This post is written by ISA Automation Week project manager Carol Schafer.
Plant managers, engineers and technicians all work hard to lower operating costs, reduce or eliminate downtime, optimize processes, and safeguard data and networks from cyber-intruders – all the while keeping personnel safety as a top priority. Whew! That’s a tall order, and the solutions are often complex and overlapping. The daunting task of simultaneously keeping up with state-of-the-art-methods for asset performance management, intelligent device integration, and network security is made easier when you leverage the knowledge of others who have already made significant gains in these areas.
For instance, most plants employ smart instrumentation to measure process variables like pressure, temperature, level and flow. That’s good – but it’s not enough. With more and more emphasis on cutting costs without compromising safety, the ability to use the valuable information stored in intelligent devices can help lower costs significantly and increase the business bottom line.
And, as another example of the many challenges faced by industrial facilities, most manufacturers do employ firewalls to safeguard their data, formulae, and systems – but there are easy ways around system firewalls. And control systems – which are designed to run for years without interruption – are notoriously riddled with vulnerabilities to cyber-attack.
If you or your team are responsible for the efficient, safe, and secure operation of a process control system, the more you can learn from subject matter experts in these areas, the less expense and time you will invest to get excellent results.
Consider attending events such as the ISA Edmonton Automation Expo & Conference on April 30 where ISA will present the first ISA Automation Week Revisited conference, with four popular sessions selected by the ISA Edmonton Section.
Two sessions will focus on cybersecurity as Michael Firstenberg, director of industrial security for Waterfall Security, walks attendees through “13 Ways Through a Firewall” and then explain the “elephants in the room” of control system security. Additionally, expert advisor Vincent Chiew will cover ICS security roles from various interdependent critical infrastructures in the “Overview of the ICS Security Landscape” session.
The ISA Edmonton Automation Expo & Conference on April 30 will present ISA Automation Week Revisited. Click this link to register.
Two more sessions, delivered by ARC Advisory Group’s Paula Hollywood, will discuss asset performance strategies and cover ways in which plant floor intelligence may be used to improve plant safety as well as performance in sessions “Asset Performance Management: A Key Strategy for Success” and “Getting More From Plant Intelligence.”
This one-day conference is designed to be interactive in nature, so that attendees have multiple opportunities to engage with the speakers and others attending the sessions. A chance to ask real-time questions and get specific responses and interaction on how to apply technologies, concepts and solutions to your particular manufacturing environment makes ISA Automation Week Revisited in Edmonton such a wise investment for anyone working in process automation.
For more information on sessions and presenters, click this link.
About the Author
Carol M. Schafer has more than 35 years of experience in the industrial automation and control field as a technical sales and marketing professional. She spent 14 years in the field as principal of a manufacturer’s representative company, selling flow and humidity products, air and gas analyzers, CEM equipment, and sampling systems. She also worked for several years as the East Coast sales manager for a leading weather instrument/systems manufacturer. Carol joined ISA in 1996, and is currently project manager for the Society’s annual conference, ISA Automation Week. She also serves as a senior consultant with the ISA Corporate Partnerships Program. She obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration from the California State University at Sacramento, and a master’s degree in business administration from San Jose State University.