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Show Preview: Connected Plant Conference

| By Mary Page Bailey

The 8th annual Connected Plant Conference (May 20–22; is taking place at Lake Conroe, Tex., near Houston. Hosted by POWER and Chemical Engineering magazines, the event will bring together experts from across the chemical process and power generation industries to share practical knowledge and foster best practices in digital transformation. The event includes a comprehensive technical program, as well as an Immersive Data Arena, where users can take a hands-on approach with the latest technologies. New content tracks for 2024 include in-depth discussions on artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and the digital twins that form the foundation for many internet of things (IoT) technologies. This Show Preview highlights a small number of the many advanced digital technologies that will be showcased at the Connected
Plant Conference.

Streamlined control consoles improve worker focus and safety

This company designs state-of-the-art control-center consoles (photo) that put operator ergonomics at the forefront to optimize operational workflow, in both standard and high-stress operational conditions. Extended shifts often lead to operator fatigue, impacting performance and safety. These ergonomically optimized consoles are designed to alleviate fatigue through features like height-adjustable worksurfaces and articulating monitor arms, ensuring comfort and support during long hours of operation. The consoles integrate multiple monitors, pushbutton controls and more, providing operators with seamless access to data. In emergency situations, the consoles are designed with strategic equipment positioning and ergonomic layouts, facilitating quick responses and critical thinking during high-pressure situations. Also, the consoles are designed with a modular frame structure that can accommodate additional console sections and new equipment, ensuring compatibility with future upgrades. Booth 204 — Tresco Consoles, Calgary, Alta., Canada

Advanced asset-performance and condition-monitoring software

This company recently released EtaPRO 11, the latest version of its asset-performance and condition-monitoring software suite. EtaPRO 11 uses IoT and AI technologies, including predictive-failure diagnosis, digital-twin technology and performance monitoring, to optimize performance and support digital transformation objectives. EtaPRO allows operators to fix issues before they become equipment failures, reducing downtime and improving plant availability. The software analyzes real-time plant operational data obtained from various sources and sensors, and detects signs of anomalies that may cause problems during normal operation. Booth 307 — EtaPRO LLC, a Toshiba Group company, Amherst, N.Y.

Flexible control and visibility enhance this OT security platform

The MetaDefender OT Security solution has been enhanced to provide organizations with enhanced visibility and control over their operational technology (OT) environments. Industrial and OT teams require complete asset visibility without disrupting OT networks and devices. MetaDefender OT Security addresses these challenges by offering a cybersecurity solution tailored to analyze OT networks, assets and protocols, as well as manage risks to OT assets through anomaly detection, prevent insider threats, meet compliance requirements and maintain proper network architecture and segmentation. With an improved Management Console, organizations can now seamlessly oversee multiple sites and distributed networks from a centralized dashboard and leverage multi-network support, remote patch management, role-based access management and active and passive monitoring. Importantly, the integration with the company’s Industrial Firewall and IPS allows organizations to move beyond traditional visibility tools to control the flow of communications. Booth 401 — OPSWAT, Inc. Tampa, Fla.