year. We had to be content with trying to follow events on twitter. This was not that satisfactory as it would appear the Invensys users and marketers are not quite a prolific as those who attended the Emerson Nashville event in October. Nevertheless we did glean some information from the tweets (and contributed a few ourselves!). We were also assisted by communications from BCM Public Relations their press people. They acted as host for over 20 European editors.

OpsManage is a global event held in various locations as far apart as Nashville,  Tennessee (US) and Mumbai (India), with stops in between at Queensland (AUS), Tokyo (J), Abu Dhabi (UAR), Seuol (K) and Kaohsiung (TW). in the next month and a half!

This year’s theme is “Journey to Excellence,” focusing on the practical steps plant executives and managers, as well as operations, IT and engineering professionals, can take to become a fully integrated, fully optimised real-time enterprise. A top feature was their a study of their InFusion Enterprise Control System technologies. Throughout the event, Invensys experts, partners and clients demonstrated new advances to make it increasingly easy for businesses to connect previously isolated operations, empower their workforce and comply with environmental and safety regulations. Participants had the opportunity to sit in on these sessions, as well as attend seminars related to their particular interests and meeting one on one with Invensys executives, subject experts and clients. A list of OpsManage’11 conference session titles and descriptions are listed on the web with a  search section section to find individual conference sessions.

Wi-Fi connection at the CNIT Conference centre – where the event was held – was free for all attendees however this correspondent was disappointed in that so few people availed of it to tweet their reactions to the various sessions!

Rob Rennie warms up the event!

On Thursday Rob Rennie, Invensys President for Europe, Russia and Asia welcomed delegates in an opening general session with a conference overview. Sudipta Bhattacharya, Invensys Operations Management CEO, and Steve Garbrecht, VP of Software & Advanced Applications Marketing, followed that giving the Invensys “company and technology strategy for enabling customer’s operational excellence.” (Listen also to Battacharya talking to Control’s Walt Boyes from the Paris Event!)
Then, Peter Martin, Head of Business Value Sales, a gifted speaker, told delegates  how to Drive Value through an Enterprise Control System.  Peter is the newly appointed Programme Chair for next years ISA Automation Week scheduled for Orlando (FL US) next September. (tweet: “Peter Martin speaking on Driving Value, awesome!”) Finally, Giuseppe Caltabiano, Vice President of Marketing and Communication for Europe, Russia and Africa at Invensys and Didier Collas, Software Portfolio Management EURA, wrapped up the opening session with a summary of the winners of the 2011 Invensys Operations Management Open – proudly representing this year’s best operational and business successes.

Thommy Djupenstorm of Arla Food explains Factory Floor Integration at Wonderworld business track

Tweets tantalised us with occasional glimpses of what was happening. “W.Mattar and D.Stepanek introduce flow product line, business update and new product releses during Foxboro Eckardt M&I ,” said one. Another, this time with a picture (above) “Thommy Djupenstorm of Arla Food explains Factory Floor Integration at Wonderworld business track.” “Klaus Schuebel: increasing safety, decrease costs and strengthen competitivness at Process Engineering Forum.” And “Jerone Heydendaal of Tam Tam introduces us to use social media in B2B relations at Foxboro Eckardt M&I.”

Wonderware mobile reportin and SmartGlance App explained by Manoj Ganguli

And attendees were learning too “attending to Mobile devs-based monitoring presentation. Is it a good idea to use iPad for monitoring #mfg? Let’s see…” shortly followed by ” 75% of business users have a smartphone or a tablet. And 1 fifth of tablets are altready used for business….” and ” lol kicking hard a “ruggedized” iPad to show it can resist. Hilarious!” and “now’s the turn of an iPhone dropped inside a cup of water… I begin loving it!,” “SmartGlance is quite impressive. Look like a child’s play to build and examine reports on smartphones!”

