Friday, December 13, 2013

Remotely Controlling Rail Station Operations in Spain with Invensys Wonderware Software

Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) is responsible for providing safe, reliable and efficient rail transportation to more than 80 million passengers each year. Operating two of the country’s major transport lines, Barcelona-Vallès and Llobregat-Anoia, FGC must manage not only 120 miles of track, but also the 76 train stations which service the businesses and residents in the region.

 
As a public company managed by the Catalan Regional Government, the mission of FGC is to operate these rail services and infrastructure efficiently and effectively. Based on these goals, the company began an extensive organizational and technological reform strategy to enhance the management of its overall operations.
 
The creation of the Station Monitoring Center, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, enabled FCG to manage the operation of all stations from a central location. Through the new remote-controlled model, the Center began overseeing the operations of everything related to a station such as ticket vending machines, CCTV, public address system, opening and closing of entrance doors, air conditioning, lighting, and numerous other functions.
 
Integrating all controlled operations into a single supervisory system through a common management interface was the next stage of the project. The Integrated Command Center was created for joint management of the two network Lines – Barcelona-Vallès and Llobregat-Anoia.
 
“The challenge we have set for ourselves as a company is one of excellence in customer service. Each year, we seek to achieve higher satisfaction levels from our users and Wonderware technology is an essential tool in achieving this.”
Alicia Coca, Head of the Systems Development Department,
   Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
 
For more information, read the complete success story. Or, reference our collection of Wonderware Transportation Industry success stories.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

South Africa’s Eskom Centralizes Critical Power Generation Data with Invensys Wonderware Software

Eskom is responsible for generating and distributing approximately 95% of South Africa’s electricity. Operating power generation stations 365 days a year, 24-hours a day is no easy task, and when more than 50 million people are relying on one company to “keep the lights on,” that task can be daunting. That is unless they’ve employed state-of-the-art monitoring and automation systems. Eskom’s network of power plants required an integrated, reliable software solution to ensure its facilities were operating at peak performance and enabling access to critical plant data to those that needed it, anywhere, any time.


The Plant Data System (PDS) initiative was developed to centralize all plant management activities via a standardized software solution. Built on Invensys Wonderware® software, Eskom management, plant technicians and administrators now have access to real-time information to more effectively make operation and business decisions that directly affect service to customers, as well as the company’s bottom line. Plant data is openly accessible and in a standard format, enabling workers in every area of the business to access and use the real-time data collected from each of Eskom’s plants. Wonderware software is able to convert the collected data into useful information to meet the specific needs of personnel at different levels within the company. By providing refined performance indicators, Wonderware software provides better plant optimization and improved resource allocation. By accessing data in real time and directly sending operations data to plant engineers, Eskom has improved overall plant performance and improved its staff’s incident response capabilities.

Key to effectively accessing and evaluating plant data and operations information is standardizing on information technology systems using a single, integrated software platform. With Wonderware software, Eskom is able to comply with ISA-95, an international standard for the integration of enterprise and control systems.

“Wonderware software provides our engineering and management teams with access to usable data that before was not readily available. We can now make decisions in real-time on our electricity generation capabilities, enabling Eskom to continue to improve the quality of life of more than 50 million people.”
– John Viljoen, Corporate Consultant for Generation Business, Eskom Holdings Ltd.

For more information, including about the Eskom application of a variety of Wonderware software products – System Platform, InTouch®, Historian and Information Server – read the complete success story. Or, reference our collection of Wonderware Power Industry success stories.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Smart Cities Readiness Guide Advances Smart City Development with First-of-its-Kind Tool for City Leaders Around the World


Readiness Guide is the first vendor-neutral comprehensive roadmap for smart city development


