Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New chair of M&C body.

Dr Attila Bilgic, CTO Krohne Group, has been elected as the new Chairman of the VDI/VDE-GMA (Society Measurement and Automatic Control) Executive Board for the period 2019-2022.
Dr Atilla Bilgic

Over the past three years, the Executive Board worked intensely on internationalisation and cooperation with other bodies. For his term of office, Dr Bilgic intends to promote the necessary fundamental changes in structures and ways of thinking associated with digital transformation, in order to strengthen the role automation technology plays alongside IT and communications technology. The close cooperation between industry and universities will be one of the main supporting pillars in this endeavour.

@krohnegroup @VDI_News #Germany

Partnership advances secure automation.

Bedrock Automation has established a partnership agreement with Wood, a globally recognised integration provider. Under the agreement, Wood’s automation and control group will deliver Bedrock Open Secure Automation (OSA®) to its clients in energy and industrial markets. Wood has active membership in The Open Process Automation™ Forum, which is focused on the development of a standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control architecture.

“This partnership centers on combining our diverse capabilities and innovative solutions in automation with Bedrock’s OSA® technology to bring open and secure systems to our clients, advancing our position as a world leading automation provider and bringing greater cyber protection to our client’s projects,” said Jeff Shannon, Senior Manager of Strategy and Development in Wood’s automation and control group.

Wood’s automation and control group is a system-independent integrator comprised of over 1,400 automation professionals, with access to more than 5,000 technical experts that provide full engineering, consulting, procurement and construction services to customers around the world. Wood’s core automation experience spans the full spectrum — from small integration projects to main automation contractor programs for large, multi-EPC projects, including a diverse portfolio of vertical markets. The company’s expertise extends across the full spectrum of hardware, including instrumentation, programmable logic controllers (PLC), distributed control systems (DCS), logic solvers and higher-level applications.

“We are delighted with this new partnership, which is another significant step forward in delivering Open Secure Automation to everyone. Bedrock’s focus will be to work with Wood in applying the vast knowledge and expertise of both companies to deliver secure and open control systems technology,” said Robert Bergman, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Bedrock Automation.

The Bedrock® OSA® control system is known for its patented Black FabricTM Cybershield architecture, which provides an intrinsic cryptographic and physically secure platform to protect control components against unauthorized access. Unlike other conventional industrial control systems, it was designed from the semiconductor components up to be secure, simple, powerful and scalable. The system is also capable of extending security up to the network and down to the instruments to create a holistic solution.

@BedrockAuto #PAuto 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Photoionisation detector.

Ion Science has launched its ‘world first’ FalcoTAC fixed photoionisation detector (PID) with 10.0eV lamp for fast and reliable detection of highly toxic total aromatic compounds (TACs), including benzene, in high humidity environments. Designed for plant-wide safety and the on-going protection of workers in global petrochemical and oil & gas applications, the new FalcoTAC instrument also boasts the company’s innovative typhoon technology for unrivalled accuracy in condensing atmospheres and extreme weather conditions.

Aromatic chemical compounds produced by oil refineries and petrochemical plants form the building blocks for numerous important materials including dyes, detergents, solvents, adhesives, plastics, synthetic rubbers and pharmaceuticals. However the TACs produced in these environments such as benzene, toluene and xylene isomers, are also highly toxic.

Utilising the proprietary high output Ion Science 10.0 electron volt (eV) detection system, the new FalcoTAC volatile organic compound (VOC) monitor offers fast response times and the best possible protection for plant personnel, giving early warning of any harmful levels of exposure to hazardous TACs, including benzene.

Simple to install and operate, the FalcoTAC features an external intrinsically safe sensor for quick and easy servicing without the need for a hot work permit, and can be serviced and calibrated in a hazardous environment without having to remove the power.

Their advanced typhoon technology prevents condensation forming on the sensor which helps to stop the FalcoTAC short circuiting and make it ideal for harsh conditions and wet outdoor environments, without the need for weather enclosures.

By incorporating Ion Science’s market-leading PID sensor and patented fence electrode technology, FalcoTAC does not experience quenching of response due to humidity in the ambient air. This increased resistance to humidity and contamination ensures ultimate reliability in the field, as well as considerably reduced drift issues and extended run time.