Another tweet stated “Natural human interface based on Microsoft Kinect at WonderClub in action: present and Future” This referred to a WonderWorld General Session which discussed “An Ecosystem vision!” Since the way we interact with computerised systems is going through fundamental changes, this session investigated contemporary user interfaces and how technology such as multi-touch smart-phones, Microsoft Kinect and Windows 8 Metro-style applications can be applied in order to provide increased value to manufacturing operations.

As befits a European event tweets were not limited to English or American. “En dan heb ik het nog niet eens gehad over het eten dat we krijgen. Heerlijk!! We komen tonnetjerond terug.” expressed appreciation of the fare provided for the sustenence of the inner man! Corroborted by another “Everyone is enjoying lunch time here at #Opsmanage EURA great buffet :-)”

The first day elicited this tweet: “My first day @ #OpsManage EURA has passed. Well done @InvensysOpsMgmt for organization and hospitality. Great idea using Spotme!” (See box below on Spotme!)

Tours of the expo & demo areas

The collaboration exhibition area comprised some twenty partner companies and over thirty Invensys demonstration and new product areas. Demo Area Tours ran throughout the entire event.
This was an unique opportunity to understand how all Invensys’ solutions and products work together in a real-case scenarios. There were also tweets from this area ” iPad 2give away at SmartGlance booth and 90 days Free Trial.”

There were some product launches and we have linked to these in the box at the top of the page!

Other Reports
Opsmange USA takes place 8-10 November 2011 and these reports include some on that as well as on the Paris Event:

Plant Modernization Takes Center Stage at Invensys OpsManage’11 (Control 7/11/2011)

Walt Boye’s interview with Sudipta Bhattacharya in Paris! (Control 8/11/2011)

Investments Paying Off For Invensys Operations Management (Gary Mintchell Feed Forward 8/11/2011)

Wireless sensors for hydrocarbon gas detection (Nick Denbow’s blog 9/11/2011)

Invensys: Safety, Security ‘Good Business’ (ISS Source 9/11/2011)

OpsManage ’11 – EURA is (virtually) first! (Nick Denbow Industrial Automation Insider 9/11/2011)

Invensys half year results (Nick Denbow’s Blog 12.11.2011)

Daily E-newsletters from Nashville (US)8-10 Nov 2011
8 Nov ][ 9 Nov ][ 10 Nov

What is Spotme?
Spotme was a wireless handheld electronic device supplied to each delegate enabling them to send instant messages to fellow attendees, Exchange business cards electronically, Locate a colleague or attendee with the radar “spotting” function, Arrange one-on-one meetings on the fly, View all session descriptions and speaker bios, Organize your personal agenda for the day and take notes, Access hotel maps, room locations, and general conference info ….and much more! At the end of the conference, the organisers took-back the Spotme device, collected all of the information the delegate gathered—such as business cards, or notes etc — and emailed the files directly, along with a link to the conference proceedings.
How convenient was that?

Innovation is everwhere! OpsManage EURA meeting in Paris

22/11/2010

A 10 minute run-down for the attendees on day one!

It is a long time since Read-out actually physically attended a user group meeting. I think it was the Pantek/Wonderware event (Wonderworld) held in Northampton in England in 2006.

These events have caught on like wildfire in the last few years and Read-out has been an enthusiastic follower on the internet since and as the advancement of technology allowed. In fact in some ways I think that following these events from afar can be fairly exhausting as one tries to keep up with all the other things that fill a busy day.

We were particularly delighted to receive an inviatation to the Invensys OpsManage EURA, not only because it was being held in Paris (F) but because we were anxious to see for ourselves the transformation in this company over the past few years and how it had made liars of the naysayers and purveyors of doom. Or had it?

Way back in the sixties the king pin in process automation was Foxboro. It was regarded as the Rolls Royce of instrumentation. Then it sort of disappeared almost without trace replaced by some newbies and some others who were subsumed into vast conglomerates. Foxboro itself was bought out by Siebe a realatively unknown but adventurous British company which went on to buy Eurotherm and Wonderware. Overstreched financially they then merged with BTR and named the new company Invensys. The new company was a hodgepodge of companies which seemed not to interact with each other and this “biggest company you never heard of,” of the launching advertisements, started a spiral downwards starting the predictions of its eminent demise among the chattering classes.

