Emerson adds audit trail to Ovation Control System | Automation.com

Emerson adds audit trail to Ovation Control System

January 112007
Ovation engineering tools feature audit trail functionality that automatically tracks engineering changes to Ovation system, helping power generators address NERC security requirements

PITTSBURGH (January 11, 2007) — Engineering tools within the Ovation expert control system have been enhanced with audit trail capabilities. This feature automatically tracks engineering changes made to the Ovation system, providing utilities with a better way to manage system security, and troubleshoot and quickly identify the root cause of abnormal conditions that can impact operational performance or result in loss of generation. The Ovation system is a key technology that powers Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture.

Ovation’s audit trail capability is particularly timely in light of the North American Electric Reliability Council’s (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards. These standards, which were adopted in 2006, require the power industry to identify and protect critical cyber assets related to the reliable operation of bulk electric systems. The audit trail feature helps power generators address NERC requirements for auditable records of control system changes.

Through this tracking feature, all actions that modify the configuration or performance of the Ovation control system are automatically monitored and logged into a database. These actions may include loading, clearing, reconfiguring and rebooting Ovation drops; database import operations; as well as changes to the configuration of system process data, custom graphics and/or control sheets.

The audit trail capability within Ovation is flexible and user friendly. Engineering changes can be viewed, filtered and sorted several ways: by person, date, location or by the nature of the change, itself. Furthermore, the active auditing level can be custom configured and adjusted (high, medium or low) to provide the desired degree of granularity.

This self-documenting capability eliminates the need for maintaining paper records. It also removes the possibility of human error/omission, as well as gaps in information that could occur when long-time plant personnel retire, taking with them years of knowledge about control system modifications.

These latest enhancements to the Ovation system are part of Emerson’s ongoing commitment to providing customers with comprehensive solutions that address the power industry’s evolving security challenges. Earlier this year Emerson formed a strategic alliance with Symantec Inc., which includes integration of Symantec AntiVirus software for the Ovation control system. As part of its SureServiceSM customer support program, Emerson also offers security assessments and audits, as well as a signature update service.

“Our customers can rest assured that we are fully plugged into this critical area, ensuring we will continue to offer them a combination of products, services and expertise that enhances the security of their operations,” said Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson, who describes Emerson’s role as a non-voting member of the NERC Cyber Security Standard Drafting Team as an illustration of the company’s involvement. “Helping our customers operate their plants securely, reliably and efficiently has always been – and will continue to be – a top priority for Emerson.”

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the power, water and wastewater treatment, chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and other industries.

Emerson's Power & Water Solutions division is a global supplier of advanced distributed process control and information systems. The Pittsburgh-based company is a recognized leader in developing plant-wide process control solutions for the power generation, water treatment and wastewater treatment industries. Power & Water Solutions plays a key role in the Emerson mission of combining superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Emerson brands include: PlantWeb; Ovation; SmartProcess; Fisher; MicroMotion; Rosemount; Mobrey; Daniel, Bristol, DeltaV; and AMS Suite.

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2006 were $20.1 billion.