Control News from Europe February 2008

Read Andrew Bond’s Industrial Automation Insider, a monthly newsletter covering the important industrial automation news and issues as seen from the U.K.

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IPS Deal Offers Users 24/7 Managed Security

Invensys Process Systems (IPS), which is looking more like a services company with every passing day and now describes itself as, among other things, “a leading provider of process control network security,” has entered into a partnership with German managed security services provider Integralis to offer 24/7 global network security monitoring and management. Based in Ismaning near Munich, Integralis provides a full range of security solutions across Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East, including strategic IT security consulting, audits, risk management, definition of security policies, implementation and configuration of third-party products and comprehensive support up to and including 24/7 managed security.

IPS describes this collaboration between a major process control vendor and a major IT services provider as “unique” and says that it reflects the growing importance of combining process engineering and IT expertise in response to cyber threats to refineries, public utilities, pharmaceutical plants and other process industries. It also closely parallels the services being offered by Industrial Defender, the former Verano, which, under its CEO and Invensys alumnus Brian Ahern, 18 months ago acquired Co-Managed Security Service (CMSS) to add outsourced risk management to its portfolio of cyber security solutions.

Growing Need

Commenting on the IPS deal with Integralis, ARC vice president of emerging technologies Bob Mick said, “The process industries have a growing need to protect their production assets from cyber threats, but doing so requires a blend of production management and IT security skills that few companies can afford to maintain on site. In partnering with one of the world’s largest managed security service providers, Invensys is demonstrating a high level commitment to providing comprehensive cyber security protection to its customers.”

The Invensys cyber security portfolio already includes customized assessments, architecture design, implementation and management. Its customized services include site and vulnerability assessments, policy requirement drafting, security architecture and policy development, modernization of existing technology and continuous management, review, testing and optimization. Integralis will now extend this offering by providing managed security services including perimeter security, content security, threat and vulnerability management and secure authentication devices through a global network of fully redundant Security Operations Centers.

Husky Energy

One of the first implementations of the new combined services is at Husky Energy’s Upgrader Plant in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada. IPS is to provide Husky with assessment, design, implementation and real-time management of its plant and production networks, while Integralis provides full remote management of security devices, all required changes and updates, and 24/7/365 monitoring to aid in the prevention, detection and removal of cyber threats. Husky’s Saskatchewan and Manitoba ethanol plants are users of IPS’ I/A Series system technology and intelligent measurement and instrumentation equipment.


Rockwell/Dassault Deal Makes a Virtual of Reality

Rockwell Automation believes it has brought the concept of a virtual design and production environment a step nearer reality by entering into a joint development agreement with French Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions provider Dassault Systèmes. Such an environment would link product design to manufacturing, enabling collaborative mechanical and control design with bi-directional synchronization. Immediate feedback on design changes would enable “what if” scenarios to be tested in order continuously to optimize manufacturing operations, resulting in faster commissioning and optimal production performance.

“Manufacturers are anxiously awaiting a solution that can turn the idea of a virtual design and production environment into reality,” said Rockwell Automation vice president of Software Kevin Roach. “We see this relationship as a way to make our customers’ visions come true in the very near term by capitalizing on the strengths of both the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture and Dassault Systèmes’ PLM solutions.”

Integration

The two companies aim to link manufacturing design to the factory-floor by integrating Rockwell’s RSLogix 5000 control programming and configuration software with Dassault’s DELMIA Automation PLM software. That will reduce manufacturers’ engineering costs and ramp-up time and allow them continually to optimize manufacturing operations using an accurate, real-time simulation model. Working with customers, Rockwell and Dassault have created complementary manufacturing engineering technologies, built around strong, object-oriented data models for representing devices and operations.

“Virtual commissioning is a key capability in helping manufacturers go to market with speed, confidence and efficiency,” explained ARC vice president of consulting Jim Caie, while his colleague and senior analyst for PLM & Discrete Manufacturing Dick Slansky added that “The recent announcement … positions Rockwell Automation squarely in the digital manufacturing technology space and extends Dassault Systèmes’ reach into manufacturing operations. The integration of these solutions will provide manufacturers with the capability to virtually design their production systems in 3D and design and validate control logic prior to physical implementation and commissioning. This will reduce the time it takes to launch manufacturing systems, as well as its associated costs.”

Benchmark research conducted by Aberdeen Group shows 75% of best-in-class manufacturers investing in real-time interoperability between PLM and plant-floor technologies and that the best-in-class are twice as likely to hit their deadlines by starting manufacturing planning prior to design release and simulating facility and equipment operation during design.

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