The unit is operated via an intuitive user interface with OLED display and five magnetically activated switches – up, down, left, right and enter – which are back lit to help confirm the correct button is being pressed. For added convenience, safety and ease of use, brightly coloured red, amber and pulsing (optional) green status indicators are clearly visible in sunlight allowing checks to be conducted from a distance.
The FalcoTAC utilises a diffusive sample technique which ensures less contamination issues than pumped systems and reduced lamp cleaning and servicing requirements. Pumped models are available for applications where a sample needs to be drawn to the unit.

The FalcoTAC 10.0eV is available offering a detection range of 0.01 – 50 parts per million (ppm).

The explosion proof enclosure is certified to EX d IIC T4 II and the external sensor to EX ib IIC T4 Gb II. A 4 – 20 mA analogue output enables FalcoTAC to be easily integrated into a DCS control system to give warning or control of high VOC levels in the working environment. Two relay outputs means it can be connected remotely plus RS485 output with Mobus protocol included as standard allows the instrument to be connected to a network.

@ionscience #PAuto @elhcomms

Monday, February 4, 2019

Industrial programmable controller to IEC 61131-3.

Opto 22 has added international standard IEC 61131-3 programming options in its groov EPIC® edge programmable industrial controller.

Adding these new programming options to the existing flowchart and custom user-written options in groov EPIC gives control engineers the ability to program using a variety of languages they already know, while taking advantage of the EPIC’s extended capabilities for automation and industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications. All IEC 61131-3 standard languages are supported by groov EPIC, including Function Block Diagram (FBD), Structured Text (ST), Sequential Function Charts (SFC), and Ladder Diagram (LD).

Adding the IEC 61131-3 option gives engineers several key advantages. First, they can pick the best software tool for their specific application. Second, they can mix and match several software tools to build control and IIoT solutions on one unified platform. And last, companies can continue to leverage existing employee knowledge in IEC 61131-3 programming methods, including decades-old ladder logic.

The PC-based CODESYS® Development System V3 is used to create and compile IEC 61131-3 programs for download to a pre-installed CODESYS Runtime running on groov EPIC. The CODESYS Development System is available at no charge from the CODESYS Store at https://store.codesys.com. The CODESYS Runtime on groov EPIC is enabled by a free software license available from Opto 22.

“As the world’s leading manufacturer of independent IEC 61131-3 software,” stated Markus Bachmann, President of the U.S. subsidiary of the CODESYS Group, “we are excited that CODESYS has been chosen to boost Opto 22’s groov EPIC to the next level in industrial automation products, integrating state-of-the-art industrial control with new IIoT and Industry 4.0 applications.”

In addition to IEC 61131-3, groov EPIC can also be programmed using Opto 22’s native PAC Control™. Field-proven, flowchart-based PAC Control with optional scripting offers 400+ plain English commands for analog process and digital sequential control, complex math, conditional branching, string handling, and other complex functions.

Other programming options include using software languages supported on the Linux® operating system through secure shell. This access—along with toolchains and interpreters for Java, C/C++, Python, JavaScript/Node.js and more—allows developers to create custom applications. In addition, groov EPIC includes Node-RED as another programming option. Node-RED uses a flow-based development environment optimized for edge data processing and communications.

@opto22 #PAuto 

Tips for IT security.

Paresh Kansara, Rittal’s Product Manager for Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures tells us that Rittal’s teams work closely with leading industrial companies to create IT infrastructures for use with Industry 4.0 technology, including edge computing platforms. They have put together several tips to help companies implement fast-deploying and secure IT for production environments.

The first step when starting any Industry 4.0 initiative or digital transformation within a manufacturing environment, is to define the common goals and consistent use of terms.

One goal should be to achieve real-time processing of measured values through the use of more IT and additional sensors. This will enable innovative applications, such as machine learning, process optimisation and predictive maintenance, which can only be done via big data analysis. Deviations can be recognised very quickly, increasing the reliability of these environments.

Find a secure location for the IT systems
Another consideration where to put any IT systems (such as an edge computing system) within a production environment. This requires input from a range of different departments: facility management, fire prevention and safety managers, production managers, IT managers and other specialists in network technology and production planning.

Project managers should therefore start planning with the relevant departmental managers at an early stage to identify any issues. It may mean finding an alternative space or even building a whole new facility to house the additional IT systems, but it’s just as likely that a business will be able to retrofit IT systems in the manufacturing hall.

In one recent project, Rittal’s team installed the necessary IT for automated production on the second floor of the production hall. As part of the project, special security rooms were used for the IT racks. It works extremely well, however, because this arrangement used a water-based IT cooling system, it carried the risk of a leak onto the manufacturing facilities located below. To prevent this happening, leak detectors were installed in the IT racks and throughout the building to alert the facility management team of any problems at an early stage, increasing operational reliability.