From this somewhat unpromising base durning the past five or six years the company has managed to reinstate itself in its rightful place among the top five automation companies in the world. It has not been an easy task and we hoped to be able to see what the ‘culture” of the company now was.

There was remarkably little tweeting from this event as a whole which means that unless somebody was there one would not have much idea what was happening!

We arrived late on the first morning, during a coffee break and in the sizeable lobby area we were first struck by the large crowd chatting excitedly about the first two keynotes, including words for the charismatic President and CEO, Sudipta Bhattacharya. This left at least one Invensys employee with whom we spoke, ready to burst out of the auditorium and conquer the world! I was sorry to have missed that.

"Applying old remedies will not work!" Thierry Bonte

In fact the first keynote I attended was by Thierry Bonte, President Factory Systemes/Wonderware France. It was a talk on Strategic Innovation and its direction was refreshingly optimistic and open. Was this a clue as to how this company is progressing? Productivity innovation is needed now more than ever he declared. If we look around us innovation is everywhere. 90% of products in supermarkets were not there five years ago. (Another fact is that 90% of pharmaceutical products will come out of patent by 2013, which will have an impact on production too). Things are changing and will continue to change.

Press Releases
OpsManage 10 EURA
 

  • #OpsManage Virtual reality training
  • #OpsManage Partnership NC DIT and TimeZYX
  • #OpsManage Algerian expansion
  • #OpsManage Three added to partner ecosystem
  • #OpsManage Contract with Bluewater
  • #OpsManage Data recorder/controller
  • #OpsManage New standard for HF analysis
  • #OpsManage affordable Environment & safety excellence
  • #OpsManage Integrated hybrid control and data acquisition at PLC prices
  • #OpsManage Smart Glance Mobile Reports
  • #OpsManage New offerings can easily communicate and integrate as part of a unified ECS
  • Product Facts
  • 928 Official Photos (Flickr)
  •  

    People

    OpsManage People

    Other Reports

    Invensys sets the scene for operational excellence through enterprise control (Control Engineering EME 6/12/2010)

    For global companies the world is village and everything we do has an impact everywhere. We must respect the environment we find ourselves.

    He realised a fact that many people in automation and elsewhere do not understand, “Applying old remedies will not work!” But the point he made that most resonated with this correspondant because it was most obvious, was “Be aware! Make a decision on it!”

    After this talk we were entertained with a ten minute express-train type run-down of the format of the rest of the event(See picture at top-of-page). There were nearly nine hundred people attending this event and they then divided up into sessions over the two days. There were industry solutions sessions highlighting power, chemical, life sciences and oil/gas. The product sessions were designed for users and potential users who wanted to expand their product and technology strategy, direction and application knowledge – empowering users to deliver real-time results.

    There were also training sessions of various intensities, from half-day technical training workshops, ninety minute seminars or 45 minute hands-on experiences.

    A track called Enterprise Technology & Services concerned topics relevant to IT asset management, networking, cyber security, virtualization, consulting, delivery, support and learning services. Cyber security was a subject which attracted much interests considering the Stuxnet malware discovered earlier this year.

    Finally all through the event, the Collaboration EXPO was open for more casual involvement. This was an area with about 30 stands of companies both Invensys and ecosystem partner companies which offered further possibilities of plant improvement not only by use of Invensys products but also by using the additional expertese and specialist knowledge of many innovative and “niche” smaller companies. This EXPO area had four theater areas dedicated to Control Excellence, Asset Excellence, Productivity Excellence and Environment & Safety Excellence where listen and learn how to improve their performance in these areas.

    During each day a stream of announcements were made some of which were concerning the European Region, Russia and Africa, and others which had already featured in the larger OpsManage’10 North America held some weeks previously in the United States.  We have listed these in a box on the right.

