The global trends and challenges driving the need for industry to improve energy efficiency are well known. The growing population and economic development in many countries throughout the world has caused energy and transportation fuel consumption to increase.02/17/2011
What You Need to Know to Select the Best One for You.06/02/2011
Article 120.1 of the NFPA 70E establishes the procedure for creating an electrically safe work condition. Since this was written, the day-to-day practice of electrical safety has changed going beyond the precise language of Article 120.1(1-6). This is due to the increased usage of permanent electrical safety devices (PESDs) in Lock-out/Tagout procedures. The relatively new concept of permanent electrical safety devices actually improves the workers' ability to safely isolate electrical energy beyond that which was originally conceived when Article 120 was written. PESDs go beyond the high standard, yet they still adhere to the core principles found in Article 120.1. With PESDs incorporated into safety procedures and installed correctly into electrical enclosures, workers can transition the once-risky endeavors of verifying voltage into a less precarious undertaking that never exposes them to voltage. Since, every electrical incident has one required ingredient - voltage, electrical safety is radically improved by eliminating exposure to voltage while still validating zero energy from outside the panel.10/20/2011
Preventing unplanned shutdowns, reducing downtime, and lowering maintenance costs have been shown to provide significant financial benefits. One way to achieve these results is to make certain that all installed assets are used to the best of their ability.
FDT Technology can be easily used in existing or new plants and can bring significant operational and financial benefits throughout the plant life cycle.
This paper provides an overview of FDT Technology and suggests text to use as part of your proposal or ordering specifications to make sure you are putting your assets to work.07/19/2011
Analysis of the ICONICS GENESIS Security Vulnerabilities for Industrial Control System Professionals
A number of previously unknown security vulnerabilities in the ICONICS GENESIS32 and GENESIS64 products have been publically disclosed. The release of these vulnerabilities included proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code.
While we are currently unaware of any malware or cyber attacks taking advantage of these security issues, there is a risk that criminals or political groups may attempt to exploit them for either financial or ideological gain.
The products affected, namely GENESIS32 and GENESIS 64 are OPC Web-based human-machine interface (HMI) / Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. They are widely used in critical control applications including oil and gas pipelines, military building management systems, airport terminal systems, and power generation plants.
Of concern to the SCADA and industrial control systems (ICS) community is the fact that, though these vulnerabilities may initially appear to be trivial, a more experienced attacker could exploit them to gain initial system access and then inject additional payloads and/or potentially malicious code. At a minimum, all these vulnerabilities can be used to forcefully crash system servers, causing a denial-of-service condition. What makes these vulnerabilities difficult to detect and prevent is that they expose the core communication application within the GENESIS platform used to manage and transmit messages between various clients and services.
This White Paper summarizes the current known facts about these vulnerabilities. It also provides guidance regarding a number of possible mitigations and compensating controls that operators of SCADA and ICS systems can take to protect critical operations.
Learn more about Tofino at www.tofinosecurity.com/blog03/31/2011
1 Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Field Network Delivers Determinism and Accommodates 10/100/1000 Mb TCP/IP Field Devices
The continuing drive to improve productivity will encourage more automation networking. The driving factors behind this expected growth include lean working, increased traceability legislation, product lifecycle management production (PLM), and improvements in manufacturing cycle times. This requires connecting the factory floor to the corporate offices where enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems make information available backwards into the supply chain, as well as forward to customers. Simply put, everyone wants to see what's happening. As a result, networks and the information they handle are becoming as important as the industrial control functions they manage.
This white paper describes the open CC-Link IE Field network, an Industrial Ethernet technology, which operates at 1 Gigabit/sec. This data rate is 10 times faster than other Industrial Ethernet technologies in order to provide highly responsive control system communications, while at the same time allowing connection to field devices (RFID readers, vision systems, etc.) that have TCP/IP Ethernet ports communicating at slower 10Mb or 100Mb data rates.03/30/2011
There is an upside for forward-thinking manufacturers regarding EPA blueprint for the way state and local regulatory agencies use the Clean Air Act permitting process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blueprint for the way state and local regulatory agencies use the Clean Air Act permit process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is defined in their November 17 document: PSD and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases.
The greenhouse gases that will be regulated include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride and a number of refrigerants.
The Agency believes that these compounds are responsible for changing the planet's climate and is thus taking steps to reduce emissions of the gases throughout the nation. In taking this action, EPA is breaking new ground, by not only defining a broad new class of air pollutants, but by changing the way that the Agency regulates emissions of those pollutants.
Traditionally, EPA has set definitive, measurable goals when seeking to reduce air pollutant emissions, both in terms of how much a compound a facility is allowed to emit and in terms of the maximum amount of the pollutant that can be in the air we breathe. The Agency will not take the same approach when it comes to greenhouse gases. Instead, they will be asking facilities to reduce emissions to the greatest extent possible and economically feasible.
And, yes, there is upside for forward-thinking manufacturers.01/21/2011
The most commonly and most frequently measurable variable in industry is temperature. Every temperature measurement is different, which makes the temperature calibration process slow and expensive. While standards determine accuracy to which manufacturers must comply, they nevertheless do not determine the permanency of accuracy. Therefore, the user must be sure to verify the permanency of accuracy. If temperature is a significant measurable variable from the point of view of the process, it is necessary to calibrate the instrument and the temperature sensor.
Download this white paper to learn how to calibrate temperature instruments and why this is so important.07/14/2011
Paper is part of our everyday lives - whether in the workplace or at home. Global consumption of paper has grown 400% in the last 40 years. As manufacturing companies, our consumption of paper is far higher than it needs to be, especially given that there are technologies, software and electronic devices readily available today which render the use of paper in the workplace unnecessary. Calibrating instruments is an enormous task that consumes vast amounts of paperwork. Far too many automation companies still use paper-based calibration systems, which means they are missing out on the benefits of moving towards a paperless calibration system.
Download this white paper to learn more about the benefits of moving towards a paperless calibration system.07/14/2011
Equipment designers frequently must incorporate miniature solenoid valves into their pneumatic designs. These valves are important components of medical devices and instrumentation as well as environmental, analytical, and similar product applications. However, all too often, designers find themselves frustrated. They face compromise after compromise. Pressure for increasingly miniaturized devices complicates every step of the design and valve selection process. And missteps can wreak havoc. How do designers balance the needs for reliability, extended service life, and standards compliance against often-contradictory performance requirements such as light weight, high flow, and optimum power use?
This report consolidates the expert views of designers and manufacturers with wide experience applying miniature solenoid valves for myriad uses across multiple industries. It presents a true insider's guide to which requirements are critical for common applications. It also highlights new valve technologies that may lessen or eliminate those troubling compromises.04/11/2011
This guide discusses how best to optimize combustion efficiency in any application using combustion plant.
Combustion optimization in some form or other has become an absolute necessity for all combustion processes. Optimization improves efficiency, reduces environmental impact, reduces maintenance requirements and increases the time between maintenance shutdowns. There are many types of application where combustion optimization will be a key requirement. These include:
- Process heaters - the driver here is to increase throughput of feedstock, not necessarily fuel efficiency
- Waste incinerators - waste throughput is the main driver but environmental impact also has to be considered
- Steam raising, for power generation or other processes, pulp and paper, food and beverage etc, where fuel efficiency is the main driver
In any of the above examples, poor control of the combustion process may ultimately lead to damage to the plant, with problems such as soot formation, hotspots and/or corrosion in the flue ducts, to name but a few. In each case, the incidence of such problems, especially if left unresolved, will result in increased maintenance expenditure and a reduction in the life cycle of the plant.03/01/2011