Automation

 

“Sustainability Efforts Link Supply Chain” – worth reading article by Seán Ottewell

In the article “Sustainability Efforts Link Supply Chain”, the author Seán Ottewell uses the example of Yokogawa to cite the fact that “networking the actors along the supply chain is one of the most important initiatives” in the chemical industry.

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Maturity models in digital transformation – an interview with Dr. Violett Zeller

Many different questions pose major challenges for companies entering the digital transformation.  Maturity models can provide great support in answering them. But even later on, an examination of the status quo is essential in order to be able to adapt existing strategies to changing circumstances in an agile manner. We talked to Dr Violett Zeller, Chair of the VDI/VDE Digital Transformation Department, about what maturity models are all about and how companies can find the right model for them. Join us on our blog for this and other topics on digital transformation in the process industry.

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The future of Predictive Maintenance

When we discuss the increasingly hot topic of Industry 4.0, we tend to limit the focus to products and solutions, forgetting that this industrial revolution revolves around the human factor. The purpose of the digital transformation we are facing is not to remove people from the big picture, but to make their work easier. This is the starting point for this simple experiment, which we highlight in our new blog article “The future of Predictive Maintenance”:

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Smart manufacturing: boundaries fade – requirements stay the same

For companies in the process industry, the transition to an open architecture through edge systems offers the opportunity to optimise manufacturing and operational processes. But it is also an opportunity to unlock and enhance the value of existing systems and data. An industrial cloud architecture reflects the interplay of existing and future systems by aligning plant and operational processes with value chains. Unlike traditional concepts, the DX architecture starts from market requirements and customer experience. It extends from applications and operational processes to hardware and data.

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Symbiotic autonomy in the process industry

Only if we start and follow the path from industrial automation to industrial autonomy do we have the chance to actually get closer to this goal. Join us on our blog with more topics on digital transformation in the process industry.

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A city within a state? The process plant

The people of ancient Greece worshipped the goddess Automatia (“the one who comes by herself”). In addition, the Greeks at that time created city states (polis) with the claim of “autonomia”, to live as an independent unit. Today, on the journey from industrial automation to industrial autonomy, we are using an understanding that people already had in ancient times. However, the question remains: will the process plant of today develop into an autonomous polis?

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Autonomy through perseverance

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, information retrieval or even data mining – these are all buzzwords that come up in connection with autonomous systems within the process industry. Are autonomous systems the future in the process industry and thus practically the next step beyond automation? I already wrote in my previous post that I see in precisely this circumstance the beginning of a change in automation that is moving towards industrial autonomous systems. But what actually makes us so confident that this transformation will actually take place?

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Make your digital transformation in the process industry

Digital transformation, so-called Industry 4.0, has been talked about for ten years now. What began at that time as a future project for comprehensive digitalisation is now taking place as a transformation throughout society and is also establishing itself in industry. The past twelve months in particular have given another enormous push in this direction. For example, the pandemic has accelerated the digital communication strategy of companies by six years on average worldwide. Digital transformation offers opportunities in all areas of business to adapt and evolve in the world of rapidly changing markets and technologies. The continuous development of digital technologies opens up new opportunities in research and development, but also in the areas of engineering, marketing, sales and services, all the way to logistics and value chains. Join us here on this blog with more topics on digital transformation in the process industry.

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Risk Assessment: First Step to Securing an OT Environment

Imagine this scenario: A chemical processing company decides to launch a cybersecurity program for a manufacturing plant, so it brings together an IT expert and someone from operations who is moderately well versed in the plant networks. The two have other responsibilities and complete their task quickly by inserting a smattering of security appliances at strategic points and declare the plant protected.
Meanwhile, a hacker who has been systematically analyzing the plant’s networks over several months, has a better grasp of the architecture and what assets are deployed than anyone in the facility. The hacker gained access because some system integrator, a few years ago, installed a Brand X PLC to solve a chemical injection problem. The technician left a path to access the PLC via the internet for follow-up service, but everyone has forgotten about it. The hacker is aware of a key vulnerability—a default password—with that PLC because its characteristics were published, but the plant never acted on changing it because they had forgotten it is even there. This vulnerability provides the hacker a path into the larger network through an unprotected connection from the PLC to the automation system.
While this scenario is an oversimplification, it illustrates the problems many companies face as they consider how to approach cybersecurity strategy for operations technology (OT) networks. A well-thought-out strategy will find and correct these problems, and for the rest of this article, we will look at how to implement this type of plan.

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A simple experiment on Predictive Maintenance and IA2IA

It is not easy to find your way in the sea of technological solutions related to predictive maintenance. As Product Marketing Manager, it is my job to understand and test the real potential of the tools I am dealing with, in this case Yokogawa’s wireless sensors, called “Sushi Sensors”, which monitor parameters such as vibration, pressure and temperature. Read the blog article with the title “A simple experiment on Predictive Maintenance and IA2IA” here.

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