PlantState Suite 8.0 Adds Operational Risk Analytics, Dashboard for Industrial Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity solution provider PAS is shipping an update to its PlantState Suite software to help workers tackle security in the era of Internet of Things. PlantState Suite 8.0 adds smart and easy-to-use features to monitor plant safety, visualize alarm systems and more.
Cybersecurity solution provider PAS is shipping an update to its PlantState Suite software to help workers tackle security in the era of Internet of Things. PlantState Suite 8.0 adds smart and easy-to-use features to monitor plant safety, visualize alarm systems and handle abnormal situations.
In a recent blog post, David Zahn, general manager of PAS’ cybersecurity business unit, reflected on new cyber-risks faced by industrial systems today:
When you look at the individual risk scenarios in aggregate, it is difficult to argue an approach that ignores applying basic principles of cybersecurity such as inventory, patch, and configuration management for the proprietary control systems (where a built-in cybersecurity approach to 10 to 25 year old systems just is not an option). It is clear that such measures directly address the risks presented by malicious attacks – not to mention ones from engineering mistakes.
The release of PlantState Suite 8.0 is designed to address common operational challenges -- such as optimizing alarm management performance, identifying opportunities to optimize production goals, improving asset reliability, and most importantly, minimizing risk, according to PAS vice president Rick Willett.
With a range of detailed view, the software aims to present operators better and more informed surveillance, while reducing operator fatigue, error and training. Also of note, PlantState Suite 8.0 extends those views with what Willett called “the industry’s first operational risk dashboard,” designed also to be mobile-friendly.
This ‘risk dashboard’ provides plant managers and operators a rich set of operational analytics for alarm system, events, control loops, operational boundaries and even cost tracking. The goal is to deliver improved situation awareness to improve plant safety and profitability, Willett added.
Here are a few details on PlantState Suite 8.0 latest features:
Operational Risk Dashboard: Provides operational clarity and decision support for plant personnel and management teams with:
- Centralized operator KPIs including alarm data, control system performance, safety instrumented system status, operating envelope analysis, and many more.
- Performance measurements against industry standards.
Inbound Opportunity Cost Tracking: Enables prioritization of production opportunities within operational boundaries to improve profitability.
Advanced Event Analytics: Provides control system asset and process event analytics.
PAS PlantState Suite 8.0 Builds on Long List of Functions
PAS PlantState Suite 8.0 is built on wide array of capabilities to thwart cyber risks for industrial systems. Among them:
- Capture and Archive. System independent, capture and archives data from any automation or decision support system: alarms, events, operator interventions, system logs, and parameter changes.
- Analyze and Report. Gain valuable insight into bad actor, most frequent alarms, operator interventions, standing/stale alarms, configuration changes, using standard pre-configured reports based on both PAS and industry best practices.
- Document and Rationalize. Enable a guided workflow for documentation & rationalization sessions to engineering alarms. A Master alarm database captures limits, priorities, severities, causes, consequences, and corrective actions. Access information seamlessly on the operator console.
- Manage Changes. Capture configuration changes in alarm settings real-time, audit changes through notification and/or reporting, and enforce changes by resetting parameters or through alert only notifications.
- Dynamic Alarm Management. Disable nuisance alarms temporarily for a specified time period based on secure user privileges. Generate reports to facilitate corrective actions. Dynamically modify engineered alarms based on current operating state, and take a consistent approach to achieving EEMUA and ISA best practices for real-time alarm management.
- Control Loop Performance Management. Analyze both regulatory and advanced control loops to identify process interactions and variability, hardware issues, or poor tuning. Continuously monitor and prioritize loops based on greatest benefit.
- Boundary Management. Provide a central repository for operational boundary limits. Dynamically monitor constraints in real-time for exceedance notifications.
Worldwide chemical firm BASF has been a PlantState Suite user for 10 years. Chris Witte, a senior vice president and site manager at BASF, noted he has seen demonstrable improvement in plant safety and profitability, and looks forward to the new features.
“PlantState Suite gives us invaluable operational insight,” he said in a statement. “We are excited to see that insight extended further with a new dashboard incorporating and analyzing multiple data sources within a single application – helping further reduce operational risk in the plant.”
PAS solutions are installed in more than 1,100 industrial facilities in 70 countries, Willett said. The company also provides responsive maintenance and support services. The release of PlantState Suite 8.0, he added, addresses common operational challenges such as optimizing alarm management performance, identifying opportunities to optimize production goals, improving asset reliability, and most importantly, minimizing risk.