Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Secure access to remote assets.

Ultra-compact and rugged wireless routers enhance connectivity to remotely located equipment and systems in demanding utility, infrastructure and transportation applications

The Westermo range of industrial cellular routers designed to provide resilient data communications for remote sites has been expanded. The new Merlin 4400 series of ultra-compact and rugged LTE Cat 4 wireless routers has been developed specifically to support extremely secure remote access to equipment and systems within demanding utility, industrial and trackside applications. High connection security gives users the confidence to expand their IP networks to include remote assets, helping to increase visibility and ultimately improve operational performance.

Resilient and reliable high-speed data communications are essential to the digitisation of the rail network, the implementation of smart grids and improving the operational performance of utilities. Network security is a fundamental requirement in these applications and to defend against increasing cyber threats, the Merlin 4400 series is equipped with a complete set of cybersecurity tools as standard. These include a TPM (trusted platform module) chip that keeps cryptographic keys secure, Secure Boot functionality ensuring the routers boot using only trusted software, and virtual private network (VPN) and stateful firewall support for data security and user authentication.

The Merlin 4400 series offers high-speed data network connectivity, with support for Ethernet and RS-232/485 communications to ensure suitability for a broad range of applications. The Merlin 4400 is ideally suited to replace traditional modems when migrating to an IP infrastructure. Serial (RS-232/485) ports enable connection to legacy devices and equipment, while a built-in industrial protocol gateway enables seamless connection to multiple devices using different communication protocols.

With many applications typically requiring installation in demanding environments, the Merlin series has been designed to cope with extreme operating temperatures and high levels of electrical magnetic interference. The Merlin 4400 series has IEC 61850-3 Class 1 approval, allowing deployment in medium voltage substation automation applications, while EN 50121-4 approval enables use in rail trackside applications. Outstanding reliability and an extremely long operating life (mean time between failures of 1,600,000 hours) helps to minimise expensive maintenance trips and lowers network operating costs.

With networks increasing in size and complexity, the Merlin range has been designed to support both the system integrator and user by being easier to install, operate and maintain. When coupled with Westermo’s zero touch deployment software Activator, the Merlin routers provide cost-effective, reliable and consistent onboarding within large-scale projects. This allows configuration from a central server, which reduces the potential for errors and saves considerable time.

“The increasing need to gain access to remote sites for monitoring, management, diagnostics and support creates a greater reliance on the availability of reliable and secure data networks,” explained Dermot Mannion, product manager, Westermo. “The Merlin 4400 range of cellular wireless products meet this requirement, supporting the most demanding industry applications, while providing the advanced functionality needed to maximise connectivity and reduce installation time without affecting security.”

@WestermoUK @westermo @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Transport

Top Industrial performance.

TTI, Inc.-Europe, has won the top award for “Industrial Performance” in supply chain from Airbus. The award has been given to TTI Europe in recognition of its contribution towards the aerospace company’s business in 2022.

As the leading specialist limited line distributor, TTI Europe delivers excellence through its operations with the broadest and deepest portfolio of passives, interconnect, electromechanical, discrete, sensors and power products. 

L to R: Yoann Lacan, Head of Supply Chain & Quality Operations at Airbus; Marc Winfield, Vice President Sales Europe TTI-Europe; Lee Thompson, Director Industry Marketing Defence, Aerospace, Space at TTI-Europe; Dominique Arnal, Head of Procurement, Supply Chain and Logistics at Airbus.

“The company’s high level strategic engagements with its key partner manufacturers has enabled TTI Europe to mitigate supply chain challenges to support Airbus Defence and Space’s critical demands,” said Lee Thompson, Director Industry Marketing – Defence, Aerospace & Space, TTI Europe.

“TTI Europe is proud to be a strategic supplier to Airbus Defence and Space and we are delighted with this win,” stated Marc Winfield, VP Sales, TTI Europe. “Our dedicated team of industry professionals has built a strong relationship with Airbus Defence and Space at both a corporate and a local level in order to create innovative and secure supply-chain solutions, as well as support local technical demands.

“TTI Europe’s value proposition is well positioned to continue to support the growth of Airbus Defence and Space and its affiliated organisations, and we look forward to working with them on future projects.” 

“We are delighted to be honouring TTI Europe with this award, which demonstrates their commitment to our business,” says Yoann Lacan, Head of Supply Chain & Quality Operations at Airbus Defence and Space. 

“Our suppliers are vital to our continued success worldwide. We value our relationships with them and are pleased to be able to recognise their achievements and the important role they play in supporting our long term business and performance,” continued Dominique Arnal, Head of Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics at Airbus Defence and Space.

@ttiinc @Airbus #Transport #Aerospace

Connectors and terminals distribution agreed.

