04242018Tue
Last updateMon, 19 Mar 2018 5am

Schneider Electric announces Software Agreement for SimSci Spiral Suite with Gunvor

Schneider Electric Software, a global leader in industrial software solutions for the process industries, announced today that Gunvor, one of the world’s leading independent commodities trading houses, has signed a license agreement for Spiral Suite. Gunvor’s Ingolstadt and Antwerp refineries and Geneva Headquarters already benefit from using Spiral Suite. This agreement now extends their license to cover the newly acquired Rotterdam site.

“Spiral Suite provides an integrated solution for a broad spectrum of users”, said Marcel Mazenauer, Technical Director, Gunvor International B.V. “By having a unified application, we can improve how we share data across the organization to better interact and respond faster to opportunities as they arise. Its powerful predictive modelling capabilities improves our responsiveness to changes in assay quality and allows faster, better operational and commercial decisions. In the end, Spiral Suite lets us make better quality predictions that are consistent across the business. Easy to use and implement, it was a natural choice to extend to our Rotterdam refinery. The enterprise offering seamlessly scales to readily support our growing organization.”

Spiral Suite supports all supply chain work processes across large and small refineries, bringing together enterprise crude knowledge management, planning, scheduling and envelope optimization activities in a single software application. As the industry's only unified planning and scheduling environment that was designed from the ground up, Schneider Electric Software clients can better explore opportunities, reduce operational risk and shrink the gap between planned and actual results. Spiral Suite enables information to be shared easily between users as all activities are supported within a single application, with a single user interface and a single source of data with version and data management control. This shared knowledge can lead to improved understanding and collaboration between traders, planners and schedulers, replacing disjointed point solutions.

“Using Enterprise Crude Knowledge Management, users across the enterprise are able to leverage accurate crude quality predictions in combination with processing experience and grade intelligence to increase refinery margins, respond quickly to opportunities and reduce risk”, said Harpreet Gulati, Ph.D., Vice President, Schneider Electric Software. “Spiral Suite ensures that users across the business have access to the most consistent and up-to-date information in diverse areas such as planning, scheduling, crude approval, trading and simulation. Its ability to drive collaboration and provide real-time crude data is critical to helping our customers in the petroleum industry achieve operational excellence.”


Exida announces Business Partnership with Arme Turkey

exida, a global supplier of functional safety products, services and certifications is pleased to announce a business partnership with Arme, Turkey.

“Arme is very glad to partner with exida to improve our functional safety services in Turkey,” says Gizem Ayranci, Arme training representative. “We have been working to develop the safety market in Turkey for some time, and exida’s expertise in the areas of functional safety, alarm management, and cybersecurity will offer several opportunities.”

“exida is very pleased to be partnering with Arme in Turkey to provide functional safety, alarm management, and cybersecurity training and services,” says Steve Gandy, exida vice president of global business development.

“Arme is developing these areas in Turkey, which complements exida’s service and product offering. exida has been looking to partner with a select group of companies as a means of enhancing both companies’ product and service offerings. We expect to broaden the understanding and implementation of these three disciplines within the Turkish market.”

Kepware Releases New Version of Flagship Industrial Connectivity Platform

Kepware® Technologies, a software development company focused on industrial connectivity, today announced the release of its KEPServerEX® version 5.20 software. Key enhancements offer additional device and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity for customers in several vertical industries, including Building Automation, Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas.

“Our goal with this latest product release is to balance the needs of existing installations while developing new functionality for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” said Tony Paine, Platform President, Kepware. “Our commitment to supporting today’s requirements and tomorrow’s possibilities resulted in many important updates to our flagship product—including improvements to our BACnet/IP driver and a new ThingWorx® agent that expands our IoT Gateway offering.”

The enhanced BACnet/IP driver offers users in the Building Automation Industry even more options for connectivity and control through its new support of the Accumulator Standard Object, Object-Level Command Priority, and Alarm and Event Services. These updates come amidst growing global demand—especially in Japan—driven by energy efficiency initiatives, smart building design, and system integration efforts for building automation.

The ThingWorx agent, now available in the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, provides improved interoperability with the ThingWorx IoT Platform. The agent enables users to move industrial data on the edge into ThingWorx using the secure ThingWorx binary protocol for high throughput. This not only provides a seamless user experience between the two technologies, but also advances parent-company PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) as a leading IoT software provider. Additional updates to the IoT Gateway include support for MQTT writes, Array writes, and Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS).

“Our newest research shows that over 60% of industrial companies are now working on a digital transformation initiative like Industrie 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing,” said Matthew Littlefield, President and Principal Analyst, LNS Research. “The enabling technology for these transformations is the IIoT Platform, including connectivity, cloud, big data analytics, and application development. Solutions like the Kepware IoT Gateway allow companies to cost effectively transcend traditional control hierarchies and use information in the most effective way possible.”

The release also features updates to 30 drivers and advanced plug-ins, including the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Ethernet driver with added support for firmware version 28 across L8 and L7 models from Rockwell Automation.

