Oil & Gas Security
Integrated security manufacturer TDSi is proud to announce it will be showcasing its range of integrated access control solutions at Intersec in Dubai, 16th-18th January 2022. Joining TDSi on Stand SA-F37 in the Saeed Arena will be its VITAPROTECH sister company, SORHEA, which will also be showing its innovative perimeter intrusion detection solutions. Delivering impressive cybersecurity John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi commented, “We are very excited to be appearing back at Inter...
Recent cyber-attacks have disabled and even shut down physical assets. Robust foundational security and training staff, able to recognize an attack can help mitigate the threat, as ABB’s Rob Putman explains. Edge devices and data analytics As cyber security specialists, we must navigate an ever-changing threat landscape, one that is made even more complex by the increased interconnectivity between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT), as companies look to leverage...
The COVID-19 pandemic is only accelerating the expansion of Automation, Robotics, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and changing how people live their daily lives. This expansion leads the way with technologies that are developed to solve problems, improve operations, streamline processes and assist people, to focus on learning new skills, creativity, and imagination. Transformation of the physical security industry One of the latest industries to be permanently transform...
Hikvision, a globally renowned company in delivering high-performance professional security solutions with tremendous value, offers an intelligent radar PTZ camera that combines advanced radar detection and a 4 MP high-resolution network speed dome, with long-range zoom capabilities. Hikvision's Radar PTZ camera The Hikvision iDS-2SR8141IXS-AB Radar PTZ Camera operates effectively 24/7, in virtually any weather or lighting condition, with the ability to detect intrusion and line-crossing event...
Security contractors can no longer afford to simply complete a project and move on to the next job without creating recurring service revenues and an ongoing commitment to the customer. iDter, which stands for intelligent and immediate deterrence of crime, recently launched a complete commercial security solution and partnership program with the ability to generate RMR streams through its unique technology footprint. A fully integrated and automated security solution, iDter is proven to foil 98...
Power management company Eaton announces the launch of a pioneering range of GRP cameras for use in hazardous area communications. Corrosion-free and much lighter in weight than their metal counterparts, the new GRP cameras offer end-users significant improvements in a lifetime performance, as well as reduced transportation, operating and maintenance costs. Eaton GRP cameras are ideally suited to remote monitoring of process and security activities in harsh environmental conditions or explosive...
HID Global, a provider of trusted identity solutions, announces that it has acquired Omni-ID, a manufacturer of RFID tags and industrial IoT hardware devices for passive and active tagging, tracking, monitoring, and alerting applications. The acquisition extends HID’s market leadership in RFID technology and strengthens its presence in India and China. “I am very pleased to welcome Omni-ID into the ASSA ABLOY Group and HID,” said Björn Lidefelt, EVP and Head of HID Global. Strategic technological addition “Omni-ID is a strategic technological addition to HID and reinforces our current RFID and IoT offering. Expanding our sales and manufacturing footprint in India and in China with Omni-ID will further enhance HID’s ability to serve customers locally, while extending our industrial IoT technology into emerging markets.” Omni-ID brings passive UHF temperature sensing to the HID identification technologies portfolio Omni-ID provides passive, rugged long-range RAIN RFID ultra-high frequency (UHF) tags and labels in several form factors for an array of identification requirements. The company focuses on organizations in the industrial, oil & gas, transportation, and other markets seeking rugged UHF RFID solutions for use in challenging environmental conditions (high heat, wind, dirt, explosive, and other difficult scenarios). Additionally, Omni-ID brings passive UHF temperature sensing to the HID identification technologies portfolio and fortifies HID’s deep expertise and capabilities in custom RFID design and personalization. Active identification devices Active tags and solutions from Omni-ID are implemented with embedded technologies and protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), LoRaWAN, GPS, Quuppa, and Wirepas, which complement the HID Location Services offerings. “The acquisition of Omni-ID supports HID’s Identification Technologies business strategy to power trusted identities by optimizing our portfolio with a broader range of value-added RAIN RFID UHF components, active identification devices, and more ways to deliver highly customized, feature-rich solutions to customers as a leading component supplier for RFID use cases and IoT applications,” said Marc Bielmann, SVP and Head of Identification Technologies with HID Global. With a history of innovation in RAIN RFID solutions, Omni-ID adds engineers and key staff with over 15 years of RFID expertise to HID’s team of industry veterans. Omni-ID was founded in 2007 and is based in Rochester, New York, with approximately 170 employees worldwide. It is now a Business Unit within HID’s Identification Technologies Business Area, which is led by Marc Bielmann.
Airspace security technology solutions provider, Dedrone has been awarded certification from the U.K. Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for its counter-drone technology platform, DedroneTracker for the second time, following Dedrone’s successful certification in 2019. DedroneTracker DedroneTracker detects, identifies, and locates drones by using multi-sensor capability combining radio frequency, radar, and optical sensors. The CPNI counter-drone standard enables organizations deemed to be of critical national importance, including refineries, data centers, airports, and ports, to adopt drone detection technology with the assurance that it has been tested rigorously. Dedrone’s continued participation and certification with CPNI reflects Dedrone’s efficacy and performance in detecting, tracking, and identifying different drone types for its customers. Dedrone technology Dedrone technology was evaluated to detect drones within a specific launch time Dedrone technology was evaluated to detect drones within a specific launch time, consistent and reliable tracking, timely alerts, and notifications, with DedroneTracker software showing reliable information on drone heights, speeds, and ranges. “Dedrone is pleased to report that DedroneTracker platform has successfully met CPNI’s rigorous testing standards for the second time in row,” shares Amit Samani, Vice President of Enterprise Sales, Americas & UK at Dedrone. Standard for global counter-drone technology testing He adds, “The challenge of unwanted drones at critical infrastructure sites is complex and unique, and will continually evolve as more drones come to market and as drone regulations and laws advance.” Amit Samani further stated, “CPNI has set the standard for global counter-drone technology testing, and any organization protecting against drone threats can take comfort in knowing that Dedrone’s technology has successfully been evaluated, tested, and proven to deliver smart airspace security.” Software and radio frequency sensors DedroneTracker 4.5 automatically synthesizes sensor data and provides immediate alerts of unauthorized drone activity, enabling security providers to safeguard their premises. Dedrone’s software and radio frequency sensors provide detection, identification, and drone flight paths. Additionally, third-party sensors may be added to the Dedrone system, including Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras and radar systems, providing additional layers of drone information, enabling the user to visually verify the drone and its payload.
