By implementing improvements in the mechanisms used to control and operate industrial systems, operations teams can significantly improve both the business value and the safety of their industrial systems.08/13/2015
HMI Advancements Enable the Control Room of the Future04/01/2015
Find out how a full featured embedded HMI for machines can improve operational agility and increase manufacturing performance with less effort. Machines delivered without a full featured HMI can cause operational issues such as lower operational agility, inability to continuously improve, decreased predictability, higher risk and increased total cost of ownership. A full featured embedded HMI can alleviate these issues by providing better information on the plant floor, along with greater connectivity and fast integration into your production system. Download the white paper to get more details on the new Wonderware solution to these problems.10/28/2014
New Best Practices for Operator Interface Design. What's wrong with most operator interfaces today, and how can they be improved? Downlown this white paper and learn three concepts and 14 ways to build an operator interface that works.02/21/2014
The Pro-face eBrochure provides a comprehensive overview of the Pro-face lineup, as well as detailed features of our powerful HMI development software GP-Pro EX. Easily browse on your tablet or PC. Part numbers, product data, pictures and educational videos--all right at your fingertips!02/11/2014
This whitepaper provides five reasons why you should consider mobility in industrial settings.01/28/2014
The benefits of remote access for manufacturing operations are widely known and accepted. This article details how modern SCADA systems are providing this access in a variety of ways to all manner of fixed and portable computing platforms and other devices.01/06/2014
Learn how automation professionals are using Electronic Marshalling to deliver results12/16/2013
This white paper identifies the top five challenges typically encountered on the factory floor, and offers some criteria to consider when selecting industrial PCs and associated components.12/28/2012
Human operators are a key part of any process control system. As such, they constitute part of a complex, causal chain of overall system processing. Human machine interfaces (HMIs) form a key link in that chain by bridging the physical world where processes reside with the perceptual reconstruction and representation of those processes in the heads of human operators and supervisors.
If an HMI design gives rise to a flawed or inaccurate representation of a process, then error and suboptimal task performance may result. HMIs have become increasingly important links in this chain for two reasons. First, the arrival of distributed control systems (DCS) in the 1970s distanced operators from the physical entities they controlled, requiring all interaction be mediated by HMIs. Second, the ongoing introduction of complex automation into process control is increasingly changing human operators into supervisors. Supervision has complex decision-making requirements that must all be conveyed via HMIs.
Download this entire white paper to learn more.10/09/2012
Download a complete solution library full of HMI-product demos, brochures, datasheets and success stories, including the ARC white paper, "HMI Platforms Evolve to Become Key Automation Solution Components."03/05/2012
What You Need to Know to Select the Best One for You.06/02/2011
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
A key aspect of the "Perfect Plant" is having the right information in the right place at the right time. In most manufacturing environments, instrumentation and monitoring is widespread. Pages and pages of graphs and reports describe every operational characteristic and are used by operators and management to steer the plant to optimal performance. However, in the modern plant, the right time to view this information is not when you are standing in front of an operator console. It is when you are in the field, in front of a failing piece of equipment or discussing a problem while on the move. More often than not, the right way to deliver information is by putting it in the hands of a mobile worker.
The right way to collect information also involves mobility. Remember that 40% to 60% of equipment in the plants and on the shop floors is not instrumented. Optimizing this critical aspect of plant performance depends on mobile field workers. Armed with the right tools, mobile workers can cost-effectively gather data from non-instrumented assets that can be readily analyzed and integrated into existing back-end decision support systems. Bidirectional flow of information to and from mobile workers is a key competitive imperative required to make fully informed decisions regarding the operation of the Perfect Plant.
Regrettably for most companies, when it comes to the mobile workforce in manufacturing, too often, vital decisions are made in the dark, in an information-poor environment and with little support or historical contextual information to make informed decisions proactively. Field workers - the people who are closest to the equipment and processes, who feel the heat, hear the noises, and see the changes that can be the first indicators of trouble - frequently do their jobs based on individual experiential knowledge acquired over many years.
This approach makes manufacturers vulnerable to high levels of variability based on individual talent, skills, and training. With the massive investments in automation over the past decades, management often lacks visibility into what these decision makers in the field do and finds it hard to provide guidance to ensure execution of best practices occur across the field worker roles, production shifts, and assets.10/25/2010
Industrial application developers have had two main options for interacting with production processes via programmable logic controllers (PLCs): they can buy a preprogrammed monolithic, shrink-wrapped human machine interface (HMI), complete and ready to go or they can customize their own solutions.
Shrink-wrapped HMI software packages are appealing because many complex tasks are hidden from you. Purchase the development software from an authorized distributor, load it into your development PC and then configure, debug and test. Then, just deploy the necessary runtime applications, data servers and configuration files on to your target PC or PCs. What could be easier?
But cookie-cutter HMI software solutions might not necessarily be the best or most practical approach for your specific industrial applications.
For one thing, while the shrink-wrapped HMI software packages enable connections to other vendors' devices, software, and systems via OPC or other standards, such connectivity is seldom adequate for high security or real-time control. And no matter how advanced the integration technology the package uses, you will end up lagging behind the technology curve. For example, if you had bought a package using the distributed common object model (DCOM) and wanted to benefit from advances in security and robustness that Microsoft had made since you bought the package, you would have to buy a new package. Moreover, the monolithic nature of the shrink-wrapped offerings often makes it difficult to embed third-party capabilities directly into your solution, thus limiting your options further.
Then there's training. Because the development environment and behavior of each HMI vendor's software varies, you'll need to acquire specialized skills to accomplish similar tasks. Training courses, material costs and schedules also vary by HMI publisher and many times are offered only through exclusive distributor channels. You could consider hiring outside help, but because of the specialized training and experience, the talent pool can be relatively shallow and therefore proportionately expensive.
And for many, cost of multiple deployments is an even bigger issue. Before you can actually deploy your solution to PCs, portable devices, or Web servers, you must typically have to pay for additional runtime software licenses. If you have more than a couple of users, this could amount to a considerable expense, often making this approach cost-prohibitive, especially if you are paying for more functionality than you actually never need.
Finally, there are the intangibles. As well-designed and flexible as these shrinkwrapped solutions might be, they almost always force compromises that would not be necessary if the solution were custom built for your specific applications. Whether that is a matter of function or just pride, it can be significant determining your satisfaction with the resulting interface.09/10/2009
The "WinCC Security Concept" documentation contains recommended and mandatory procedures for planning and building secure, networked WinCC automation solutions with connected Web clients, SIMATIC IT applications and office networks based on customer specifications. This documentation serves as both a reference and a guide for network administrators working in the following areas:
- Configuration of WinCC
- Commissioning and servicing of WinCC
- Management of company networks
It is intended to facilitate cooperation.10/20/2008
The white paper describes the hardware and software elements of a video process monitoring system, how it uses the plants industrial network to transmit video to the control system and how the video images appear on HMI screens.09/10/2008
The Control article "Six Sigma Alarm Management" highlights an end user's experience applying Six Sigma practices to his alarm management effort. This white paper by TiPS, explores why Six Sigma is such a good companion for an alarm management program and outlines various ways Six Sigma can be incorporated into the alarm management workflow.03/21/2008
This white paper will cover display technologies, indicate which is best for industrial applications, discuss market and technology trends, and finally make recommendations about what to look for in a display.04/05/2007
North American markets for industrial electronic monitors, operater interface terminals, and software
This recently completed study provides research findings on North American markets for industrial electronic monitors, operator interface terminals and related application software. The findings are contained in two report volumes, one on the electronic monitors and operator interface terminals, and the second on the application software.08/22/2006