National Instruments Celebrates 40 Years of Innovation

National Instruments , the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, will recognize four decades of innovation in 2016. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding, the City of Austin has proclaimed May 14, 2016 to be NI Day. To celebrate, NI invites the Austin community to enjoy a free day at the Thinkery, where the next generation of engineers and scientists can learn, explore and innovate.

The Thinkery will be free and open to the public on Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. NI has proudly supported the Thinkery for many years because of their shared mission to provide engaging and educational STEM programs for the next generation of creative problem solvers.

“We are honored by the recognition of NI Day from the mayor’s office and the Austin community,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of NI. “Since founding NI in Austin four decades ago, community has always been an important part of our culture. We will continue our support by sharing the excitement of engineering, science and technology for decades to come.”

Since the company was founded in 1976, NI technologies have helped engineers and scientists solve numerous engineering challenges and make a lasting impact on society. The billion dollar company now employs more than 2,500 Austin-area residents and operates in nearly 50 countries around the world.

“Austin has innovation in its DNA, and NI is a big reason why,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “A global technology industry leader with deep Austin rootsand a long history of giving to the community and empowering students in STEM education, NI is a true role model in Austin. As such, I am proud to declare May 14, 2016 as the official NI Day, recognizing the company’s pioneering technological advancements and leadership position in our increasingly connected world.”

Advantech and VETEC announce partnership on WebAccess+ IoT Solution Alliance

Advantech, a leading provider of industrial computing solutions and VETEC, a web-based automation & solution provider focusing on factory automation, energy management and smart factory applications in Korean market, announced that the two companies are co-developing IoT solutions for energy management and industrial automation markets through the cooperation of WebAccess+ IoT Solution Alliance.

With more than 15 years’ experience in the industrial automation market as a premier channel partner of Advantech Korea, VETEC has accumulated successful references in remote monitoring and energy saving solutions applying WebAccess. These solutions include Pneumatic Energy Saving & Efficiency System of the forging factory and the shipbuilding, Electric Power Data Acquisition System of compressor of the confectionery plant, Factory Energy Management System of PCB factory, and Building Energy Management System of shopping complex. Moreover, as energy saving solutions requires big cost, VETEC and its co-work partners help customers to get government fund in order to lighten the burden.

After joining WebAccess+ Alliance, VETEC is and will be working with Advantech aggressively to not only make inroads into the industrial automation market, but also drive other Industial IoT related business fields. For more information about the WebAccess+ IoT Solution Alliance

ABB acquires SVIA automation solutions

ABB announced today it has acquired SVIA, a leading provider in the fast-growing market of robot automation cells for machine tending. SVIA, headquartered in Jönköping, Sweden, builds automated solutions for machine tending processes, using robots to feed components to lathes and mills, and to secondary processes like assembly, washing and part marking. SVIA has a portfolio of over 800 machine tending cell solutions which integrate robotic automation to increase the productivity, flexibility and quality of manufacturing. These solutions, together with ABB’s leading position in the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) will provide a unique set of value propositions to industrial customers globally. The parties agreed not to disclose the value of the transaction.

The acquisition expands ABB’s machine tending portfolio with a wider variety of advanced and vision-integrated applications for industries including automotive, plastics and electronics, such as smart phone manufacturing. The expanded offering will benefit both machine OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and established CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine users as well as ABB’s global network of channel partners.

“SVIA’s pioneering automation solutions fit perfectly into ABB’s leading global Robotics business unit. SVIA already uses ABB robots across its innovative portfolio of machine tending solutions. We co-developed ABB’s FlexMT® robot automation cell which can increase machine tool utilization by up to 90 percent, compared to 50 percent utilization with manual machine tending,” said Pekka Tiitinen, President of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “Together, we will enhance growth through our strong commitment to customer focus and by providing integrated, complete solutions based on the IoTSP. This approach has been the cornerstone of SVIA’s success and is a key part of ABB’s Next Level growth strategy.”

National Instruments announces 7½-Digit Digital Multimeter (DMM)

NI, the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today the NI PXIe-4081 7½-digit high-performance DMM and 1.8 MS/s isolated digitizer. The NI PXIe-4081 is the first PXI Express DMM available. It offers engineers the flexibility, resolution and isolation needed to tackle challenging applications that require smarter test systems in industries ranging from consumer electronics to aerospace and defense.

The NI PXIe-4081 is the industry’s most accurate 7½-digit DMM, with an industry-leading 15 ppm accuracy for DC voltage measurements up to two years after calibration. It is capable of voltage measurements from nanovolts to one kilovolt and resistance measurements from microohms to gigaohms. A solid-state current shunt configuration offers eight DC current ranges from 1 µA to 3 A and six AC rms current ranges from 100 µA to 3 A. The DMM occupies a single 3U PXI slot and provides excellent channel density for high-channel-count systems, delivering 17 DMM channels in a single PXI chassis occupying 4U of rack space. For high-throughput applications, the isolated digitizer mode can acquire DC-coupled waveforms in all voltage and current ranges with a 1.8 MS/s maximum sample rate. By changing the digitizer sampling rate, engineers can vary the resolution of the digitizer from 10 to 23 bits for the perfect combination of speed and accuracy.