Sepura launches SmartChat, a secure operational messaging solution that joins smartphone, tablet, and office-based staff with field officers equipped with TETRA terminals. SmartChat enables mission critical messages to be shared between users on a secure TETRA platform, enabling all members of the operational team to be kept informed and aware of developing intelligence. Crucially, SmartChat enables TETRA radio users to see and share text and image-based communications. It can be extended to multiple web browsers and smart devices with either iOS or Android-based operating systems, meaning data is shared across an entire operational team, not just those with a particular device. Supporting voice communications Using chat-based messaging to support voice communications means it is easier to share complex or hard to remember information such as an address or a specific location, a car registration, or a maintenance part. Messages are stored on the device and available for reference when required. Similarly, images can be shared and used for reference during operations; for instance, the image of a missing person sent to rescue teams; an image of a burst water pipe sent to maintenance teams, or an image of a missing part sent to the purchasing team to allow a repair to be completed. By using the secure TETRA network, SmartChat ensures crucial information is received by users even when the broadband coverage is poor – this is frequently the case in large buildings, underground locations, or remote spots. Unique applications environment This means additional resources can quickly be added to an operational team User groups can be quickly expanded to include any connected device with the SmartChat application downloaded. This means additional resources can quickly be added to an operational team, with a history of conversation to bring them up to speed. This feature supports operational teams such as maintenance teams in utilities or oil and gas plants when officers are added to an operation, or for regular operations ahead of a shift change. The application is the latest in Sepura’s portfolio of applications available via AppSPACE, a unique applications environment available on Sepura’s SC Series mobile and hand portable radios. Mission critical users Jon Cossins, Product Manager at Sepura said: “SmartChat was designed to improve overall situational awareness for mission critical users. For these users, their next action is often dependent on the information they have to hand. By sharing data as widely as possible, in a simple user interface, the application seamlessly joins smartphone, control room and TETRA radio users. This improves operational efficiency and supports staff safety.” Peter Hudson, Chief Technology Officer at Sepura added: “We are seeing an increase in the number of smartphone users in the commercial and mission critical environment, but these users are unable to share information with front line users of TETRA radios. This is as relevant in critical national infrastructure such as transport and utilities as it is in public safety. SmartChat is a powerful solution to support these organizations; using the benefits of a secure TETRA platform and ensuring that voice channels are kept free for emergency communications.”
Humley, a UK-based innovative provider of Conversational AI Assistants for enterprise has announced its induction to Blue Prism’s Technology Alliance Program (TAP). The TAP program embodies Blue Prism’s commitment to its customers and organizations through providing innovative partner solutions which enable true digital transformation. The program includes several of the world’s leading technology vendors; creating a true enterprise-scale automation architecture with world-class solutions for enterprise cloud, virtualization, AI, machine learning, OCR, process mining, advanced data analytics, and more. End-to-end process automation The introduction of Humley’s solution to the program enables organizations to leverage the transformational benefits of Blue Prism’s digital workforce in combination with Conversational AI to achieve end-to-end process automation. Delivering significant efficiencies and improved customer, employee, and supplier experiences. Humley provides a platform for rapidly deploying conversational interfaces for a wide variety of industries and functions such as sales and services, HR, finance, and IT with enterprise businesses. Enhancing user experiences and creating operational efficiency through the provision of 24/7 AI-powered speech and text-based assistants. AI technology Automates the repetitive and manual tasks involved with processing customer, supplier & employee requests Humley orchestrates best-of-breed AI technology, including Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) together in combination with integrations to Blue Prism’s digital workers to automate the repetitive and manual tasks involved with processing customer, supplier, and employee requests and communications. Delivering significant productivity and satisfaction improvements through enabling people to focus on higher-value and more rewarding tasks. Employee onboarding assistant An example of the powerful combination of Blue Prism’s digital workers and Humley’s Conversational AI Assistants can be found in the recent deployment of an employee onboarding assistant. The assistant generates significant efficiencies for HR teams and improves employee experiences through automating the process of capturing new starter information. Blue Prism and Humley’s solution eliminates the need for multiple paper forms, emails, and data entry – generating an average of 30% time saving for HR teams, freeing them to not only focus more time on the people over processes but also to concentrate on more strategic tasks, improving compliance and employee satisfaction. Drag and drop AI The assistant combines a pre-configured integration with Blue Prism’s digital workforce and pre-built employee onboarding experiences to guide and capture new starter information within a natural conversation. The solution is simple to use and quick to deploy, with no coding or technical knowledge required, and provides enterprises with easy access to ‘drag and drop’ AI for instant connection to the employee onboarding assistant – all while building a digital worker’s workflow within Blue Prism. This means organizations can start delivering employee experience and efficiencies to their processes within hours not weeks. Combining two technologies The increase in user adoption throughout an organization enables automation and RPA projects to scale "Humley’s partnership with Blue Prism supercharges the capabilities of intelligent automation through enabling organizations to connect back and front office processes. Utilizing natural conversations with employees and customers to not just provide support and information, but also actionability through triggering RPA processes." "The combination of the two technologies means that organizations can deliver even greater efficiencies and ensure project success by enabling users to interact with RPA in a language they understand. This increases user adoption throughout an organization and enables automation and RPA projects to scale more effectively across a business and its processes," said Adam Harrold, CEO, Humley. Creating automations "Our partner collaborations produce industry-leading solutions that enable organizations to drive better and more strategic digital transformation. We’re delighted to welcome Humley into our Technology Alliance Program. Being able to share innovative technologies like Humley’s conversational AI means our customers can create truly great automations while significantly reducing development time," said Linda Dotts, Chief Partner Officer, Blue Prism.