A distribution agreement for Britain has been announced by BEC Distribution with DEGSON the connector and terminal block manufacturer serving global markets. DEGSON’s wide range of products are an important addition to BEC's “Select” range of quality Alternative Passives, offering affordable, high-quality Alternatives to the major manufacturers.

Founded in 1990, DEGSON is accredited by both UL and VDE. It also has ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO80079-34, ISO/TS22163 and IATF16949 management System certification.

The terminal block product ranges are available on short lead times, offering a fast-turnaround Alternative to well-known manufacturers such as Phoenix Contact, Sauro, PTR, Euroclamp, Stelvio Kontek, and many others.

Products include pluggable terminal blocks, PCB terminal blocks, barrier terminal blocks, transformer terminal blocks. Screw and clamp fixing types are available.

Other product types include a wide range of circular connectors, including waterproof and high vibration resistant versions for harsh environments. Circular connector types include M Series, 7/8 connectors, servo connectors and many more.

BEC is also a franchised distributor of resistors, inductors, coils, chokes, power supplies, LAN Magnetics and Transforms.

@BECDistribution #Degson #Connectors #PAuto 

Attacks don't always start online!

Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise in OT environments.

Attacks don't always start online. Plugging a USB stick into a local workstation can compromise networks from the inside. According to Honeywell's latest publication, the Cyber Threat Report 2022,  81% of threats have the potential to cause significant disruption in a controlled network environment.

Their Secure Media Exchange (SMX) solution is designed and enhanced with industry leading features to enable a more trusted and more secure use of USB devices in your business. In addition, SMX is designed to keep up with new cyber threats and provides near real-time monitoring updates with the latest information to provide even better security.

Discover SMX and help mitigate USB-based attacks on your organization and the bottom line.

@honeywell @HWusers #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Friday, 25 November 2022

Automating monitoring and reporting for CIP applications.

Technology replaces error-prone manual record keeping and monitors energy and utilities parameters, improving efficiency and productivity.

The release of its new Clean In Place (CIP) Utilities and Automated Reporting Analytics package delivered via PACEdge™ and Movicon™ platforms on an industrial edge control device has been announced by Emerson. The software aids in digitally transforming manual and semi-automated systems by optimizing utilities consumption, benchmarking against known cycles and generating automated reports that can be used to reduce energy consumption and improve productivity in a single system or throughout a facility.

The CIP Utilities & Automated Reporting Analytics package combines Emerson’s deep application expertise and industry knowledge with advanced technology to convert process and utilities data into actionable insights for the food and beverage industries and other environments that use clean- and steam-in-place operations.

Equipped with the data and analytics provided by the software, plant managers, operators and maintenance personnel can view the information on a dashboard and share the insights with sustainability officers and other stakeholders to optimize their CIP cycles. The software package can be customized and layered into an existing system, or Emerson can provide a turn-key solution of hardware, instrumentation, valves and analytics.

Central to food and beverage production, clean-in-place systems clean and sanitize internal piping, tanks and machines between product batches to help facilities meet government regulations and guarantee product quality and safety. CIP skids that don’t have sensors and analytics software in place require manual reporting, which can be time-consuming and susceptible to errors, especially when data is transferred by hand into reports. These skids may also run at unnecessarily long preset cycles and use more time and resources than required for effective cleaning.

Digitally transformed and optimized CIP processes, in comparison, only use the time, media, water, energy and labor required for effective cleaning, significantly reducing waste and increasing production time.

“Food and beverage manufacturers typically spend about 30% of utility costs on clean-in-place operations. They also lose time between changeovers and spend between 20 to 40 thousand dollars in labor costs for manual reporting,” said Amit Patel, director digital transformation for discrete and industrial at Emerson. “Emerson’s new CIP Utilities and Automated Reporting Analytics software package collects and analyzes data in real time and presents it as a report, equipping plant managers, CIP operators, maintenance personnel and sustainability officers with the actionable insights to optimize wash cycle settings, including duration and media use, for maximum efficiency and productivity.”

The CIP Utilities & Automated Reporting Analytics software package can help CIP operators better understand and forecast energy use, water consumption and resource needs. Generated reports can be used to satisfy regulation compliance, plan system maintenance, schedule downtime and order media supplies, and deeper analytics can be used to identify insights and trends that support predictive maintenance schedules and facilitate standardization of CIP processes across production facilities.

The agnostic software is compatible with any CIP equipment, which empowers manufacturers to control the digitization of their systems no matter what stage of the digital transformation journey they are in and to integrate any or all Emerson components and customize the solution for their needs.

@EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @EmersonExchange @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #FoodDrink.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Enhancing cybersecurity in eergy storage systems.

Renewable energy helps drive the global economy while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, a shortcoming of renewable energy is the difficulty of matching supply with demand. The sun does not always shine when the community needs electricity during peak periods, just as the wind does not stop blowing during off-peak periods.

