Practical Tips for System Security

Emerson’s Nick JanouskovecEmerson’s Nick Janouskovec shared his practical tips for attaining and managing Ovation system security at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference. With so many different standards, regulations, technologies and approaches to cybersecurity, it can be challenging to figure out what you really need.

Developing a security program that truly secures your control system, meets your compliance obligations and doesn’t add tremendous burden to your operations team can be quite a task. Nick’s objective for this session is to provide system owners and users with practical approaches for truly securing systems through simple yet effective techniques – many already a part of the Ovation system.

Nick opened explaining that an allowed function in the Ovation system requires point security group, computer security and user security settings.

From an Ovation point security standpoint, in Developer Studio there are 16 point groups. They are assigned to the point at the time of the build. Control Builder is the master of the point security for algorithms. If an operator is not assigned to a particular point through point security, they cannot operate that point. Continue Reading

Electronic Turbine Overspeed Protection

At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Sam Onuska and Greg Lieb presented improvements in advanced overspeed protection and online, real time testing of overspeed systems.

Greg opened describing where overspeed protection systems can be applied including steam turbines, gas turbines, boiler feed pump turbines (BFPTs) and hydro turbines. These systems measure the shaft rotational speed and decide & take action based on overspeed conditions by providing a method to reduce rotational velocity.

Here’s a view of a typical mechanical overspeed system:

Mechanical Turbine Overspeed Protection

During an upgrade the trip lever and all associated linkages, hydraulic trip valve, pressure switches and tubing associated with the mechanical overspeed trip, reset and test are removed. Typically, the rotor-mounted equipment remains due to rotor balance considerations and costs versus benefits of removal. Continue Reading

Ovation Compact Controller

Emerson's Tom SnowdonEmerson’s Tom Snowdon provided a closer look at the Ovation Compact Controller (OCC100) with third party I/O at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference.

The OCC100 extends the Ovation platform to small-scale and highly-distributed applications that need secure, reliable and direct control close the field devices or plant equipment. Typical applications may include small hydro, PLC replacements, wind, solar, microgrids, and equipment skids.

As a standalone controller it connects with an Ovation remote station, Ovation I/O and third-party I/O. As part of a connected system it is another controller on the network.

Ovation Compact ControllerI/O types supported include analog, digital, sequence-of-events in 8-, 16- and 32-channel I/O modules. Specialty I/O includes the Ovation Machinery Health Monitor module, Ovation generator excitation module, turbine I/O—servo, valve positioner and speed modules, and digital communication busses—Foundation fieldbus, Profibus DP V0/V1 and DeviceNet. Continue Reading

Integrated Machinery Health Monitoring

Emerson's Jason KingAt the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Jason King and John Reidelbach provided an update on Ovation Machinery Health Monitor and a case study of its application.

Jason opened describing some of the challenges of traditional machinery protection systems. Plants today have more operational issues due to cycling stresses, loss of expertise, and maintenance issues from growing reactive work practices.

It’s harder to find the time to collect and analyze the data from these traditional systems or route-based manual vibration data collection. Legacy systems also tend to provide protection and not the diagnostics to detect and avoid impending problems.

The Ovation Machinery Health Monitor solution is integrated into the Ovation distributed control system. A module supports 8 channels and these channels are software configurable for sensor types, such as an accelerometer. These channels are compatible with existing field sensors. Continue Reading

Power and Water Cybersecurity Suite Modules

At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, Emerson’s Jose Pablo Bonilla and Levi Crosier described the different components of the Power and Water Cybersecurity Suite (PWCS). This presentation included providing users with guidance for configuring their systems, identifying custom reports & dashboards along with establishing a cadence for performing routine security tasks effectively & efficiently. Their focus included:

  • Use of PWCS Dashboard for reporting purposes
  • Antivirus (reporting, definition updates)
  • Application control (define whitelist)
  • Configuration management (AD details)
  • Device control (disabling USB/DVD drives)
  • Patch management (accessing & installing appropriate patches/feature packs)
  • System Backup & Recovery (best practices, use of tools)

Levi opened highlighting the modularity of PWCS: Continue Reading