FLIR recently celebrated the grand opening of FLIR Systems Middle East (FSME), a newly combined service and support center based in Dubai. Located next to Al Maktoum International Airport, the new 33,000+ square foot (3,110 square meters) facility will house state-of-the-art service and repair capabilities. The building features two service labs designed to meet the unique needs of the company’s Industrial and Defense Technologies businesses and products. FLIR customer experience It will be the new home to FLIR employees working in the United Arab Emirates – a group comprising skilled technicians, engineers, marketing and business development staff, and more. “During my recent travels to the UAE, I visited our facilities and met with teams in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” says FLIR President and CEO Jim Cannon. “I was impressed by their collaboration, as well as their technology innovation and a deep focus on the customer experience." "With this large new space, FLIR now presents a single face to our industrial and defense customers in an important part of the world where the business is growing.” Lean management practices The new facility moves us closer to customers, trims repair turnaround time, and allows us to maximise efficiency" FLIR has maintained a service and sales capability in the UAE for more than 13 years. After Cannon’s visit, the company decided to create additional workspace to sustain growth and better support customers in the region. “The new facility moves us closer to customers, trims repair turnaround time, and allows us to maximize efficiency,” says Mike Bowling, Regional Director for Global Customer Support and Facilities Manager of FLIR Systems Middle East. “We employed lean management practices, value stream mapping, and kaizen events to determine how best to optimize the building’s design and service center layouts to support current and future operations.” Latest technological facility The FSME Sensor Lab will service a wide range of FLIR thermal and visual imaging sensors for the defense market, such as the Star SAFIRE® 380-HDc. Lab techs also can service 1/2unmanned systems like the FLIR SkyRanger® R70 UAS Utilizing the latest in advanced test and alignment equipment, company technicians can perform product warranties, repairs, and calibrations. Other capabilities include optical alignments and laser testing – all with shortened turnaround times. Video management software Lab techs also can service 1/2unmanned systems like the FLIR SkyRanger® R70 UAS and Black Hornet™ nano-drone. FSME’s other dedicated lab will provide industrial users with similar services – product warranty, calibration, and repair – and similar benefits. FLIR’s professional security and instruments products range from thermal and visible cameras, radars, and optical gas imaging sensors to video management software and smart video analytics. Markets include oil and gas, universities, and civil defense research and development. Meeting the needs When needed, we also can collect and ship products to other FLIR service centres around the world" Each service center has access to its secure warehouse storage area. Also, the facility’s top floor houses a nearly 1,200 sq. ft. (110 sq. meters) training room that can accommodate up to 50 guests and be used for interactive training and demonstrations. “We can facilitate repairs on many of our Industrial and Defense Technologies products by conducting on-site evaluations and diagnostics, and we can use the training room to educate customer support staff,” Bowling explains. “When needed, we also can collect and ship products to other FLIR service centers around the world, including in Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.” “This new facility is scalable, expandable, and will support our needs for the next decade,” Bowling adds. “It’s a tremendous asset that reaffirms our commitment to delivering superior service to customers across the Middle East.”
Dahua Technology, a front-runner video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, is proud to announce that the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center is now available to its global customers. By demonstrating its latest technologies, products, and solutions through an online virtual showroom, the center can support customers in designing excellent security systems. Due to the drastic impact of COVID-19, people are having difficulties in gaining access and experiencing the development of products and technologies in their field of interest while keeping themselves safe and healthy at the same time. AIoT future Browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office As an innovation-driven company, Dahua Technology stands against the difficulties and challenges brought by the unprecedented pandemic by fully embracing digital transformation. The company launched the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center in order to drive innovation to an AIoT future. No matter where one is, one can simply browse the most up-to-date security technologies, products and solutions from the comfort and safety of ones home or office, and get resources and knowledge that can help one with ones next security project. Benefits that the center offers Browse the latest technology wherever one are 24/7 Broad range of products and vertical industry solutions on display 360-degree eye-catching product showcases available in VR Download product datasheets, images and other information directly to ones device Additional features With the Dahua Global Virtual Innovation Center, one can learn about the up-to-date products and solutions of Dahua Technology in an economical and safe manner. Moreover, one can also simply click a button to mark the products that interest one as favorite, as well as send emails to request for more information. With its mission of “Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living”, Dahua Technology will continue to focus on “Innovation, Quality, and Service” to serve its partners and customers around the world.
It has long been recognized that no one is safe from cyber-attacks, but some sectors face a much higher level of threat than others. Critical infrastructure sectors such as utilities, energy and industrial manufacturing are some of those that face an intense level of interest from cyber criminals and nation-state groups across the globe. The impacts of a successful attack can have detrimental consequences, for both the cyber and physical side of the business, in terms of business disruption, economic dips and other real-life consequences. Compromise of ICS and SCADA systems One of the greatest risks to these critical infrastructure sectors is the compromise of ICS and SCADA systems inside operational technology environments (OT environments). Attackers can move laterally from IT networks to OT environments, with the potential to cause even greater damage or disruption. But even those attackers, who solely focus on compromising IT environments, are still able to trigger major disruption, by disabling day-to-day processes that are involved in the production and roll-out of solutions and services. Rise in cyber-attacks on utility and energy sector Recent events have shown that attacks on the utility and energy sector are ramping up Recent events have shown that attacks on the utility and energy sector are ramping up. The attack on the US Colonial Pipeline, for example, was one of the most high-profile breaches in the industry’s history, particularly when considering the secondary, physical consequences. The decision to shut down the Colonial Pipeline, while considered necessary, triggered a wave of disruption, leading to gasoline shortages and inflated costs. This is just one example of the serious effects that a successful cyber breach can have on an organization. Ransomware-based attacks Often financially motivated, one of the most common methods that cyber criminals increasingly opt for is ransomware-based attacks, as they are an effective way of blackmailing organizations into handing over valuable credentials or completing financial transactions. Once armed with the company credentials, threat actors can then post a sale of access to compromised networks on underground criminal forums. Armed with stolen credentials and therefore, access to the network, adversaries can then move laterally across the IT systems in OT environments. The ability to travel laterally is a sign of poor network segmentation on the business side between IT and OT networks. Malicious links in phishing emails If files are encrypted by criminals within both environments, businesses are faced with double the amount of disruption. This can lead to companies having to shut down operations, even if just as a precaution, just like in the case of the Colonial Pipeline. Malicious links included in phishing emails are another simple and highly effective method used by criminals to compromise company networks. While there are many security solutions that defend against common phishing attempts, criminal activity is becoming far more advanced, to the point where they are able to bypass standard security systems and gain access to the most sensitive of files. Why critical infrastructure is targeted Common forms of attack involve theft of personally identifiable information (PII) of customers and employees Businesses within the utilities and energy sectors often hold data deemed highly valuable by threat actors, including both basic criminal gangs and advanced nation-state operatives. Common forms of attack involve theft of personally identifiable information (PII) of customers and employees, either for further exploitation or to sell on the dark web. However, motivations can develop far beyond the usual common criminal. Nation-states have also taken great interest in these industries to steal competitive intelligence, in order to gain market