May/June 2013
Automation Update

MAVERICK aims to combat SCADA cybersecurity risks

MAVERICK Technologies, Logos Technologies, and Global Velocity will develop a solution set to protect U.S. national infrastructure from potential cyber-attacks.

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems remotely monitor and control industrial processes at nuclear plants, sewage treatment facilities, and other critical sites. However, most SCADA systems were designed before the emergence of network threats, leaving this infrastructure most vulnerable to intrusion.

The three partnering companies, experts in cybersecurity, industrial controls, and complex systems integration, will develop a cyber-sensor integration (CSI) solution to secure SCADA systems. CSI-SCADA is a comprehensive software solution that employs innovative techniques, continuous expert support, and an understanding of attacker profiles to defeat a threat before it takes shape.

Most facilities using SCADA systems are privately owned. However, given the millions of Americans they service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been actively monitoring software vulnerabilities, providing guidance, and issuing warnings to the industry. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, the public, private, and non-profit sectors all have an important role to play in preventing cyber-attacks.

Bosch Rexroth wins 2013 Hermes Award

The prestigious international Hermes Award, presented annually at HANNOVER MESSE, singles out outstanding innovations pioneered by individual companies. Bosch Rexroth has received this year's award for its Open Core Engineering project, which unites the previously separate worlds of programmable logic controllers (PLC) and information technology (IT). Bosch Rexroth has created a seamless solution based on open standards, software tools, function packages and the Open Core Interface. Traditional PLC-based engineering can now be combined with the enhanced capabilities of high-level programming languages. In addition, innovative functions can be run as native applications on external devices like smartphones. Via these native apps it is possible to read data and write data directly to the controllers. OEMs can differentiate themselves from their competitors by creating customized software functions without the direct support of the respective controller manufacturers.

The Hermes Award was presented by the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Johanna Wanka, at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 7 April. Also nominated for the 2013 Hermes Award: Ebm-papst GmbH & Co. KG, Mulfingen; Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH, Neckartenzlingen; KAESER Kompressoren AG, Coburg; and Schildknecht AG, Murr.

Siemens and Bentley extend collaboration to the process industry

The Siemens Industry Automation Division and Bentley Systems announced that they are stepping up their strategic collaboration, focusing on the process industry sector in fields such as chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas. Both companies are targeting increased interoperability between the Comos engineering software solution from Siemens and Bentley's OpenPlant 2D/3D system for plant design and construction.

One of the aims envisaged by the collaboration is for both companies to work jointly on a system that will allow the capture, exchange, and further utilization of data and information spanning the entire plant lifecycle, from engineering to plant operations across all disciplines. Along with a cohesive connection between Comos and OpenPlant, this collaboration also seeks to afford users access to supplementary disciplines supported by the Bentley portfolio, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), construction simulation, cable and raceway management, conveying technology, steel construction, and laser scanning.

MESA starts "Executive Point-of-View" program

MESA International announced a program aimed at showing the business value of MES/MOM solutions to company executives considering such investments. The "Executive Point-of-View" program will frame these real-time operations solutions in a business context, helping a company's senior leadership understand the value of a potential solution and the guiding principles required for implementation success.

The program further aims to help demystify the space, educating executives in practical business terms about what MES/MOM is and what it can mean for their organization. It will address many of the questions companies ask when considering an investment in real-time operations solutions, including:

  • What is MES/MOM, and what will it do for our business?
  • How is this different from our ERP solution?
  • What are the real benefits? What benefits have others in our industry realized?
  • What are MES/MOM best practices? What should we avoid?

MESA will team with Brock Solutions, a long-time MESA supporter and integrator in the real-time space, to drive the initiative and deliver the program. On behalf of MESA, Brock's experienced consultants will work with a company's senior leadership to understand the business and challenges. The team will develop an initial hypothesis for MES/MOM as a business enabler and map those goals to people, processes, and applicable technologies. The program will clearly articulate if and how MES/MOM can enable the company's business initiatives.

--This content is courtesy of