Highlights from the 2007 HUG Symposium

Our E-Show Daily coverage of this year's event in Phoenix includes reports on the presentations, case studies and panel discussions given during the technical conference for industry professionals.

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Given recent demand—and margins!—in the refining industry, shutting down the crude unit was unacceptable, and the migration team had to find a way to seamlessly transfer the control infrastructure to the new architecture, with nary a glitch in ongoing operations.

Here in Phoenix at the annual gathering of the Honeywell User Group Americas, Leland Borgett, Jeff Strecker and Tom Clark took the stage to explain how their five-person team successfully performed their “covert cut-over,” so named for its minimal impact on ongoing operations.

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ALON USA boosts process safety, efficiency
This six-minute videocast from the Process Automation Media Network shows how ALON USA’s Big Springs refinery is taking advantage of the latest Honeywell technologies—including wireless, integrated safety, and release 3.01 of the Experion Process Knowledge System to improve safety, efficiency and asset reliability.

Among the safety improvements implemented at ALON USA’s Big Springs refinery are portable user interfaces that allow field techs to view the same graphics as their control room counterparts.

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Honeywell teams with Krohne for new flowmeter offering
While much of the attention yesterday was garnered by its OneWireless announcement, Honeywell also announced Monday its entry into the flowmeter market, punctuating the company’s commitment to measurement technologies iterated by Honeywell Process Solutions President Jack Bolick in his opening comments. “The field is very important to Honeywell,” Bolick said.

The new VersaFlow line of high-performance flowmeters also marks an important relationship with Krohne, the German maker of process instrumentation with more than 80 years’ experience in flowmeter design and manufacturing. Krohne will make the VersaFlow line to Honeywell’s standards and Honeywell will distribute and support it through its existing sales and distribution channels.

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     ExxonMobil's Dave Otto
 

ExxonMobile's Dave Otto

Boyes talks turkey with User Group leadership
In this 11-minute video update, live from the Honeywell User Group Americas 2007, Control’s Editor Walt Boyes discusses the evolving importance of user groups in our industry with Enterprise Products’ Randy Underwood and ExxonMobil’s Dave Otto, chair and co-chair, respectively, of the Honeywell User Group.

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Documentation key to power industry’s latest cyber security standards
If you thought your process control systems were excluded from the NERC’s definition of “critical cyber assets,” think again. Today at the Honeywell User Group gathering, Barry Ingold, from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, presented a detailed look at the implications of the new cyber security standards from the North American Reliability Council, a quasi-governmental body that oversees and makes standards for the power transmission and generation industries.

He noted that the original “Urgent Action Standard 1200” specifically excluded distributed control and and other control systems in the definition of what constituted a “critical cyber asset.” Effective a year ago, however, Ingold said, the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection committee (NERC CIP) released an entirely new version of Urgent Action Standard 1200. “This time,” Ingold said, “the definitions no longer exclude control systems.”

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

'Edge protection' a first layer of defense-in-depth security
"CERN, the European physics lab that was the birthplace of the World Wide Web, tested 59 different PLCs they owned and found that they had huge numbers of failures in those controllers," said control system security expert Eric Byres in a presentation to some 150 attendees here in Phoenix at the Honeywell Users Group Americas 2007 Symposium.

 

"PLCs were not designed for security," Byres continued. "No sane IT department allows unprotected PCs or laptops, so why are PLCs immune?"

So, when he was the director of the internet security lab at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Byres started a program to design a micro-firewall for what he calls "edge devices" like PLCs, field controllers, field instruments and final control elements.

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