WASHINGTON, D.C. – (November 18, 2013) The Smart Cities Council today released version 1.0 of the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide, the first comprehensive, vendor-neutral smart city handbook for city leaders and planners. Designed with input from leading smart city and urban planning experts as well as top global technology companies, the Guide enables city leaders to assess their current state of technology and its readiness to become a smart city. It is available for free download at www.smartcitiescouncil.com/readinessguide.
The Guide was unveiled in Barcelona, Spain, the day before the Smart City Expo World Congress begins there, at a smart cities workshop and press announcement with the renowned ESADE Business School’s Institute of Public Governance and Management.
The Guide is a collection of guidelines, best practices and case studies. It helps a city create its own customized "wish list" with the confidence that it has not left out anything essential and that all the pieces will work together even if they are built in stages. The Guide outlines proven principles to follow in order to be successful and avoid pitfalls.
The Guide includes vendor-neutral technology recommendations on all eight of a city’s most important responsibilities: the built environment, energy, telecommunications, transportation, water and waste water, health and human services, public safety, and payments.
About the Smart Cities Council - The Smart Cities Council is comprised of the foremost companies in the smart technologies sector. Its goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders and urban planners with tools and resources, such as a Readiness Guide, financial guides, policy frameworks, and "mentoring" sessions. For more information, visit www.smartcitiescouncil.com.
Today's full Smart Cities Council press release is available here.
###
Invensys is an Associate Partner in the Smart Cities Council. Invensys is participating again this year at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Barcelona, November 19-21, and is present in the Wonderware Spain stand (D421), our Wonderware software distributor, and also in the Microsoft stand (D415) as a Partner supporting their CityNext initiative. For more information about Invensys' Wonderware software solutions for smart cities, visit www.smartcitiessoftware.com.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Smart and Sustainable Spanish Ecocity Valdespartera Relies on Software Solution from Invensys Wonderware Spain



Ecocity Valdespartera is the first urban development project in Spain to be governed entirely by bioclimatic criteria in line with the objectives of environmental sustainability contained in the Kyoto Protocol. Creating a city where bioclimatic management was built into the project’s development meant that integrating and running all of the city’s facilities with a centralized IT system had to be considered. The system had to efficiently manage everything from the drinking water supply network, sewage and rainwater treatment network, watering systems and electricity and gas supplies, to street lighting, pneumatic waste collection and the housing and environmental control network. Wonderware® real-time operations management software from Invensys, in conjunction with Microsoft® Windows® and SQL Server®, was selected as the best solution for overall management and analysis of this unique urban environment.

“One of the key innovations of Valdespartera from a technology perspective is the comprehensiveness of the integrated management system. Many cities have experimented with ‘smart’ components, but here we have a highly advanced model. Valdespartera is a unique example of how the cities of the future can be designed using data to make intelligent decisions on a wide range of public services.” Jordi Rey, managing director of Invensys Wonderware Spain

Learn more in this Microsoft Touch cover story or visit our Software Solutions for Smart Cities area on wonderware.com.

Monday, October 21, 2013

U.S. Cities Beta-test Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide

Earlier this month, the Smart Cities Council announced that leaders from a number of cities across the U.S. are evaluating a beta version of the Council’s Readiness Guide. The Readiness Guide is a how-to manual for building tomorrow’s cities today by enabling cities to self-assess their readiness to innovate. Mayors and their smart city teams from Hartford, Dallas, Baltimore, Orlando, and Green Bay have been evaluating the Guide’s usefulness to determine the next steps toward transformation. The Readiness Guide, created by the Smart Cities Council Advisory Board and Partners, offers a unique holistic view of a city’s future – including the built environment, energy, transportation, communications, water, health and human services, and public safety.

The Smart Cities Council will continue to work with city leaders across the U.S. to gain feedback, followed by Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Readiness Guide will be officially launched next month to cities worldwide at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

For more information, read the complete news release on www.smartcitiescouncil.com. Invensys is an Associate Partner of the Smart Cities Council.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Invensys Helps Dusseldorf Waterworks in Germany Reduce Costs, Optimize Control and Improve Reporting

Stadtwerke Dusseldorf, the public works department of the city of Dusseldorf, ensures that more than 600,000 people have ready access to water that is safe to drink. The department’s system carries about 55 million cubic meters of fresh water to households and businesses through a pipe system that extends more than 1,700 kilometers. Their water comes from the Rhine River via three plants throughout the region. In the 1990s, the beginning stage of automation was introduced when PLCs were installed in the three plants. However, these systems were not synchronized or coordinated, and no centralized data collection or archive was in place.