In general, companies should select the best possible locations for IT systems from a technical security perspective as well as to support well thought-out network cabling. Ensuring there is sufficient distance to the manufacturing devices will protect IT systems from heat, dirt and vibrations.

Increase safety with monitoring
Small and medium-sized companies often find that the IT systems can send detailed alarm messages to control centres within the company, but not outside of it, as these alerts are blocked by the firewall.

The process of monitoring IT systems and sending an alert to relevant technicians also needs to be addressed collectively by all of the project participants, starting with a review of the existing organisation-wide IT security strategy.

For example, they worked with a manufacturing company to upgrade the IT cooling systems in its production hall to lower energy costs and increase the reliability of the IT system. Modern cooling systems are now able to send status messages directly to the manufacturer. In this instance, the firewalls had to be configured according to the data protocols used, otherwise the message would not have got through and the cooling systems would not be able to function in accordance with the designated levels of safety and efficiency.

Secure monitoring software
Monitoring software (DCIM) used to oversee production-related IT systems should be subject to special protection. Such a solution has a large number of interfaces and supports a variety of protocols, so it can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

To make the whole installation more robust, including the server platform, They recommend using software to conduct a security analysis. So-called network vulnerability tests check the systems for known but still open security weaknesses.

Without this protection, in extreme cases, attackers could shut down the fans in intelligent cooling systems or turn off switchable power distribution units (PDUs).

Set up edge computing quickly and securely
If areas of a production plant cannot be shut down while work is in progress, then it may be advisable to install pre-configured IT containers which are equipped with the required active IT components. Companies can therefore expand their IT capacities to decentralised production sites quickly and safely using what are termed “edge” data centres.

To set up an edge computing infrastructure for Industry 4.0 initiatives, partners Rittal and iNNOVO Cloud offer turnkey IT module and container solutions.

These contain IT environments in sturdy steel containers that house power distribution units, UPS, IT cooling systems, racks and, optionally, active components. This provides a quick and secure start to production, in locations across the world.

@Rittal #Manufacturing 

Driver machine interface.

Adlink Technology has  released its latest Driver Machine Interface (DMI) touch panel computer, the DMI-1210, designed specifically for train control and driver information display.

Powered by the Intel Atom® x5-E3930 processor (formerly Apollo Lake) and featuring a 12.1” (4:3) high resolution color display, 5-wire resistive touch screen and securable I/O interface, the DMI-1210 can be deployed as an HMI unit for driver’s desks, control panel for passenger information systems, surveillance system control/display unit or in railway diagnostics and communications applications.

The DMI-1210 is an EN 50155 certificated, cost-effective, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) driver interface that offers train radio display, electronic timetable, and diagnostic display functions and additional functionality such as train data recorder. The DMI-1210 supports full range DC power input from +16.8V to +137.5V DC. Optional MVB, GNSS, 3G/LTE, WLAN, and Bluetooth through add-on modules give system integrators the necessary tools to expand use case possibilities. With Adlink’s built-in Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) management and status LEDs on the front panel, the DMI-1210 provides easy and effective health monitoring and system maintenance. In addition, system robustness and reliability are provided by careful component selection for extended temperature operation, isolated I/Os, conformal coated circuit boards, securable I/O connectors and high ingress protection rating (IP65 front, IP42 rear).

“By leveraging more than 20 years of expertise in developing highly reliable and available embedded computing systems, Adlinkis a premier supplier to the rail market, enabling both wayside and onboard applications, such as Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), Computer Based Interlocking (CBI) and Train Control Center (TCC), Passenger Information, and Passenger Wi-Fi. We offer not only a field-proven, cost-effective and extensive COTS portfolio, but also a variety of fast time-to-market custom solutions with best-in-class ODM capabilities,” said Crystal Tseng, ADLINK senior product manager.

“The addition of the DMI-1210 further strengthens our EN 50155-compliant product portfolio and enables us to better serve our customers with its superior reliability and versatility. By leveraging our long-standing strategic partnerships with major processor and software vendors, we ensure best practices in lifecycle management and product obsolescence to deliver the supply longevity required by the industry. ADLINK offers design services in every major geographic region, benefiting customers with increased responsiveness, short delivery lead-time and ease of doing business.”

Designed to meet harsh operating requirements, their industry standard compliant, rugged product portfolio provides customers with a great level of flexibility in technology and roadmap planning.

@ADLINK_Tech #Transport