Engineers can use an interactive soft front panel for basic measurements and debugging automated applications, which delivers all the ease-of-use expected from a traditional instrument. The driver software includes a best-in-class programming interface that works with a variety of development environments, such as C, Microsoft .NET and LabVIEW. The driver also features help files, documentation and 28 ready-to-run example programs to assist in test code development.

“Customers often choose the PXI platform to lower their cost of automated test based on the accuracy, channel density and speed of PXI instruments,” said Steve Warntjes, NI vice president of R&D, modular instruments. “The NI PXIe-4081 builds on more than 20 successful years of NI PXI DMMs by providing a code-compatible migration option to PXI Express, extending the lifecycle of critical test and measurement functionality and doing it at the highest performance levels possible.”

ICONICS Introduces Its IoT Gateway Suite with Microsoft Azure

ICONICS is a managed Microsoft Gold Partner and winner of the Microsoft Public Sector CityNext Partner of the Year award. The company provides advanced, Web-enabled and OPC UA certified HMI/SCADA, analytics and mobile software solutions for any manufacturing, energy, industrial or building automation application. ICONICS announces its new IoT Gateway Suite and enhanced integration with the next generation of Microsoft Azure cloud platform and services at Hannover Messe 2016,in Hannover, Germany. ICONICS will exhibit in the Microsoft Pavilion (Hall 7, Booth C40) at the show.

ICONICS IoT Gateway Suite communicates with Azure applications using the most popular transport protocols. Once the IoT Gateway is online, it connects to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub so that it can authenticate, transmit and receive data. Acting as a secure message broker, the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub allows for remote device management, provisioning and configuration.

“ICONICS is proud to demonstrate its Microsoft Azure-based IoT solutions highlighting its commitment to Industrie 4.0 alongside Microsoft at Hannover Messe 2016,” said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS. “Such cloud-enabling technologies greatly simplify the deployment of IoT applications that will scale and be future-proof.”

“ICONICS is an excellent Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV) IoT Solution Partner,” said Caglayan Arkan, ‎GM, WW Manufacturing & Resources at Microsoft. “And, as such, provides customers with solutions that utilize the power of the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite for energy management, smart buildings and manufacturing.”

The IoT Gateway Software Suite is ICONICS’ launch pad for a new software architecture for its visualization, analytics and mobile solutions based on Microsoft Azure Service Fabric and microservices. With Service Fabric, ICONICS is utilizing Azure as a true platform as a service (PaaS) to deploy and scale applications for the new era of Industrie 4.0 and IoT deployments. This meets the need for service-based software offerings and value-added services that customers worldwide are demanding.

The real power of IoT gateways is in the implementation of low-cost hardware devices that can be placed in remote locations or just about anywhere there is information to be sent to Azure. Configuration of the ICONICS IoT Gateway Software Suite includes onboard energy management, building and industrial protocols, such as BACnet, OPC UA, Modbus, SNMP and Web services. This makes the ICONICS IoT Gateway Software Suite the ideal choice for any application.

Rockwell Automation Collaborates with Cisco to Enhance Industrial Internet of Things Security

As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to deliver value from connecting plant-floor devices to the enterprise, security remains an ongoing challenge. Today, IT systems leverage firewalls to monitor security risks on the IT network. These IT firewalls are not aware of industrial protocols used on the plant floor – limiting the ability to minimize risk throughout the entire network. In response, Cisco and Rockwell Automation have collaborated to develop a deep-packet-inspection (DPI) technology for use in industrial security appliances.

An industrial firewall with DPI technology extends visibility down to the plant floor, enables logging of traffic patterns, and provides the opportunity for informed decision-making following a set of security policies. Users can log a range of data for any network connection or protocol, such as EtherNet/IP, including where the traffic is coming from, where it is going and with which application it is associated. While IT managers previously had this visibility, now both plant and IT managers can use this technology to more securely manage network traffic from the plant to the enterprise.

When used between industrial and cell/area zones in a Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture, a plant-floor application using DPI technology has the ability to instruct a firewall to deny firmware downloads to a controller. This guards against tampering with firmware and helps protect the integrity of the operation. Only an authorized user would be able to conduct the download.

"Security on the plant floor continues to be a top concern for manufacturers and industrial operators as they build a Connected Enterprise," said Juergen Weinhofer, vice president, common architecture and technology, Rockwell Automation. "DPI technology combines our unmatched automation and information control expertise with that of Cisco, the industry leader in IT security, to enhance security for new and existing industrial control systems."

"With this security addition to our joint portfolio and architectures, we can help eliminate the ‘air gap' or ‘security by obscurity' that leads to false confidence of safety and security," said Doug Bellin, global industries lead, Cisco. "We can track all network connections in real time and react when issues arise. This is another case of the best of IT and the best of operations coming together to solve a real need."

Through the strategic alliance collaboration between Rockwell Automation and Cisco, manufacturers can benefit from the sharing of proven security best practices from the IT space made possible for the plant floor and industrial environment. DPI technology will be brought to market in industrial network devices from both Rockwell Automation and Cisco in 2016.
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