The department upgraded and now the three waterworks and the new control systems are interconnected, operating separately and redundantly. Each station runs Wonderware® InTouch® HMI (human machine interface) software in a multi-monitor setup to visually display the operations. With this HMI, engineers view real-time conditions with straightforward graphics, alarms and trending information. Another feature of the HMI is its extensive library of standardized and customizable templates and objects. This enabled Stadtwerke Dusseldorf to keep most of the implementation in house and easily make changes and updates, saving time and operating costs.

A separate server runs the Wonderware Historian database and collects process data. Conversion of the data to Microsoft® Excel® is handled on a workstation loaded with Wonderware Historian Client software. Now operators have the reports they need for hourly and daily evaluation of production data, including water quantities, electrical power and water quality. And reports on cost allocation are quickly generated and sent to city management. Plus they’re documenting their adherence to water rules and regulations, especially those pertaining to drinking water compliance.

"Now we are able to create all required reports analyses and documentation ourselves. We are no longer dependent on outside companies to provide us with that information."
– Matthias Rammler, Electrotechnical and System Support, City of Dusseldorf Public Works

Stadtwerke Dusseldorf has now fully automated their operations, reduced operating costs and enhanced safety. Plant availability is up and maintenance is improved. The system is simple to administer and reporting is flexible, so the right data is readily available for better analysis and decision making. And, since the system is built on an open platform known for flexibility and scalability, the city can look forward to meeting the needs of its customers into the future.

For more information, read the complete success story here and/or access any of our Wonderware Water & Wastewater Industry success stories.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Europe's Covenant of Mayors - Increasing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Use

The Covenant of Mayors (CoM – www.covenantofmayors.eu) is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union’s (EU’s) 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. They prepare a Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) and submit, within the year following their signature, a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake.


Signatory cities vary in size from small villages to large metropolitan areas like London and Paris. Over 3,000 SEAPs have been submitted to the European Commission, and that number is expected to increase as some 5,000 local authorities have now joined the Covenant of Mayors, representing over 170 million people or roughly one-third of the EU population (Covenant in Figures).

In a press release last month, the CoM referenced a recent study by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission noting CoM signatory cities release approximately eight tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita. However, through the implementation of their SEAPs, cities commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by about 28% by 2020, thus voluntary exceeding the EU’s 20% reduction objective. On average, 44% of the overall CO2 reduction is expected to result from actions addressing the buildings sector (retrofitting of building stock, energy audits, etc.), 20% from the transport sector (introduction of cleaner vehicles, congestion charges, etc.) and 16%  from local energy production actions (production of biogas or solar energy, for instance).

Friday, August 16, 2013

AENA, Barcelona El Prat Airport

Wonderware Software Facilitates a Decade of Integration and Growth for Unprecedented Spanish Airport Expansion


Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA) is a public company in charge of civil air navigation and airports in Spain. Its subsidiary, AENA Aeropuertos SA, manages 47 airports and two heliports in Spain and participates directly in the management of 28 other terminals throughout the world. In passenger count, AENA is the world’s leading airport operator with about 200 million passengers per year. 


The Barcelona El Prat Airport, together with the Port of Barcelona and the city’s Zona Franca area, serves as a vital hub for the region’s economy and is integral to tourism in the region. Recorded airport traffic in 2010 was 29,209,595 passengers, 277,832 operations and 104,280 tons of cargo.

To modernize the airport and prepare for future demands, major improvements to infrastructure and services have been made.

