Press Announcements at 2019 ARC Industry Forum Address Challenges in Digital Transformation (Part 1)

By Paul Miller

ARC Report Abstract


Our ARC Industry Forums routinely attract a good number of editorial participants from the media.  Many keep coming back year after year. These annual events provide an opportunity for editors and publishers  to stay on top of the latest technology and industry trends, network with users and suppliers, and hear the latest supplier press announcements.

Senior executives from AVEVA, Baker Hughes, Bedrock Automation, Bentley Systems, GE Digital, Honeywell, HIMA, Inductive Automation, L&T Technology Services, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Yokogawa all made press announcements at this year’s Forum.  We couldn’t help but notice that common threads running through these announcements included new solutions for digitalization, Industrial IoT, cybersecurity, and computing at the edge and in the cloud.  These resonated well with the overall theme of this year’s event: “Driving Digital Transformation in Industry and Cities.”

This two-part ARC Insight will provide a brief overview of the various supplier announcements (in sequential order) at this year’s Monday afternoon Forum media session.  Where available, we’ve also provided links to the supplier press releases or other related materials.

HIMA Smart Safety Platform Concept

Dr. Alexander Horch, VP R&D and Product Development at HIMA, kicked off the Monday afternoon media session at the Forum by introducing enhancements to the company’s Smart Safety Platform

Challenges in Digital Transformation HIMA%E2%80%99s%20Smart%20Safety%20Concept.JPGAccording to Dr. Horch, by uniformly tailoring hardware and software to each other, the platform enables operating companies to significantly reduce the complexity of their safety systems and buy only what they need. The platform can also incorporate existing systems to help lower operating costs and offer high security of investment. 

“Continually evolving, the HIMA Smart Safety Platform is the world’s first scalable safety platform with built-in cybersecurity,” said Dr. Horch.  “The four cornerstones of the platform - consisting of hardware, engineering software, firmware and safe communication - are perfectly interwoven, enabling plant operators to reduce the complexity of their safety systems and stay protected against the ever-increasing risks of accidental and nefarious access.”

An important component of the new platform concept is the market launch of two new safety systems. The HIQuad X is a new generation of the HIQuad safety system, which, according to the company, has been protecting thousands of applications around the world for more than 30 years. HIMA engineers designed HIQuad X to enable plants to bring their installed systems up-to-date in terms of functional safety and cybersecurity.

Bedrock Automation Offerings Protect Legacy Systems

Albert Rooyakkers, Founder and CEO, announced new Bedrock Automation offerings designed to protect legacy systems, support MQTT, and manage human access to controls.  He also discussed how the company continues to “push the automation performance envelope” by bringing Bedrock’s Open Secure Automation to the edge.

These new Bedrock offerings include:

  • Bedrock OSA Proxy – Brings advanced cybersecurity, protocol con-version, and data concentration to the edge in one industrial appliance
  • Integrated Cirrus Link Sparkplug B protocol support – Empowers companies to easily build a secure MQTT infrastructure
  • Availability of Cybershield 4.0 firmware – Enables role-based access control (RBAC) and other multi-factor authentication.

“Last year, we extended cybersecurity protection from the OT layer, where it must begin, to the SCADA network by authenticating and encrypting OPC UA. Today, we are announcing a secure gateway that uniquely blends OT and IT to protect legacy automation system networks. We are also announcing Cybershield 4.0 firmware, which includes role-based access control and multi-factor authentication,” Mr. Rooyakkers said.

All Bedrock solutions are built on public key infrastructure (PKI) functionality designed into its computing core using sealed, all-metal, anti-tamper construction. The crypto keys in the Bedrock root of trust are authenticated by the company’s certificate authority and employ advanced signing and encryption technologies like those used by secure military, aerospace, and online financial transaction systems.

L&T Technology Services Factory D.0 Smart Factory Solution

Akshay Chandra, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing Initiatives at L&T Technology Services (LTTS) unveiled the company’s “Factory D.0” smart factory solution.  According to the company, this one-stop solution encompasses wireless material tracking, machine vision-based quality inspection, digital twin, energy optimization, collaborative robotics, integrated 3D modeling/virtual reality, and other proprietary technologies and specialized know-how.

Samir Bagga, Chief Marketing Officer at L&T Technology Services, then highlighted some of the Factory D.0 implementations that the company has executed for its global manufacturing clients. These include:

  • Wireless Material Tracking - Data and insights from the entire supply chain are essential for a digital factory to function smoothly.  The company’s wireless material tracking solutions support this.  
  • Machine Vision Based Quality Inspection – The company has implemented a 3D machine vision system to automate quality inspection to help eliminate the need for error-prone manual inspections. 
  • Digital Twin – To maximize the potential benefits, it’s important for users to understand what and what not to digitalize.  The company’s digital twin simulations have helped plants estimate capital expenditures, speed root-cause analysis, and improve efficiencies. 
  • Energy Optimization using WAGES – The company’s experience shows that energy management in large plants is often extremely inefficient.  The company’s integrated approach to WAGES (water-air-gas-electricity-steam) has helped manufacturers cut their facility costs.
  • Collaborative Robotics - When operators get too close to robots equipped with safeguarding devices, the robots shut down. This often causes a ripple effect that can shut down an entire assembly line. The company’s collaborative robotics solution addresses this problem to help avoid shutdowns.
  • 3D Modeling – L&T Technology Services is helping manufacturers build comprehensive 3D models of their plants and integrating these 3D models with virtual reality (VR) technologies to be able to provide plant managers with a virtual walkthrough of the entire plant.

Bentley Systems’ PlantSight Digital Twin Cloud Service

Greg Bentley, CEO, presented PlantSight, Bentley Systems’ recently announced digital twin cloud service jointly developed with Siemens. The new PlantSight service enables up-to-date, as-operated digital twins.  These synchronize the real plant and its engineering representations for more efficient process plant operations.  PlantSight integrates different kinds of data sources to create an immersive environment with analytics visibility for more efficient process plant operations and decision support.

According to Mr. Bentley, “From the start of Bentley Systems’ strategic alliance with Siemens, we have together seen our development of PlantSight as having perhaps the most significance for our marketplace. Siemens has announced a combination of its digital offerings for discrete and process plants that enables us to bring together, through a cloud service, the complementary elements of COMOS, OpenPlant, MindSphere, and Teamcenter. PlantSight can now realize the process industries’ top priority in ‘going digital’ — the digital twin enablement of their operating plant engineering!”

PlantSight mirrors the physical plant through continuous surveys and reality modeling cloud services. Overlapping photographs and supplemental laser scans from UAVs and ground-level imagery are processed to generate spatially classified, “engineering-ready” reality meshes (the plant’s digital context) within which each tagged component can be located in geospace.

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Keywords: Digital Transformation, Industrial IoT, Cybersecurity, Process Safety, Edge, Digital Twin, Cloud, HIMA, Bedrock Automation, L&T Technology Services, Bentley Systems, Siemens, Yokogawa, Inductive Automation, ARC Advisory Group.

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