    We took particular interest in the announcement, Three added to partner ecosystem, of the endorsement of three new Europen companies into the unique partnership of Invensys System Integrators (SI) – what they call their ecosystem. These companies from France, Ireland and Norway. This is not an easily achieved qualification. All SIs must undergo a detailed business process assessment and have been certified for several years on their expertise in implementing Invensys technology at customer facilities. They have been identified as providing comprehensive software solutions with a track record of increasing customer efficiency, reducing costs and maximizing customer profits. And of course we were delighted for the Irish company, ONG Automation, which is the only company in either Ireland or Britain to achieve this status.

    VP Portfolio & Strategy

    Rashesh Mody

    During the second day Rashesh Mody, Invensys Senior VP, Portfolio and Strategy, gave two keynotes, one at the start of the day giving an illustration of the company’s shorterm roadmap, “Enabling the customers’ operational excellence journey!” These were through the excellences highlighted in the theaters at the Expo part of the event: – Control Excellence, Asset Excellence, Productivity Excellence and Environment & Safety Excellence. He also delivered the final keynote on the longterm roadmap of Invensys. They have a clear understanding of the way ahead, sometimes difficult, sometimes unexpected but we got the impression that here was a company, or rather a group of companies with a common goal and working together to achieve it.
    One of the most fascinating items was spoken about by Gaetano De Santis, of the Italian ENI company.

    Gaetano De Santis

    It had the fascinating title Refinery Safety by Gaming.  This was about using the technology used in computer games for training personnel in refinerys (and in other sensitive areas). This type of training is used in the training of pilots as well. There was also an opportunity to “play” with this equipment in the Expo area. An announcement on Virtual Reality Training, which is the co-operation between Invensys and ENI, was also made during the day.

    During the meeting, Invensys Operations Management signed a strategic alliance with Russia’s National Center for Development of Innovative Technologies (NC DIT) and TimeZYX Group ( an organisation within the NIC DIT). This partnership is to deliver reservoir and surface facilities simulation to the oil & gas industry.

    In one way all these user conferences cannot be said to be entirely objective. They are not meant to be are they? Here we heard of the advances being made by one company in Africa, Russia and other territories. But are these stories that much different from those among the others of the big five? The important thing in the new paradigm is that the old way of doing business is changed utterly and what I saw in Paris told me that Invensys realises this but the transformation that is happening is an on-going development. The message is permeating through the company itself but some, perhaps many, customers remain to be convinced.

    We said earlier that we had felt that Invensys Operation Management has advanced much in the last few years in the cooperation between its various component companies while maintaining their valuable identities: AvantisEurotherm, Foxboro, InFusion, IMServ, SimSci-Esscor, Skelta, Triconex and Wonderware are without doubt Invensys companies but they are also identifiable trade names and or technologies interacting and influencing each other. Their literature though obviously a corporate design also lists these product names so the identities and traditions of each component company is alluded to. This loose-tight relationship if it continues as it has in the past should enable “the customers’ operational excellence journey!” So long as they continue to realise that “Applying old remedies will not work!” and that they continue to “be aware and make decisions on it,” Invensys Operations Management  will without doubt proudly continue to be in the top five automation companies.


    Reach of cyber security benchmark expands

    03/11/2010

    The Achilles Industrial Cyber Security Certification Program Continues To Expand With New Certifications From Sensus, Invensys Operations Management, Emerson & WindRiver

    Wurldtech Security Technologies has announced the latest updates to their globally-recognized industrial cyber security certification program – including the latest high-profile system certifications which brings the total number of certified process automation, control and safety systems to 25.

    The Achilles Communications Certification program was developed by Wurldtech and its partners to provide a benchmark for the secure development of the applications, devices and systems found in critical industrial infrastructure. The program is designed to assess the network robustness of industrial devices and certify that they meet a formal and comprehensive set of requirements and conformance. The certification process presents device manufacturers with an independently verified result from which to communicate their product security to customers, while providing the operators of control systems with the most complete, accurate, and trustworthy information possible about the network resilience of their deployed products. See our blog “Cyber Security Benchmark” (15th Sept 2009).