In 2000, 15 to 20 integrators were engaged in supporting the airport control systems. Each vendor implemented a separate solution, resulting in a multiplicity of technologies. The airport’s operators had to learn all of these different tools, which made it practically impossible for the facility to function smoothly.

Management searched the market for a solution. They wanted a control architecture that would provide:
  • A single platform, to unite the control systems of the existing facilities and the future expansions
  • Reliability, to support efficient and safe airport operations and avoid downtime in airport services
  • Scalability, to handle the addition of a second large terminal building and integrate the annex buildings and other systems into one infrastructure
  • Economy, to meet the budget restrictions of a public project

When considering their goals and plans for expansion, the choice for AENA was Wonderware software. It met management’s criteria, plus it offered the only non-proprietary solution, providing a better alternative to disparate systems and the high costs and operator challenges the airport had experienced in the past.

Today, the control environment of the airport is almost completely integrated, AENA is achieving operations excellence, and the Barcelona Airport boasts a dynamic, high-functioning infrastructure. According to the AENA team, the most outstanding benefit so far is that the solution enables them to manage a large number of processes in an integrated and simultaneous manner under a single platform – even with so many devices and signals with distinct technological languages.

The centralization of operations that we get with Wonderware helps manage around 700,000 signals and is essential for a critical infrastructure like this. We can now quickly respond to incidents and also be proactive in optimizing management.”
– Jordi Asensi, Head of Systems and Database Management, AENA Barcelona Airport

Once the full expansion is complete, nearly 1,000,000 signals will be controlled under the unified platform. With Wonderware technology and the vision and teamwork of numerous executives and integrators, the Barcelona Airport is one of the most emblematic projects for AENA to date, and AENA’s commitment to Wonderware software as their standard for handling the 47 airports they operate in Spain is stronger than ever.

For more information, read the complete AENA, Barcelona El Prat Airport success story and/or reference any of our Wonderware Transportation or Facilities Management success stories.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Invensys Participates in CityNext

Company engages with government, businesses and citizens to shape next-gen cities



AUGUST 15, 2013 / HOUSTON, TEXAS Invensys, a focused supplier of state-of-the-art industrial software, systems and control equipment to the world’s major industries, is working with Microsoft on CityNext, an initiative designed to help governments, businesses and citizens reimagine what is next for their cities.

According to the United Nations, for the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and nearly 70 percent of people will live in cities by 2050. This ongoing migration creates unprecedented opportunities, but also intensifies problems such as aging infrastructure, hazards to public health and safety, pollution, crime and traffic. Through the CityNext initiative, Microsoft and Invensys will help leaders do “new with less.” By combining the power of technology with innovative ideas, CityNext will connect governments, businesses and citizens with city services that increase efficiencies, reduce costs, foster a more sustainable environment and cultivate communities where people thrive. 

Invensys, through its Wonderware® software product line and partner solutions, provides unique, modern industrial software solutions, systems and control equipment that help improve critical infrastructure operations, including for cities of all sizes. These solutions help cities provide essential, life-sustaining services like clean drinking water, sanitary wastewater treatment, reliable electricity, safe transportation and other services. Wonderware software solutions help clients utilize critical data to make better, faster decisions and improve efficiency. Operational information of practically any kind can be securely viewed in real time from anywhere at any time, from a single, integrated and open Wonderware software platform. 

“Our participation in Microsoft CityNext demonstrates our commitment to helping cities be smarter, more sustainable and more innovative now and to modernize for the future,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president of platforms and applications for Invensys.Microsoft’s latest technologies will provide us with greater opportunities to help our municipal customers transform and modernize their city operations using familiar, secure Wonderware technology and devices. Through this program, cities will be able to engage their citizens and businesses using mobile applications and big data analytics, helping to accelerate innovation and opportunities through community development and workforce enablement programs.”  

