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In the real world, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) are in charge of the company’s wealth-creating processes; it’s the heaviest of responsibilities and they do it extremely well. So why not use these same principles everywhere in the company?… (more)


Most manufacturing and mining operations could not continue without SCADA systems that are usually responsible for the most complex and sensitive parts of their production processes. While on-line hacking is always a threat (viz. the Stuxnet virus of 2010), in-house threats are also ever-present as is the operation of systems by unqualified or unauthorised personnel. Lonmin has taken steps to mitigate these risks… (more)

Circuit-breaker manufacturers have been driven to implement dialogue interfaces for bus communication with control devices such as PLC, PC or SCADA due to the ever growing use of automation and supervision systems for industrial processes… (more)

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have been around for nearly 50 years, and they are arguably two of the most widely used products in industrial automation.
The functionalities of both PLCs and SCADA have evolved over the years with the changing needs of industry and technological advancements… (more)

Recently there have been a lot of articles on the new reality of cyberwars in cyberspace published on the Internet and in the mass media, some of which are quite inflammatory. A matter of concern is that complex systems are also exposed to virus attacks and first of all  are  automatic systems operating  whole plants and metropolitan infrastructure, including public water supply and power supply systems, . Especially vulnerable are future smart grids… (more)

NamPower is the national power utility in Namibia with a transmission network that spans the entire country (approximately half the size of the state of Alaska). Namibia is a country rich in natural resources and NamPower has recently invested in strengthening its transmission network by building a 980 km, 300 MW, 350 kV HVDC interconnecting link to directly connect potential suppliers in the north with the Namibian grid… (more)

As the South African Council for Automation and Control celebrates its 50th year of existence, preparations for the 2014 IFAC World Congress in Cape Town are proceeding well… (more)

With the growing requirements for safety and uptime in today’s utility, industrial, military and intelligent traffic solutions (ITS) sites and solutions, remote monitoring and recording of events has become critical… (more)

The author asks what is being done to protect industrial control systems and the UK’s critical infrastructure. This should provide an alert to South African companies, as to the possible consequences of malicious hacking into control systems… (more)

From the shop floor up, there seems to be a level in companies where engineering principles and logic stop and an undefined “something” takes over and remains with the company all the way to the boardroom. The result is that one set of rules applies to creating wealth while another applies to managing it… (more)

Headsets which read neural activity are nothing new, but a recent innovation makes it possible for their use in operating industrial plants… (more)

When it comes to SCADA and PLC systems it is interesting to note the extensive applications in industry. During my recent discussion with Keith Gross of Ana-Digi Systems, I learned about the use of PLC and SCADA on two South African fishing trawlers… (more)

Industrial plants are increasingly becoming automated, leading to shortages of staff skilled in the management of automation and associated control software. With these systems becoming more complicated, the control software is constantly being blamed for plants tripping and outages… (more)

Power utility companies need to accurately measure the power produced and used by their power stations on a 24/7 basis. The energy metering and data acquisition system (Emdas) has been a standard for Eskom over the past 15 years, and was recently redeveloped using the latest technology available… (more)

Threats posed to organisations by cyber crimes have increased faster than potential victims – or cyber security professionals – can cope with them, placing targetted organisations at significant risk. And this is not simply a problem faced in other countries – cyber crime is alive and kicking here in South Africa…. (more)

Optin has recently done some process control projects where very focused and precise graphical information proved to be vital to the proper running of a new and advanced process plant. The graphics required are not the typical status, graphs or number trends that require interpretation by the operator as to what is happening… (more)

A constant supply of  natural gas to power stations and marketing networks is maintained through integrated production, transportation and distribution. The authors discuss how SCADA systems improve liquefied natural gas operations and management of a plant in China… (more)

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) have been with us for some time but many people have unanswered questions as to what they actually do, what the difference is between them and what they have to offer specific industries. We intend to answer these key questions… (more)

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