    Achilles Certification

    “As a community we need to understand that we all have roles to play to improve the resilience of our critical industrial networks and certification is a great way for Vendors to validate the robustness of the systems being supplied to industrial end-users,” said Peter Kwaspen, with Shell’s strategy and development area in its control & automation systems engineering department. “The Achilles Certified™ designation saves Shell a lot of time in the specification and procurement process and provides us with the assurance that the process control systems we buy have met an industry-accepted benchmark for security and robustness

    The Flexnet Metering System The First In Smart Grid Ecosystem To Be Achilles Certified
    Sensus, a leading supplier of metering solutions, announced that their FlexNet™ 2.2 communications system is the Smart Grid industry’s first Achilles Certified metering system.  During the six-month certification process, the technology underwent a battery of rigorous tests to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities.

    “Sensus has again demonstrated its leadership position by reshaping the public perception of Smart Grid security with this first ever AMI Achilles certification,”
    said Peter Mainz, President and CEO of Sensus. “Our utility customers recognize that independently verified and repeatable assurances of security are critical for defining a reliable standard of security for the entire Smart Grid industry.”

    Emerson’s Smart Wireless Gateway is Achilles Certified
    In the move to establish a leadership position in secure industrial wireless solutions, Emerson Process Management recently announced that the Smart Wireless Gateway is the first wireless device to be Achilles Certified™ and the second Emerson system to reach the internationally recognized benchmark for communications robustness.

    “From the start, security has been a top priority for Emerson Smart Wireless solutions. Incorporating the Achilles certification program into our product development process builds upon that foundation and shows our continued commitment to providing secure and reliable solutions,” said Jeff Potter, Emerson’s Security and IT Integration Manager.

    Invensys Operations Management Announces First Achilles Certified Industrial Workstation
    Invensys Operations Management’s I/A Series Model P92 workstations are the first host-based devices (HBD) to achieve the Achilles Certified™ designation, which include HMIs, engineering workstations, historian servers and domain controllers.

    “Our customers demand the utmost in secure process control systems,” said Ernie Rakaczky, Invensys Operations Management security program manager. “We see the certification of the Foxboro I/A Series Operator Workstations as another step toward helping our clients achieve safety and control excellence, and look forward to driving more of our products, applications and practice though a defined Achilles Certification.”

    Wind River’s VxWorks Becomes First Real-Time Operating System Certified To Achilles Level 1
    Wind River’s VxWorks is the first real-time operating system to be certified under the Achilles certification program. This certification enables Wind River’s customers in the process automation, power and energy, oil and gas, transportation, and medical market segments to deploy VxWorks with certified defenses against cyber attacks.

    “As cyber threats to mission-critical systems continue to grow in frequency and complexity, it is critical to have a secure infrastructure that protects vital data against hackers,” said Jens Wiegand, GM of industrial and medical solutions at Wind River.


    OpsManage – Huge change in two years!

    26/10/2010

    “Invensys Operations managements definitely is led by process people now, huge change over two years.”

    Gary Mintchell

    "Yummy food, great conversation!" at OpsManage NA 2010 (Pic: Gary Mintchel)

    Do you want to optimize the business impact of your operation’s performance and overall profitability?
    Do you want to meet today’s challenges and discover solutions for achieving excellence in control, assets, productivity, environment and safety?
    Do you want a simpler way to gain optimal control of your manufacturing or infrastructure enterprise using the latest Enterprise Control System concepts?

    These are the question poised on the Opsmanage website and of course they are rhetorical.

    Opsmanage is the Invensys Operations Management user event held annually in many places around the globe.  We commented on last year’s event  OpsManage09 in Anaheim. We were disappointed that there were few tweets to enable somebody to experience the event from afar. This year was better and we were able to participate and share many of the reports with visitors to the Read-out Instrumentation Signpost (see box below). Mind you there were no live webcasts – that we know of – but then we must remember that unlike other user group meetings this one goes on tour so perhaps a webcast would spoil the excitement.