"We’re thrilled to partner with Invensys on CityNext. Microsoft prioritizes putting people and partners first in our initiatives and CityNext is no different,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Even though cities are feeling the strain from economic challenges, we believe a new era of innovation will create opportunities for people to utilize technology to accomplish what they never thought possible. We’re inspired by our diverse partner ecosystem and know that working together we can help cities realize their full potential.”

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wonderware Software Reduces Waste and Justifies Investment for Calabria Water Resources


For over 30 years, Società Risorse Idriche Calabresi (So.Ri.Cal.) has supplied drinking water to the people in the Calabria Region of Italy. The agency is responsible for a far-reaching system that covers approximately 6,000 kilometers and is comprised of 200 aqueduct systems, four dams, 10 derivation crossbars, 14 wastewater plants, 300 lifting stations and almost 1,000 tanks. In this region, water conservation is emphasized, but the challenge is compounded by the mountainous geography of Calabria and the remote location of much of the system.
 
 
Recognizing a substantial opportunity to reduce waste and improve efficiency, So.Ri.Cal organized a new department to tackle the project. The goal was to create a pilot system that would incorporate innovative remote control and automated solutions to optimize water production and better conserve this precious resource. From the beginning, the strategy was focused on finding the most efficient way to manage and unify this complex aqueduct system. The best solution would be flexible; it would prove itself in the pilot and then scale to the larger operation, which is divided into three macro-areas and ten different management areas.
 
With Wonderware, So.Ri.Cal. found a flexible, open and scalable software platform. They chose the software because it provides comprehensive capabilities, plus great investment protection. Not only is Wonderware known for its ease of use, but its independent, open platform will allow So.Ri.Cal. to expand by integrating any hardware, control systems and automation products on the market.
 
So.Ri.Cal. now has precise, real-time data on the lifting and supply network. They can manage events in the field and guarantee water and energy savings. With the great success of the pilot program, the Wonderware solution will be implemented across the entire system. 
 
"By the end of the test phase, the Wonderware solution will provide immediate ROI and justify our investment."
- Sergio De Marco, General Director, Società Risorse Idriche Calabresi 
 
For more information, read the complete success story here and/or access any of our Wonderware Water & Wastewater Industry success stories.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Managing Road Infrastructure in Italy

Tecnositaf, a SITAF S.p.A. company, is an integrated engineering company based in Italy that designs, develops and manages systems and tools for mobility control, road, rail and industrial safety. Invensys and Tecnositaf experience and technologies were combined to ensure maximum safety for drivers along Italy's A32 Torino-Bardonecchia motorway infrastructure, a major road connecting Italy to France.
 
 
 When traveling on a motorway, drivers are particularly concerned with traffic and road conditions, but their safety depends on an almost invisible technology infrastructure that needs to always be working. In order to ensure safety, improve service levels and limit maintenance costs, SITAF (Società Italiana Traforo Autostradale del Fréjus), as contractor, invested in the expansion of the technology infrastructure. Influencing the decision was the fact that 18 of the 73 kms are tunnels, a potentially hazardous environment for vehicles and a place where rescue interventions are extremely difficult.

Constant event monitoring and automated management systems were key requirements. Invensys Wonderware System Platform and InTouch HMI (Human Machine Interface) represented the ideal solution for supervising the entire road section. The solution is particularly innovative, as it allows SITAF the freedom of customizing the application in order to develop all the necessary controls, as well as to reach the expected integration level, all while providing a reliable solution.

“We invested in the deployment of the most modern systems available on the market today, developing solutions enabling us to go far beyond international standards.”   Giuseppe Celia Magno, Sales and Quality Manager, Tecnositaf

For more information, read the complete success story here and/or access any of our Wonderware Transportation Industry success stories.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Invensys Acquires SmartGlance Software

Company extends mobile and cloud / SaaS offerings

 


JUNE 13, 2013 / HOUSTON, TEXAS Invensys, a focused supplier of state-of-the-art industrial software, systems and control equipment to the world’s major industries, has acquired the SmartGlance™ mobile reporting product of Sarla Analytics, LLC, a privately held company headquartered in Barrington, R.I.