advantages over foreign competitors. States including Russia, Iran and China, have all been suspected of targeting competitor countries in the critical infrastructure markets. Cyber threats posed by nation-states Aside from gaining a competitive edge, nations have also been known to engage in these cyber battles as forms of retaliation for previous attacks, or to get one-over on rivals. For example, it’s been recognized that motivations behind Iranian actions on the energy sector are due to the value of oil and gas in being central to the Iranian economy, and international efforts against their nuclear program. Other Iranian actors have focused their efforts on water infrastructures and attempted to compromise chlorine levels in Israeli water supplies back in 2020. The chlorine levels would have been reset to toxic levels, which could have had devastating physical consequences. On the other hand, motivations in China have revolved around competitive intelligence and intellectual property for cyber espionage. The data is subsequently used to advance economic growth in different industries. Physical and digital disruptions Due to the nature of these industries, in addition to companies facing business disruption and loss of customer trust, consequences could span beyond the digital side of the business. As outlined above, these attacks on utilities and other industrial organizations can result in physical damage, as well as digital disruption. Unlike other markets, utilities are directly involved in people’s lives, and any attack on a company will impact individuals through a domino effect. The incident with an Iranian actor attempting to sabotage chlorine levels in an Israeli water supply is a prime example of this. While the attack was against the water provider itself, the consequences could have been harmful to the wider population, who rely on the water supply. Again, the Colonial Pipeline attack had consequences that expanded beyond the targeted company. Inflated prices and fuel shortages impacted all customers at the end of the supply chain. Attacks on any critical infrastructure could cause both short and long-term physical impacts, including blackouts, disrupted energy supply, and even physical harm to individuals. Need for a multi-layered defense solution The best way to deal with these forms of cyber-attacks is to bring everything right back to basics The best way to deal with these forms of cyber-attacks is to bring everything right back to basics. In most cases, criminals carry out their attacks by first gaining access to IT networks through the usual means of phishing emails and malicious links. Organizations should, therefore, ensure they have a multi-layered defense solution implemented, including advanced email security. There are a number of features that these solutions should deploy, including spam filters to prevent malicious emails from actually making it to the inbox. Sandbox analysis is also critical for scrutinizing email attachments, especially for external senders and emails containing suspicious file formats. These solutions should feature rules that block the execution of macros in Microsoft Office attachments to emails from senders outside the organization. Enhancing cyber security with encryption and authentication Additional features to help prevent lateral movement through the network are also worth considering. Demilitarized zones (DMZs) are also often used to divide IT and OT networks, as part of segmentation efforts and have proven to be highly effective. Further solutions such as encryption and authentication requirements will help restrict adversaries’ access to different areas of the network, should they be successful in breaching the defense line. Everyone should be involved in maintaining an organization’s line of defense. Education and training are vital, as employers can arm workers with the tools to spot and remove malicious emails, should any make it through the line of defense. Educating employees on enterprise security Human workers are often considered the weak point in a company’s cyber security, often due to lack of understanding of the risks. Keeping employees informed and educated will prove beneficial to the security of an organization in the long run.
The explosion of artificial intelligence used to enhance business processes, propel innovative products, and further automation has touched essentially every industry to date. The security sector, notable for its maturity and complexity, is not exempt from the AI tidal wave. In fact, quite the opposite, the security sector and more specifically the domain of video surveillance have seen an emergence of AI-powered solutions both hardware and software. The widespread adoption of IP cameras, cloud computing capacities, and smart sensors have paved the way for new AI products and solutions to function at scale. AI-powered video analytics One application of artificial intelligence for the video surveillance sector is the use of video analytic solutions to analyze video streams in order to extract pre-determined objects, behaviors, or situations. To give some examples, AI video analytics can be used to monitor perimeter crossing for border control, detect fevers or masks in airports or public spaces, arms detection in casinos, or be used to filter out alarms triggered by benign movements versus real intrusions. This application of artificial intelligence leans on its specific branch, machine learning, which uses a complex series of AI models to analyze the content of the video flow, autonomously identifying and classifying the videos according to predefined rules. Adopting technology AI video analytics yields promising benefits, a reduction in operational costs, and an increase in safety, and a decrease in risk When AI video analytics are used effectively, they yield very promising benefits. A jump in video flow analysis from an average of 10% by humans to 100%, a reduction in operational costs, and an increase in safety, and a decrease in risk. The use of AI video analytics for surveillance sounds simple enough, however, there are several perceived factors inhibiting security organizations from adopting the technology. Adopting AI into your video surveillance operation The security industry is capital intensive, complex in its IT structure, and diverse in situational business needs. Therefore, resulting in a perception of high effort, time, and costs required to successfully integrate AI into your video surveillance operation. However, these effort constraints can be debunked due to the flexibility of video analytic solutions. Three areas that deter security organizations from adopting AI Existing capital A surveillance operation contains a network of cameras that film with a range of video qualities. AI video analytics can analyze a range of videos from low to high resolution in thermal, infrared, and visible formats AI video analytics often operate on smart cameras that have the appropriate video image quality for the capacity of content analysis. The costs involved in overhauling legacy camera systems, converting videos into higher quality, or waiting until the current camera network is ready to be replaced in order to integrate AI is expensive, time-consuming, and often unfeasible. However, not all AI video analytic solutions need to be deployed on edge with smart cameras. Instead, video analytics can be deployed both directly on to the camera or have server-based integration maintaining and scaling to your existing camera network. AI video analytics can also analyze a range of videos from low to high resolution in a variety of formats: thermal, infrared, visible. Complex IT structure A single central command center or in-house security network operates in a multi-manufacturer environment. This means cameras, video management systems, and technology partners can be provided by several manufacturers therefore increasing the complexity of successful IT workflows and integrations. Theft or perimeter infringement can take place in a matter of minutes, therefore the transfer of information between solutions is required to function at top speed. To overcome this complexity, the successful integration of solutions in a multi-manufacturer environment is assured through industry enforced standards set by non-profit organizations. This allows for third-party solutions such as AI video analytics to be easily integrated into the bulk of software and hardware technologies. Diversity in security needs To obtain high performance in a diverse security setting is inherently built into AI video analytic machine The objective of a surveillance operation can vary greatly from one organization to another. Retailers prioritize theft detection, while city governments may be concerned about arms detection or people counting. The capacity for AI to function with high performance, meanwhile adapting to several organization’s security needs requires algorithms to be trained accordingly. To obtain high performance in a diverse security setting is inherently built into how AI video analytic machine learning model’s function. AI can be trained to adapt to different environments and uses progressive learning to increase performance overtime. A collaborative effort between security experts, data scientists, and business strategists will ensure high performance and an appropriate application of AI to fit each organization’s specific needs. Surveillance innovation moving forward While for some video surveillance organizations, the costs and time associated with successfully integrating AI into their network may seem daunting, there are ways to adapt new technology into an existing operation with minimal effort. The emerging presence of smart cameras and IoT products will only accelerate the adoption of AI moving forward. If your organization is looking to enhance its operation with emerging technologies, now can be the time.