    Before flying into Orlando, where the North American OpsManage was held, Gary Mintchel of Automation Week psyched us all up with a short Video Essay on conference season in automation (which lasts about  9 minutes). Here he not only discusses this event but also that of Emerson, ISA Automation Week and the forthcoming Rockwell event which coincidentally is also being held in Orlando.

    There were as we said more tweets, though there was “only one company tweeter” to give us a flavour of things as it started to get into gear on the Monday. “Cyber Security major topic at #OpsManage” and a more human “The party has started! First night’s cocktail reception…yummy food, great conversations!” And then after the keynote the message “IOM definitely is led by process people now, huge change over two years.” A marked contrast to the headlines then “Where’s the automation?” And “Sr VP Mktg & product strategy Rashesh Mody now explaining how all new products fill out Enterprise Control System.” This was getting meaty! “Wow, each session I have attended at #opsmanage has been standing room only” and “Excellent strategy discussion today over lunch—media, analysts & Invensys leaders sharing perspectives on the future! “ Walt Boyes of Control was there too and he was really enjoying himself,  he reported, “This is a very interesting experience for me, because this is the first time in years, I think, that I’ve been at a user group meeting without having to help produce a show daily. I can actually go to the sessions I’m interested in, as opposed to the ones I have to cover. The choices are nearly overwhelming!”

    Yes the show daily was produced this time by Automation World and a nice neat and compact assimulation of the events it is too. Each day is listed on the links below. Featured in the various editions links to several video interviews by Managing Editor Wes Iverson as well.

    And that was only Day one! “Day two begins. It’s an upbeat atmosphere all around. Plenty of industry presentations so far.” And product news “iPhone and iPad clients for Wonderware applications at #opsmanage A solution by Autoware. “ and “Please visit Enterasys Booth the #opsmanage  show!” and “Significantly reduce COST of safe, accurate real-time HF catalyst monitoring w/ Alkylation Measurement Solution from Invensys. “

    The hash tag for the event is #opsmanage where you can see many more of the shared tweets.

    Of course there were a number of release about products and company news which again are listed in the box below.

    The verdict? A late tweet from Automation Week will suffice: “Exciting week at #opsmanage with AW covering the event; most popular story is InFusion & Enterprise Cntrl

    Press Releases

  • Breakthrough Alkylation Measurement Solution from Invensys
  • Invensys introduces new Triconex General Purpose System
  • New Foxboro PAC System from Invensys offers integrated hybrid control and data acquisition at PLC pricing.
  • Invensys Operations Management Introduces SmartGlance Mobile Reports
  • Strategic Alliances with Sogeti USA and Applied Manufacturing Technologies
  • New offerings can easily communicate and integrate as part of a unified ECS
  • Coverage
    Newsletters by Automation World

  • Newsletter 21 Oct
  • Newsletter 20 Oct
  • Newsletter 19 Oct
  • Newsletter 18 Oct
  • Lots of Pictures
    InFusion, Enterprise Control Systems Explained (19 Oct)
    Invensys OpsManage’10 Fills the Hall (19 Oct)
    News Updates (18 Oct 2010)
    OpsManage10 Video Essay Wrap up (21 Oct) (Gary Mintchell – Automation World)

    The Hour of Power – Invensys executives talk about the power business
    OpsManage Expo ties things together
    How to do a magic trick– make a DCS vanish and reappear
    Invensys Operations Management One Year On (Walt Boyes – Control Global)

    Enterprise Control System – the journey continues… (Blll Lydon Automation.com Nov 2011)

    Invensys OpsManage’10 Brings Everything Under One Roof (Larry O’Brien and Craig Resnick ARC 4/11/2010)

    Invensys Operations Management Introduces SmartGlance Mobile Reports (Market Wire)

    This event will be held at various venues throughout the world between now and 2nd December 2010

    Well! That was North America so now for the rest of the world, China,  Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Paris & Brazil, We hope to attend the OpsManage EURA (Europe, Russia, Africa) to be held in Paris in November so watch out for us there.