Automation User Conference

Yokogawa User Conference in Berlin: A Tradition of Innovation

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Team Up for Future Growth

Another objective is to encourage growth through strategic partnerships: Therefor, van den Berg announced a deal with Norwegian company Gas Secure for the distribution of gas detectors based on the wireless standard ISA100. This partnership will enable Yokogawa to extend its range of products and wireless solutions for field devices and to offer its customers greater support for applications in healthcare, security and environmental protection. In return, the Norwegians will gain access to Yokogawa’s global sales and after-sales service network. Yokogawa has developed a series of technologies and devices conforming to the ISA100 wireless standard, such as wireless adapters, which are used to connect conventional wired units to wireless networks that could complement Gas Secure’s portfolio nicely.

Consumerization as a Trend

Yokogawa has identified “consumerization” as a major trend in the process industry: Since the rise of the internet, products from the consumer sector like mobile devices have been entering the industrial world. Keen to keep up with the development, the company initiated application tests of an iMaintain tablet together with CF Carbons, a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel, at a site in Germany.

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The Android-based iMaintain tablet can be linked to Yokogawa’s process control system to provide the maintenance staff on site with additional information (like trend graphs, alarms, process data, operating instructions, etc.) — information, which they would otherwise have to get from colleagues in the control room or which would only be accessible through interfaces.

The issue of IT security that comes with mobile devices and wireless technology was the subject of several presentations by Wurldtech, Shell and Cisco. The most significant realization, one which should come as no surprise, is that clear rules are needed in connection with IT security, but that any such rules are all too often flouted in practice. Many users were repeatedly found to disregard basic rules, often claiming to have carried out a backup and restore process when asked, even though this was not true. This is no way to ensure security, the sobering verdict of one Wurldtech speaker concluded.

Shell manager Tyler Williams and Greg Carter of Cisco then took to the floor for a joint presentation, explaining the approach they are taking at Shell based on Secure Ops, developed by Yokogawa and Cisco. Adopting the approach developed in the cooperation, Shell has plans to set its own standards in future involving all Shell suppliers. Even if Yokogawa and Cisco were to manage the system, other process automation specialists would not be excluded.

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