COVID-19 has already had a huge impact on the global economy. According to Statista, GDP growth globally will drop from around 3% to 2.4% - equivalent to a drop of around $35 trillion worldwide. In sectors like oil and gas, the impact is particularly acute: IHS Markit predicted that the reduction in oil consumption due to COVID-19 has led to a first-half surplus of 1.8 billion barrels of crude oil. The macroeconomic trends around these worldwide sectors point to harsher economic conditions and recession. For companies in the oil and gas sector running complex operations around the world, this will lead directly to tougher trading environments and a lot of necessary belt-tightening when it comes to costs around operations. Indirectly, the potential recession could cause more civil unrest and security threats for them as well. To cope with these potential challenges, companies will have to look at how they can maintain security for their operations and prevent risks as much as possible. Taking a contextual approach to physical security With these two goals in mind, looking at threat intelligence data should be considered. Threat intelligence refers to a set of data that can be used to judge current and future trends around risks, from everyday crime or political changes through to larger events like civil unrest, terrorism or the current pandemic. Based on data around these issues, companies can make better decisions on how they invest and manage their security posture in advance. Behind this overall approach, however, there are a significant number of moving parts that have to be considered. This includes where the data comes from, how it is used, and who is using the data. Companies can make better decisions on how they invest and manage their security posture The first consideration for threat intelligence is where data comes from. Typically, companies with large oilfields or refinery operations will have large investments in physical security to protect these environments, and part of this spend will include intelligence on local market, political and security conditions. Using this forecast data, your security leadership team can ensure that they have the right resources available in advance of any particular problem. This data can come from multiple sources, from social media data and crowdsourced information through to government, police and private company feeds. This mass of information can then be used to inform your planning and decision making around security, and how best to respond. However, one issue for oil and gas companies with distributed operations is how much data they have to manage over time. With so many potential sources of information all feeding back in real time, it’s hard to make sense of what comes in. Similarly, companies with international teams may have different sets and sources of data available to different parts of their organizations - while each team has its own view of what is going on, they may be missing out on contextual data from other sources held by neighbouring teams or by the central security department. Without a complete picture, it is easy to miss out on important information. Making threat intelligence smarter To solve this problem - and to reduce the costs around managing threat intelligence data - centralizing your approach can make it easier to provide that context to all your teams and stakeholders. Rather than letting each team set up and run their own threat intelligence approach, centralizing the data and letting each team use this can reduce costs. More importantly, it can improve the quality of your threat intelligence approach overall. By applying a combination of algorithms and security analysts to evaluate threat intelligence centrally, you can improve the quality of the data that you have coming into the organization in the first place. This approach provides higher quality data for decision making. However, a centralized approach is not enough on its own. Local knowledge and analysis is always useful. Consequently, alongside any centralization approach you have to have better filtering and search capabilities, otherwise you risk teams not being able to get the information that is particularly relevant and timely to them. This approach of bringing together centralized management of data feeds with more powerful tools for local teams to find what they want and get that access in real time represents the best of both worlds. Planning ahead Scenarios vary from a best case return to pre-crisis revenues of $50 to $60 per barrel by 2021 or 2022 According to consultancy firm McKinsey, the oil and gas sector faces an enormous challenge over the next few years. Scenarios vary from a best case return to pre-crisis revenues of $50 to $60 per barrel by 2021 or 2022, through to a worst case scenario where demand never returns and the industry has to undertake managed decline around some assets and look for new market opportunities in others. Whatever scenario plays out in the real world, security for existing assets will be a continued requirement. Planning ahead using threat intelligence data will be essential whatever happens. To help reduce costs and improve data quality, centralizing this approach will help. Without this mix of global oversight and local detail, companies will find their operations hampered and wrong decisions are made. It’s only by applying threat intelligence data in the right context that security teams will be able to keep up with the challenges of the future.
