Security and Internet of Things rocks. The annual ARC Advisory Group Industry Forum in Orlando maintained its value as a venue for company announcements. Many good ideas floated around the conversations. Since every post goes out as an email, I’m sensitive to how many I send. Therefore, I’m approaching all this news in the traditional “round-up” format. So, scroll down and pick them all up.
Attendance was most likely down slightly. The oil & gas economy undoubtedly cost a number of potential attendees. The thought eventually came to me that the process (asset intensive) industries were well represented as well as various information technology companies. Discrete manufacturing companies were in shorter supply than usual. Don’t know what that means, if anything, but just an observation.
Announcements in no particular order:
Honeywell Process Solutions introduced its iPhone app, Honeywell Pulse. It improves efficiency and safety at facilities by remotely connecting plant managers, supervisors, and others needing to have visibility into operations.
Don Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer of Inductive Automation and Travis Cox, Co-Director of Sales Engineering, along with Arlen Nipper, President of Cirrus Link Solutions and co-inventor of MQTT, announced and demonstrated the addition of IIoT functionality to the existing HMI/SCADA functionality of the Ignition industrial application platform. Pearson, Cox and Nipper showed how enterprises can set up their own IIoT solution on a secure MQTT Message-Oriented Middleware (MOM) infrastructure by adding the Ignition MQTT Modules by Cirrus Link Solutions to Ignition by Inductive Automation.
The new modules — MQTT Engine, MQTT Injector, and MQTT Distributor — are the result of a new partnership between Cirrus Link and Inductive Automation. These modules will accelerate organizations’ ability to leverage the IIoT.
Greg Scheu, President, ABB Americas, speaking at the Monday press conference, introduced a new version of IoT and IIoT–IIoTSP (Internet of Things, Services, and People). All need to be connected to deliver tangible results.
Peter Terwiesch, President, ABB Process Automation, discussed some current applications including moving people from danger zone, improving energy efficiency, and increasing output in a mining application. He concluded, “It is a great time to be in automation, many technology limitations are going away, IoTSP will help us make it.”
Satoru Kurosu, Director and Executive Vice President, Head of Solutions Service Business Headquarters, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, spoke at the press conference on creating customer value beyond the plant. His new role at Yokogawa is leading this new initiative. Simon Wright, CEO of Yokogawa’s Industrial Knowledge business unit, will discuss the introduction of new cloud-based, customer-connected advanced solutions. (Mr. Wright was formerly CEO of Industrial Evolution, a leading provider of cloud-based plant data-sharing services, which Yokogawa acquired in January 2016).
Yokogawa has established a new business unit, Yokogawa Venture Group, dba Industrial Knowledge. Its role is to accelerate expansion of Yokogawa’s business in asset intensive industries through the provision of cloud-based advanced solutions.
Industrial Knowledge will rely on Industrial Evolution’s secure cloud platform and technologies for the collection, integration, and analysis of real-time process data from firewall protected systems. A prime example is a major process licensor that gathers data in real time from licensees’ plants around the world and provides remote monitoring and support services for plant operations, including start-up assistance, warranty obligation fulfillment, and plant performance guidance.
Bentley Systems CEO, Greg Bentley, discussed how the convergence of IT (information technology), OT (operational technology) and ET (engineering technology) is enabling owner-operators to go beyond asset performance monitoring to asset performance modeling, and thereby achieve demonstrable improvements in asset performance. He will also explain why digital engineering models are critical to realizing the benefits of the Internet of Things, and how new breakthroughs in reality modeling—enabled by way of UAVs, digital imaging, and innovative software—are making the continuous creation of as-operated digital engineering models possible for every infrastructure asset.
With businesses squeezing more and more out of their aging assets, today’s asset managers have to be able to prioritize and direct their limited resources towards things that really matter. This latest release of AssetWise APM (v7.4) helps asset managers comply with API 580 risk based inspection guidelines and provides enhanced capabilities for integrity management and process safety.
Bedrock Automation has introduced a cyber secure, standalone Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for industrial control system applications. The Bedrock UPS.500 features powerful onboard electronics that enhance the performance advantages of lithium ion (Li-ion) polymer battery technology, manage Bedrock’s patented deep authentication cyber protection, and enable secure Ethernet communications. A sealed NEMA4x aluminum housing provides protection from cyber tampering and enables use amidst the most challenging field installations.
“Interdependencies between applications, servers, and your network facilitate your businesses operational efficiency, or will contribute to its failure”, remarked Frank Williams, Statseeker CEO. He continues by saying “this is quite a challenge and one that is becoming tougher to manage. Using the right network monitoring solution makes the above challenges much easier to manage”.
The new features of Version 4.0 strengthens the already successful Statseeker platform by providing improved functionality and helping to streamline workflow. The Statseeker solution delivers real-time visibility right to the edge of the network no matter how big the infrastructure. It installs in minutes and delivers value immediately as it discovers a network of more than 600,000 interfaces in less than an hour, keeps data indefinitely in its original granularity and provides total visibility across the entire network infrastructure. Statseeker is the only network performance monitoring technology to seamlessly and successfully combine speed + scale + value .
Indegy-stealth security startup
Indegy, the industrial cyber security company, emerged from stealth mode and announced the first cyber security platform that provides comprehensive visibility into the critical control-layer of Operational Technology (OT) networks to identify threats that place the safety, reliability and security of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) at risk. By detecting logic changes to controllers that manage power grids, gas pipelines and manufacturing facilities, Indegy provides advanced protection against cyber attacks, insider threats and unauthorized modifications.
To gain the visibility needed to detect and respond to unauthorized ICS changes, control-layer activity must be monitored. This includes modifications to controller logic, configurations, firmware downloads and any variations in controller state.
C-Labs Corporation announced its new Factory-Relay Internet of Things (IoT) Software Development Kit (SDK). For manufacturing plants and other industrial equipment sites, the new SDK simplifies the connection of different types of machinery, devices, and sensors and streamlines the development of new applications to collect, store, analyze, and act upon machine data.
The Factory-Relay IoT SDK allows companies to securely connect equipment regardless of age or protocol, and easily develop new applications using tools and technology already familiar to enterprise application developers.
“Customers told us they needed to adapt and extend IoT deployments without sacrificing security or requiring significant training for either operations technology (OT) or information technology (IT) teams,” said Chris Muench, CEO of C-Labs. “Building on the success of our Factory-Relay, this new SDK makes it easier to extend IoT deployments in a way that is compliant with enterprise IT policies, protecting data and ensuring efficient operations. Our patent-pending approach provides a connection point among previously incompatible protocols.”