Operational Technology Viewpoints

Insights on emerging technologies, practices, and processes for enhancing operational excellence.

Jul
17
2018
Dick Hill — Industry Trends

Is CPAS Still Relevant in the Emerging Open Process Automation Era?

Is ARC’s Collaborative Process Automation Systems (CPAS) still relevant today in light of the current, end user-driven Open Process Automation initiative and other trends such as IIoT, Industrie 4.0, NAMUR Open Automation (NOA), digital transformation, IT-OT convergence, cloud and edge computing, etc.?
Jul
12
2018
Mark Sen Gupta — Industry Trends

Notes from the Entelec 2018 Spring Conference

I spent some time at the Entelec 2018 Spring Conference in Houston this past May. It’s one of the few industry conferences focusing on communications and control technologies used by petroleum, natural gas, pipeline and electric utility companies. And that’s why I attend.
Jul
10
2018
Paul Miller — Industry Trends

Manufacturing Innovation: They Don’t Make Paper Like They Used To!

During a recent vacation to Italy, my wife and I had the opportunity to tour the Museo della Carta (Paper Museum) in the town of Amalfi. One source I came across referred to this museum as “a jewel of industrial archaeology,” and I fully agree. Built in the 14th century this is oldest remaining paper factory in Europe. It continued manufacturing paper until the middle of the 20th century. The museum still produces small quantities of the highly desirable “bambagina” paper for sale in its small gift shop, along with beautiful artisanal note cards and other items made from bambagina. According to one Amalfi Coast tourist site, to this day, artists around the world appreciate this very soft, thick, and elegant rag paper. It certainly is a far cry from the paper we regularly feed into our copy machines and printers! At the Amalfi paper factory-cum-museum, a stream runs right under this cavern-like building, which powered all the machines and provided the prerequisite clean “process” water. While crude by today’s standards, many of these machines were quite ingenious in design and demonstrated that manufacturing innovation has a long history.
Jul
06
2018
Larry O'Brien — Technology Trends

ARC & SANS Webcast: Cybersecurity & Process Safety Convergence

In advance of the SANS Oil and Gas Cybersecurity Summit in Houston Oct. 1-6, I will be participating in a webcast with Doug Wylie of SANS and Marty Edwards of the Automation Federation to discuss the emergence of new process safety system malware and its impact on the process industries, including both upstream and downstream oil and gas. 
Jul
05
2018
Himanshu Shah — Industry Trends

AC Drives Help Industry Reduce Energy Consumption and Rally Corporate and Environmental Responsibility

Unfortunately, increased energy consumption and environmental emissions often accompany the kind of economic growth we’re experiencing today. While switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources certainly relieves some pressure in the global warming debate, energy efficiency is often the most important contributor to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
Jun
29
2018
Sid Snitkin — Industry Trends

Recognizing All of Your Operational Assets

Operating assets are more than the physical equipment one sees during a plant tour. There is a lot behind the physical façade that is vital to generating good returns. And, development of these “hidden assets” must be synchronized with the physical façade throughout design, build and commissioning to rapidly achieve operational readiness.
Jun
28
2018
Craig Resnick — Industry Trends

OT/IT Convergence in a Legacy World

The increasing OT/IT convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) across industry and infrastructure was a recurring theme at the recent ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida. The increasing OT/IT convergence in today’s industrial plants has led to a rapid learning curve for both groups. In general, IT groups are just starting to learn what “real time” means, and OT groups are starting to learn how they can best leverage IT-enabled technologies in operations. Also, while IT groups have traditionally focused on preserving data integrity and data flows, OT groups are typically more concerned about non-stop system availability to help ensure 24/7 plant operations and plant and employee safety. OT/IT convergence is a hot topic and for good reason.
Jun
26
2018
Sharada Prahladrao — Industry Trends

ARC's 16th India Forum Digitizing + Securing Industry, Infrastructure, Cities

As the countdown begins for ARC's 16th India Forum there is palpable excitement in the air. Our office becomes the back stage where we prepare the list of speakers, finalize the agenda, check the numbers registered, ensure the requirements at the venue are in order, etc. Besides all this, it’s a rich learning experience for all of us about new technologies and their applications, across a spectrum of industries. As the presentations come in I begin to wonder how these will capture the forum’s core theme of Digitizing and Securing Industry, Infrastructure, and Cities.
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