More than 600 engineers, managers and others descended upon the Hilton Americas Conference Center in Houston Sept. 21-24 for the first annual Invensys Operations Management (IOM) Client Conference. This one was both the continuation of users conferences held for years under other names and also the inauguration conference of the entirely new division of Invensys plc, the London-based conglomerate.
The new division—IOM (www.iom.invensys.com), based in Plano, Texas—combines Invensys Process Systems (Avantis, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor and Triconex), Eurotherm and Wonderware. New IOM Chief Executive Officer Sudipta Bhattacharya inherited the task of forging a new company from all of these parts. The company focuses on two customer segments—continuous process industries and hybrid industries. The former includes oil and gas, chemicals, and hydrocarbon processing. Companies comprising hybrid industries would be found in food and beverage, consumer packaged goods and similar sectors.
Given some of the uncertainty of past company leadership as well as the current economy, the atmosphere of the conference was charged with energy and sessions were packed. Employees who spoke with Automation World were uniformly enthused with their new roles and outlook.
Several of the new management team were visible during the event. Perhaps most visible was Steve Blair, president of Invensys Operations Management, North America, and responsible for all direct and indirect sales, including the Strategic Sales Centers, regional marketing communications, engineering delivery, project and consulting services and Enterprise Client Executives and Client Executives within his region.
Corporate vice presidents attending in their new roles were Mark Davidson and Rashesh Mody.
Davidson is the vice president of Global Marketing, responsible for coordinating the division’s outbound marketing activities, including promotional activities for the division and its offerings. In this role, he will develop, manage and coordinate the company’s global marketing teams to ensure effective, consistent marketing-to-sales programs and establish best practices. He also oversees global customer and partner events, directs all customer-facing Web sites and manages all marketing support systems and tools to ensure that the division maintains appropriate contact with its clients and prospects.
Mody is the vice president of Portfolio and Strategy. In this role, he is responsible for product management, including road maps, for control and safety applications, platform applications and other direct and indirect industry solutions and products. He also oversees ecosystem partner selection, strategic and competitive intelligence and other inbound marketing activities.
Invensys used the conference as an opportunity to announce several new products.
EyeSim virtual reality immersive training solution, claimed to be the first industrial virtual reality training solution based on first-principle simulation and augmented reality, enables engineers and operators to see and safely interact virtually with the plant and the processes they control.
It combines virtual-reality technologies with high-fidelity process and control simulation, computer-based maintenance and documentation management and other applications to provide a highly realistic and safe training environment for improving operating efficiency and skills. Simulations are driven by the company’s Dynsim high-fidelity process simulator, FSIM Plus software, I/A Series control system emulation and other compatible programs.
As part of the company’s new I/A Series 8.5 suite of offerings, IOM is also touting a cyber-security solution that includes control system enhancements and consulting services that support compliance requirements of major new cyber-security standards, such as those put forth by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is adopting NERC standards CIP-001 through CIP-009, compelling companies to become NERC-compliant by the year 2010. This means having to learn the requirements, design and implement the policies and procedures and, in some cases, install additional equipment.
Among the I/A Series technology features that support cyber-security protection and compliance are the ability to create stronger passwords; ability to reduce lock-down security vulnerability; and strengthening workstation hardware to remove unused programs, services and ports. Both of the primary control processors used in I/A Series systems, for example, have received Level 1 Achilles Certification from Wurldtech Security Technologies (www.wurldtech.com), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a provider of cyber-security testing and certification for critical infrastructure industries.
New features of its I/A Series distributed control system (DCS) enable easier and faster control in the field (CIF). Invensys passed the requirements of the Fieldbus Foundation’s Host Interoperability Support Test in August, and has implemented many engineering and performance innovations beyond those requirements to help clients receive maximum benefit from CIF deployment, the company says.
The Invensys Fieldbus implementation is a high-availability platform solution offering said to offer exceptional fault tolerance, easy configuration and superior device management. It supports the use of standard, enhanced and custom Fieldbus block types to make full use of the algorithm capabilities provided by device vendors. Configuring control algorithms directly into field devices improves loop performance by eliminating transport time in data exchange between field devices and the host control system.
“Our Avantis.PRO 5.0 software is a comprehensive enterprise asset management (EAM) solution that allows our clients to organize, track and understand asset utilization, performance and availability, as well as to manage maintenance activity and costs over time,” said Kim Custeau, IOM director of product marketing. “The updated solution enables role-based, online collaboration and features Microsoft Click-Once Technology and other enhancements that will help clients manage the complexities of their business, improve their asset reliability and reduce their overall operating costs.”
Invensys Operations Management
To hear Gary Mintchell’s podcast interview with IOM vice presidents Mark Davidson and Rashesh Mody about the reorganization, please visit www.automationworld.com/podcast-6035.