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staffThe advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs, and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
The mission of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system (BPS). While electric utility companies are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the electric grid, regulators such as NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are charged with the overall responsibility of ensuring reliability and security. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, operates the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and educates, trains and certifies industry personnel. Normal everyday operations of the system are the responsibility of utility owners and operators. Protecting critical infrastructure An attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal could inflict significant damage Currently, a significant reliability threat to the U.S. grid is associated with squirrels and balloons, and not religiously inspired terrorists. However – and more applicable to grid operators – we have recently seen noteworthy interest in disabling or destroying critical infrastructure. Coordinated attacks can target the grid, and an attack by a disgruntled former employee, ideologically motivated activist, or a criminal stumbling across a “soft target,” could inflict significant damage. With an interconnected grid of over 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines (100 kV and higher) and over 55,000 substations (100 kV and larger), the targets of opportunity are endless. Data capture form to appear here! According to the Department of Energy, the number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to grid infrastructure. The number-one cause of most power outages in the U.S. is bad weather, which costs the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion every year Large power transformers A large power transformer (LPT) is an enormous, custom-built piece of equipment tailored to customers’ specifications. They usually are not interchangeable with each other, and they are not produced for spare-part inventories; so if one blows, a lot of companies and homes could be without power for more than six months. They are not cheap, either. According to EEP (Electrical Engineering Portal), $10 million is a fairly average cost, but that doesn’t include transporting the gargantuan piece of equipment or installing it, which usually adds an additional 35 percent to the bill. Protecting power grids is essential to deliver electricity that serves millions of consumers. Transmission substations are a component of the power infrastructure that presents unique security challenges. These important facilities often sit out in the open, in remote locations, and were historically protected by little more than cameras or chain-link fences. According to EEP, $10 million is a fairly average cost for a large power transformer NERC/CIP guidelines The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC/CIP) guidelines address security needs of electrical substations. Every facility has a baseline requirement for perimeter security protection around the site, although medium- and high-impact sites will have more stringent requirements. The geography surrounding sites – Is it an urban area or rural? Does the surrounding elevation provide additional lines of sight? – also impacts the types of systems they require. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities The U.S. power grid is divided into three sections: The Eastern Interconnection for states east of the Rocky Mountains, The Western Interconnection for states from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and the smallest—the Texas Interconnected system—covering most of Texas. Electricity coming from coal, nuclear or hydroelectric plants goes to local utilities and they distribute power to homes and businesses, to millions of personal devices, lights, refrigeration, computers, and to other “loads,” that tap it. Inherited challenges According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the nation’s electric infrastructure is “nothing but a patchwork system” that has evolved wildly since the first substation was erected by Thomas Edison in 1882, on New York City’s Pearl Street. Contributing to the challenges of securing the grid are the crazily disparate ages and capacities of the grid’s equipment. There are many possible targets, too. Approximately 300 control centers around the country monitor voltage and watch the data from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems, which are placed at transformers, generators and other critical areas. Ideally, this allows engineers to monitor the data for signs of trouble and then communicate with each other to deal with whatever is happening to the grid, but SCADA has cybersecurity issues.
Intelligent solutions, such as those derived from artificial intelligence, help critical infrastructure organizations make sense of vast amounts of data. These integrated applications, such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition, can automatically pinpoint potential breaches and significant events, and send alerts to the appropriate personnel, departments, and agencies. These solutions can be powerful in unifying disparate command center technologies, fusing critical data input from emergency calls and responder activity to enhance situational awareness. Electrical substations are particularly vulnerable (and in need of extra security) due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. Data capture form to appear here! U.S. regulations In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-014 identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans that include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of video and other systems are designing products to serve the critical infrastructure market. For example, Dahua Technology offers explosion-proof cameras with a combination of rugged reliability and superior optics that is a fit for surveillance of explosive and corrosive environments, including chemical plants, refineries, and other facilities in the oil and gas industry. This explosion-proof series of cameras are housed in enclosures that are certified to the ATEX and IECEx standards for equipment in explosive atmospheres. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time. They are IP68-rated to prevent water and dust ingress. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time Video footage in extreme temperatures Another manufacturer, Videotec, offers a range of cameras and housings that provide video footage regardless of aggressive external factors, such as ice cold, scorching heat, desert sand, the force of sea or wind, total darkness, pollution, corrosion and even explosive agents. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sitesSightLogix smart thermal camera systems have been deployed to protect substations for electric utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sites, ranging from copper theft to vandalism while also meeting regulatory compliance. At each substation facility, Thermal SightSensors are positioned along the perimeter, and are paired with a high-resolution pan-tilt-zoom camera for alarm assessment. When a Thermal SightSensor detects an intruder, the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker PTZ controller, which automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. The target’s location is also displayed on a topology site map to provide real-time situational awareness. Alarms are sent to the utility’s 24-hour security operations center, which will contact law enforcement in real time when unauthorized intrusions are detected. Integrated intrusion detection and lighting systems The Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is simplifying security at one U.S. electrical utility company. For years, the utility company had integrated its perimeter intrusion detection and lighting systems. The company has now installed the Senstar LM100 which provides detection and lighting in one product and saves them over $80,000 per site. The savings are a result of the reduction of electrical requirements, conduit, grounding, and associated labor, as well as the removal of certain equipment from project scope that are required for the two-system integration. The Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrent. If an intruder persists and an attempt to cut, climb or otherwise break through the fence is detected, the closest luminaire begins to strobe, and an alert is sent via a security management system. The intruder knows immediately they have been detected and that their exact location is known by security and others in the vicinity.
As the need for counter terrorist devices grew, Delta Scientific Corporation (Delta Scientific) answered the call and began building and crash testing barriers that would stop an attacking vehicle, allowing no infiltration to the premises. Over the years, Delta Scientific has designed, patented, and crash tested numerous barriers, to meet the needs of specific government agencies and facilities. Collaboration with US agencies Over the last few decades, Delta Scientific has worked with many branches of the government, including all branches of the US Military, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Overseas Building Operations, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Water and Power, Department of Veteran Affairs and the US Center for Disease Control (US CDC), along with municipal, county and state government agencies. The United States of America has repeatedly entrusted Delta Scientific to build the right crash rated barrier solution for critical infrastructure and to protect the nation’s citizens, in the service of their country. DSC633 and DSC635 single shallow foundation bollards DSC633 and DSC635 single shallow foundation bollards provide the highest level of protection against a vehicle attack Delta Scientific’s new patent pending DSC633 and DSC635 single shallow foundation bollards provide the highest level of protection against a vehicle attack. Tested to the new F2656-20 ASTM M30 and M50 standards, these new bollards provide the stopping power needed for modern threats. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches (60.96 cm) and the ability to have single units, both bollards offer the flexibility and ease of installation, so as to cater to perimeter security needs. DSC630 Series bollards Quite often, just stopping the bomb-laden truck is not enough. If the explosives in the truck detonate, all can be lost, irrespective of whether the truck was brought to a halt or not. The Delta DSC630 Series bollards feature static and dynamic penetration levels that hinder bomb loads to be moved, while still stopping the threats that they pose. Tested and proven to not only stop but also destroy the vehicle, Delta’s DSC630 Series bollards will keep a vehicle from repeatedly trying to breach the perimeter. The DSC635 bollard has a height of 44 inches (111 cm) and a diameter of 15.75 inches (40 cm) with a cover. Furnished with an array of decorative covers The DSC633 bollard has a height of 44 inches (111 cm) and a diameter of 13.75 in (35 cm) with a cover. Delta Scientific’s bollards can be furnished with an array of decorative covers, in order to enhance the look and match the aesthetic of the surrounding structures. These covers include stainless steel, powder coated aluminum, and fiberglass, with custom styling and painting also available. Lights, beacons, and audible devices can be added to the bollards for additional safety protocols. Shallow foundation bollards Delta’s shallow foundation bollards are often used to protect building perimeters and sports stadiums Delta Scientific has been manufacturing shallow foundation bollards and barricades in 24 inches (60.96 cm) or less height for decades. Shallow foundation bollards are the perfect solution for sidewalks, campuses, parking structures and government buildings, and corporate facility perimeters, where underground utilities and space limitations pose a problem for traditional deep foundation bollards. Delta’s shallow foundation bollards are often used to protect building perimeters and sports stadiums, as static arrays and used in conjunction with Delta’s active bollards and vehicle barricades, at entrances and exits. Delta Scientific Corporation is a worldwide renowned manufacturer of vehicle access control equipment, with over 260,000 square feet of production facilities in Palmdale, California. Delta’s three product lines consist of high-security vehicle barricade systems, parking control equipment, and guard booths.