Founded in 2010, Sarla Analytics is part of The Sarla Group of software companies. Sarla Analytics’ mission is to leverage the power of enterprise mobility to increase productivity, reduce costs and streamline operations. SmartGlance, the industrial mobile reporting business app, delivers secure, on-demand access to rich, graphical reports from any operations data source via mobile devices, allowing industrial personnel to make smarter, faster decisions from anywhere, at any time and on any device.

“Acquiring this technology accelerates our delivery of solutions that leverage the power of mobile devices and managed systems via cloud and SaaS models,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president of platform and applications software solutions at Invensys. “It strengthens our current leadership position in mobile industrial data reporting and reinforces our commitment to deliver access to information, analytics and KPI’s to a user’s device of choice.”...

For more information, read the complete news release, or visit the SmartGlance product page.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Invensys Joins New Smart Cities Council as Associate Partner

Helps accelerate global shift to smart, sustainable cities


JUNE 06, 2013 / HOUSTON, TEXAS Invensys, a focused supplier of state-of-the-art industrial software, systems and control equipment to the world’s major industries, has joined the new Smart Cities Council as an Associate Partner. The Council is comprised of leading global technology companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and others working in partnership with advising experts from the world of research, academia and advocacy.
 
Urbanization is a global trend. More than 50 percent of people today live in cities, and according to the United Nations, the number is increasing. Urbanization poses significant short-term and long-term challenges to governments and municipalities, including retrofitting aging infrastructure, relieving traffic congestion, meeting energy demand, rising energy costs and more...
 
“Invensys is proud to be a part of the growing global smart cities movement through the new Smart Cities Council,” says Steve Garbrecht, vice president of software marketing for Invensys. “Our Wonderware® software, including the world’s leading human machine interface software, InTouch®, is ideally suited for cities. It allows secure management of virtually any infrastructure system, like power, water, wastewater, transportation and other networks, from a single, integrated real-time platform. Our software lets cities use valuable information to make better, faster decisions and improve efficiency of small or city-wide applications.”...
 
For more information, see the complete Invensys news release. Recent news about the launch of the Smart Cities Council can also be found on the Council's website here.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Infrastructure 2013 Report Released by Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young

Last week, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) held its Spring Meeting in San Diego, California. At the event, Infrastructure 2013: Global Priorities, Global Insights was released, the seventh in a series of global infrastructure reports produced by ULI and Ernst & Young. The 72-page report assesses the state of infrastructure globally and includes research and analyses on the latest trends, challenges, and innovations, along with insights from experts. It includes coverage of the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and the Asia Pacific regions.

100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge Announced by The Rockefeller Foundation

On May 14th, The Rockefeller Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to build urban resilience in cities around the world. The Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge will select one hundred cities and, through technical support and resources for developing and implementing plans for urban resilience, help them leverage billions of additional dollars in infrastructure financing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

City of Bremen, Germany, Cuts Energy Consumption and Consolidates Building Management

When the City of Bremen needed to modernize the heating systems in several of its buildings, it analyzed the project and realized an opportunity. Besides improving energy efficiency, there was the potential to implement a new building management system (BMS) that would bring greater control and provide far-reaching positive effects across the city’s extensive portfolio of properties – more than 1,200 municipal facilities covering over 1.8 million square meters (nearly 20 million square feet) of floor space. At the time, six control stations across the city were running a variety of proprietary building control systems, making reporting and sharing of information in a consistent format a challenge, and adding new buildings complicated and costly.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Long Beach Water Department Increases Efficiency with Wonderware SCADA Solution

Long Beach Water Department (LBWD) in Long Beach, California, is responsible for keeping the city's 487,000 residents supplied with clean, good-tasting water that meets stringent federal and state regulations for drinking water quality. As the largest groundwater treatment plant in the U.S., the department’s facility is considered one of the most modern plants in the world. LBWD also operates and maintains nearly 765 miles of sewer lines, removing more than 40 million gallons of wastewater per day from throughout the city and delivering it to Los Angeles County sanitation district facilities.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Timelapse Video of a Smart City at Night

The city of Barcelona, Spain, has been mentioned a few times on this blog. In fact, we kicked off the blog last December with a post about Invensys' participation at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress held there. That major international event will be held in Barcelona again this coming November, and Invensys will be there.