One of the best ways to stabilize renewable energy supplies is to use Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that store surplus power when the supply is high and can discharge power when the supply is low. In this article, we will share best practices in safeguarding ESS infrastructure for the renewable energy sector.

An ESS converts electrical energy into a storable form, such as a battery. A typical ESS in a wind or solar farm consists of the Energy Management System (EMS) and a power plant controller that monitors and controls operations of the ESS in real time. The power plant controller aggregates the data collected from a Power Conversion System (PCS) and Battery Management System (BMS). All equipment is placed inside a container that is often situated in harsh environments such as deserts or the Arctic where sun and wind are plentiful.

Typical scenario of an energy storage system.
Network communication between the EMS, PCS, and BMS must be protected from unauthorized access or any unwanted activity that will disrupt operations. It is recommend considering security risks to the ESS from two perspectives. The first is the overall network security boundary: is the access authenticated and authorized, and are the commands being sent as expected? The second is communication security at the edge: is the communication and access of the device securely protected? These security mechanisms need to be designed when containers are produced at the manufacturing site, therefore allowing the complete system to be efficiently delivered and connected to a farm and grid.

1. Build Security Boundaries Vertically and Horizontally.
To protect communications between the renewable energy system, the power plant controller, the power conversion system, and the substation, deploy stateful firewalls with Modbus deep packet inspection (DPI).
• Vertical protection: firewalls play an important role as gatekeepers protecting system communications.
• Horizontal protection: a Modbus DPI engine can examine commands and drop data packets that are not authorized or not listed.

The firewalls and Modbus deep packet inspection engine build both vertical and horizontal protection.
The protocol gateway facilitates communication at the edge. 

2. Enhance Remote Connection Security for a Li-ion ESS.
To develop seamless, secure communications between an ESS and a control center, adopt a reliable edge connectivity solution.
• Facilitate communications at the edge: deploy protocol gateways between Modbus serial-based batteries and Ethernet-based remote terminal units.
• Secure communications: leverage security features such as HTTPS, SNMPv3 management, and Accessible IP Addresses to ensure that communication and access of a device is protected, therefore reducing risks and enhancing the reliability of remote communications.

Enhance remote connection security at the edge

Energy storage systems (ESS) help expand electricity capacity and stabilize supply. An ESS can also play an important role in maintaining the security of critical infrastructure. In response to the growing threat of cyber attacks, Moxa recommends securing ESS networks by defining the security boundary so you can determine who can access your network and what information they can pass through it.

@MoxaInc @OConnell_PR #PAuto #Communications 

The blue economy.

A conference on the Blue Economy will be held in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s head office in Na Forbacha,(Gaillimh IRL) on the 29th November 2022, as part of Asia Business Week. This conference, focussing on Marine Innovation and Offshore Wind Energy, will examine developments in the Blue Economy in Ireland and internationally.

Among the speakers on wind energy at next week’s conference will be Martin Murray, CEO of Asia Matters, Séamus Mc Cabe, senior development director with Corio Generation, Jayasurya Francis, India Director with the Global Council of Wind Energy and Dr. Edel O’ Connor, Business Development Director with the IMDO, the Irish Marine Development Office.

Seán Mulvany, senior investment manager with the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, will take part in the panel discussion on marine innovation, along with Máire Ní Éinniú, Blue Economy specialist with Údarás na Gaeltachta, Caroline Bocquel, Interim Chief Executive with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Sea Fisheries) agus Dr. Colin Hannon, Senior Research Fellow at ATU.

Through their participation in Asia Business Week, Údarás na Gaeltachta aims to develop and strengthen connections between Asian countries and the west of Ireland, attract Asian investors to invest in businesses in the Gaeltacht and develop new markets for Gaeltacht companies.

Martin Murray, CEO of Asia Matters siad “The Asia marketplace is responsible for half the world’s GDP, and that’s where Irish businesses should be focusing their energies on. Business across Asia is relationship-based, rather than the transactional way of doing things we are used to in the West. Any business wanting to expand in Asia, especially businesses in the west of Ireland, would benefit enormously from the invaluable knowledge and experience that our speakers will be sharing.”

“This conference in Údarás na Gaeltachta is a great opportunity to examine the potential of the Blue Economy in the west of Ireland and to see that potential in an international context," according to Colm Ó Coisdealbha, Interim CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta. “Údarás na Gaeltachta has a deep understanding of the importance of strategic connections with organisations and companies all over the world. We welcome the opportunity to be involved with Asia Matters for Asia Business Week; speakers with a wealth of experience will share their knowledge and insights, and participants will certainly benefit from their attendance at the events throughout the week.”

• Those wishing to attend virtually should register here.

@UdarasnaG @asiamatters_biz #Marine, #Offshore #Energy