Renowned Chinese petroleum and chemical corporation, Sinopec Shengli Oilfield (SINOPEC) is using Xerafy Xplorer RFID tags in field tests, to track the down-hole pipes on its onshore oil site, believed to be the first UHF RFID drill pipe tracking application in the oil and gas industry. RFID traceable drill pipes Leveraging RFID traceable drill pipes, the Shengli Oilfield can track 1,380 drill pipes at seven well sites using RFID hand-held readers and software, supplied by VictorySoft. The pilot operation took around three months, with every well opening with a depth of approximately 2,500 meters. For the next stage, SINOPEC will put a well-centered antenna in place, to read the tag as the pipe moves through it while being tripped. With the pilot's success, the Shengli Oilfield expects to substantially expand the deployment of Xplorer tags, to additional drill strings and sites in 2016. Xerafy Xplorer UHF RFID tag Xerafy Xplorer is a patent-pending UHF RFID tag constructed with high-strength steel and polymer Xerafy Xplorer is a patent-pending UHF RFID tag constructed with high-strength steel and polymer and is specially designed to be embedded in a hole milled into the drilling joint, in order to track each pipe. Using RFID is the key to improving the previously impossible task of tracking and capturing data on the individual pipes. Shengli Oilfield did not have an efficient way of managing its drilling pipes. The pipes were counted manually before and after the drilling process, which resulted in inaccurate inventory management, inefficient asset utilization, and potential safety risks. Tracking individual drill pipe joints The ability to now track individual drill pipe joints has opened up new possibilities for improved documentation and process efficiency, resulting in cost savings and risk reduction. Regulatory requirements, weather, and operating conditions make China’s oilfields, one of the most challenging asset management environments on Earth. The drill pipes are exposed to high temperatures, extreme pressure and vibrations, and chemical corrosion during tripping operations. The Xplorer tag directly links to the ID number, steel number, size and weight, production information, last usage information, asset maintenance records, and other important information. The stored information is transmitted to VictorySoft’s tracking system. Hand-held RFID reader By using a hand-held RFID reader, the staff has been able to access key information By using a hand-held RFID reader, the staff has been able to access key information, both before and after scanning all drill pipes, and will be able to get real-time visibility, when the assets need cleaning and maintenance, including when the drills need to be scrapped. This greatly reduces the risk of leakage and rupture accidents, which can cause the expedition to fail. With the timely collection of raw data, management can use the data on-site, in order to make quick and accurate decisions. Sinopec Shengli Oilfield “Sinopec Shengli Oilfield has been on the lookout for many years for the implementation of an intelligent solution to identify and manage drill pipes to improve performance and reduce costs,” said Xu Haiting, the General Manager (GM) of VictorySoft’s Technical Development Department. Xu Haiting adds, “Xerafy’s Xplorer has opened up many important possibilities, by allowing the operator to have traceability and advanced information of their processes, throughout the tripping operation. The success of this RFID program validates the readiness and value of Xerafy Xplorer UHF RFID technology for drill pipe tracking.”
Founded in 1982, CNOOC is the third-largest national oil company in the People’s Republic of China, with revenues over $19 billion. CNOOC and its subsidiary, China Oilfield Services (COSL), selected the Xerafy Xplorer as the world's first UHF RFID tags, ATEX-certified, designed for use in downhole drilling operations. The deployment of 100,000 Xerafy Xplorer tags will align with the 10 percent year-over-year growth rate of oil output targeted by CNOOC. Asset management For CNOOC, the Xplorer tags will improve the company’s ability to track drill pipes' identity, integrity, and lifecycle, how long the asset has been in service, and what maintenance/repair work has been conducted. With improved maintenance, the drill strings will have a longer lifecycle Traditionally, this information has been tracked manually by oil and gas producers using paper forms. By automatically tracking the complete asset lifecycle, CNOOC can anticipate when parts will need replacement in advance of a failure, which can significantly improve safety on the deep offshore and onshore well drilling platforms. With improved maintenance, the drill strings will also have a longer lifecycle. This will reduce both the need for additional inventory and equipment and maintenance/repair costs. Real-time drill pipe tracking “The deployment of Xerafy’s RFID technology is an extension of CNOOC’s focus on technology-driven innovation and efficiency enhancements,” said Michel Gillmann, Director Product & Marketing at Xerafy. “By enabling real-time drill pipe tracking, they can improve and ensure the safety at their offshore platforms as they expand production around the world.”
PetroChina, China’s second-largest oil and gas producer and supplier, uses Xerafy’s rugged RFID tags, in order to track pipeline assets in the field. The project involves deploying Xerafy's XS Dot Wedge RFID tag on oil pipelines in Xinjiang, over the course of five years, to improve the pipeline asset and lifecycle management, reduce costs, and non-productive time in critical processes risks related to pipeline failures. Securing PetroChina's pipelines PetroChina is a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which is headquartered in Beijing. It is China’s second-biggest oil producer and one of the most profitable companies in all of Asia. The automated tracking and real-time data also helps PetroChina manage the correct pipe tally and integrity The oilfield in Xinjiang is the largest one in western China, mainly engaging in the exploration, development, gathering transportation, and sales of oil and gas resources in the Junggar Basin, and its surrounding basins. With the advanced use of RFID technology, PetroChina can ensure its operations are less likely to be disrupted by delays or unexpected failure while improving oilfield safety and compliance. The automated tracking and real-time data also helps PetroChina manage the correct pipe tally and integrity, and better govern their maintenance and inspection processes. Xerafy's XS Dot Wedge RFID tags Xerafy developed the XS Wedge tags to withstand the harsh conditions present in oil and gas industry deployments. The UHF tags have a read range of 1 meter (3.3 ft.) embedded in metal and are IP68-rated against dirt and fluids. The tags were designed to withstand extreme heat and cold conditions, along with exposure to drilling and hydraulic fluids. The XS Dot Wedge tags are also UV-resistant and can survive immersion in seawater. Fast and accurate tracking for operation efficiency “RFID provides significant improvements over the traditional paper-based practice, which is time-consuming and error prone,” said Mr. Zhang, General Manager of Zhongshi Bangli Petroleum Technology Company, the partner company that is deploying the solution. He adds, “Fast and accurate tracking is critical for ensuring operational efficiency and timely maintenance, and Xerafy’s RFID solution delivers.”
Keystone Cable manufactures and supplies cables for the building & infrastructure, oil & gas, and data communication markets. Its work-in-process inventory is made of thousands of different products at its Singapore factory, which supplies customers in Singapore and throughout the region. To the untrained eye, the cables often look similar, but there are dozens of product variations based on the core, insulating material, and other components. Accurate location management "The Xerafy tags are performing well for this project. Even though both the drums and the storage racks are metal, the Xerafy tags are nonetheless quite responsive to the RFID readers. Now we can simply type in the drum number into the smart device and the corresponding location of the drum would be displayed. The process of locating a drum, which would sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes before, now only takes less than five minutes.” - Derek Zhu, Senior Strategy Manager at Keystone Cable. Finished goods are coiled onto large drums that are placed into storage Identifying and tracking products was a challenge until a production RFID system featuring Xerafy tags provided a foundation for accurate location management. At the end of the production process, finished goods are coiled onto large drums that are placed into storage. Potential storage locations To fill orders cable is spooled from the large drum to a smaller one that is shipped to the customer. Depending on the product, drums can be stored indoors or outdoors, resulting in thousands of potential storage locations at the more than 100,000 square foot factory. It often took between 30 and 45 minutes to find the right drum to fill an order. “Our factory staff was spending a lot of time searching for specific drums throughout the day, resulting in a rather inefficient process,” said Derek. “Although all drums are marked, the location of each drum was not readily tracked. The drums are constantly moving during the coil and recoil process, and it would be difficult to place each drum at a specific location.” Unique identification codes Keystone Cable started by mapping its factory into zones and storage areas Keystone Cable wanted ideas for making its tracking process more efficient and sought help from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), which is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SIMTech created an innovative application that runs on Android smartphones and uses passive RFID to automatically identify drums and their locations. Keystone Cable started by mapping its factory into zones and storage areas, which were assigned unique identification codes. Hundreds of Xerafy Data Trak II RFID tags are now installed at storage locations to provide a permanent location ID. Separately, Data Trak II tags encoded with a unique serial number were applied to more than 500 storage drums to provide permanent item identification. Two tags were applied to each drum, one at each end so material handling workers do not have to worry about orientation when they place drums in storage. Cost-Effective option The Xerafy Data Trak II comes from the Trak series of RFID tags, which was developed to offer logistics, warehousing, IT, and financial services customers a cost-effective option to deploy RFID on any asset with unparalleled performance and reliability. The read-on metal performance was very important for Keystone Cable because its drums are stored on metal racks. SIMTech created an Android application and a web-based location database to track the cable drums. Whenever a drum is moved, the operator uses an Android phone with an ARETE Mobile POP plug-in RFID reader to read the location tag and the drum ID tag. The RFID reads automatically update the drum location in the database. It takes only a couple of seconds to record item locations using RFID, which saves a lot of time later when Keystone Cable needs to find a drum to fill an order.
Rebel Energy is a new entrant in the UK energy market and will soon supply 100% clean and affordable energy to all UK households. Rebel’s mission is to drive the nation’s energy transition agenda toward renewable power generation, ensuring poorer households are not left behind. But in an already cluttered and highly competitive market, how is Rebel giving itself the best chance for a successful launch? They’re hardwiring intelligent automation into their business. Challenge Rebel had to find a smarter, more efficient way to bring its products and vision to market Rebel Energy is on a mission to drive the UK’s power transition agenda, making 100% renewable energy available to all. However, Rebel is by no means the first utility to tout its environmentally friendly credentials. And having conducted a rigorous pre-launch process assessment, Rebel was keenly aware that most of the processes it had to use were standard across the industry. To launch successfully, Rebel had to find a smarter, more efficient way to bring its products and vision to market. Solution Rebel was entering a highly competitive marketplace. But it had one key advantage. As a new enterprise, Rebel wasn’t encumbered by outdated or existing legacy systems. So, after conducting a comprehensive process audit, Rebel made the astute decision to bring in Blue Prism digital workers from the start. It’s a decision that will pay big dividends. For Rebel, it means they’ll enjoy increased operational efficiencies, providing superior service for customers while significantly reducing the cost to serve. As data is generated by and about its customers, Rebel can leverage that information, helping it to support disadvantaged UK households as they transition to clean energy.
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
They call it “critical” for a reason. The so-called “critical infrastructure” is composed of the basic services that citizens have come to depend on, and which are necessary to support society and ensure national stability. The term includes high-visibility segments such as airports, refineries, transportation, wastewater, nuclear reactors, electric utilities, pipelines, and more. Because these functions are so critical, the stakes of providing security are higher than for any other market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of critical infrastructure facilities?
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