Midnight Barcelona is a stunning timelapse video by Pau García Laita that offers a fast, modern look at the city at night. According to the description on YouTube, more than 20,000 pictures were taken and five months of work required for the project. It is an impressive reminder of city dynamics, and in this case those of a city widely recognized as a leading smart city.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2013 World Airport Awards by Skytrax

Airports are a critical part of the transportation infrastructure. Last month, the 2013 World Airport Awards were announced by air transport rating organization, Skytrax Research of London, UK. The Airport Survey has operated since 1999, and this year it garnered 12.1 million airline passenger nominations, and included 395 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates 39 airport Service and Product key performance indicators - from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate. This year, Singapore Changi Airport came out on top as "The World's Best Airport." This is the fourth time the airport has achieved the top prize; it last claimed victory in 2010.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Remote Monitoring of Transportation Tunnel System in Wuxi, China

Wuxi earned its nickname “Little Shanghai” for its proximity to China’s most populous city and for its booming economy and rapid growth. To manage a complex series of roads, bridges, and tunnels, city officials required a technology management system that could observe and manage tunnel conditions, manage equipment operations including power, lighting, ventilation and drainage, and handle emergency response procedures.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Worldwide Smart City 2013 Top 10 Predictions by IDC Government Insights

The Smart City movement is increasingly a force of innovation and investment at all levels of government. To help government organizations, IDC Government Insights has identified the key trends and business drivers in IT and related technologies that will influence Smart City development for the next 12–18 months.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Global Information Technology Report 2013 Released by World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum recently released The Global Information Technology Report 2013, the 12th in the series. The report is one of the most authoritative assessments of the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) on competitiveness of nations and citizen well-being. It analyses the impact and influence of ICT on economic growth and jobs in a hyperconnected world. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

U.S. Infrastructure Financing for Cities Task Force Launched

On April 17, the United States Conference of Mayors and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) announced the launch of the Infrastructure Financing for Cities Task Force (IFC Task Force) that will address critical issues facing American cities. Thus far, 17 mayors with a combined constituency of more than 17 million people have joined the IFC Task Force. Collaborating with CGI – which brings together leaders from business, government, labor, and civil society to address the world's most pressing challenges – the mayors will explore solutions to current obstacles to public infrastructure investment, look at existing models of leveraging private capital to finance projects such as road and water system improvements, and deliberate innovative investment models such as the creation of an urban infrastructure bank.

Monday, April 29, 2013

America's Infrastructure Graded a D+

Every 4 years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure that depicts the condition and performance of U.S. infrastructure in a simple school report card format by assigning letter grades to each of 16 categories. The 2013 Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of current infrastructure conditions and needs along with recommendations for improvement.

Managing Infrastructure Through One Platform ... Enabling the Cities of the Future

Touch magazine is a Microsoft industry publication covering public sector activity within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. It offers insight into advances being made by Microsoft and its partner ecosystem. The Spring 2013 issue's article "Urban Innovation" by Karen McCandless takes a look at the technology and innovation driving the development of cities of the future.

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Smart City Progress Report: North America

According to Eric Woods of Navigant Research:
"The smart city label may be less common in North America than in Europe and Asia, but North American cities are looking to technology to improve the quality of public services and boost local economies. U.S. and Canadian cities are also matching their counterparts around the world in setting ambitious sustainability targets."
Read Eric's complete point-of-view piece on the Smart Cities Council website - it identifies several areas where North American cities are driving technology innovation: Smart City Progress: North America

Invensys is an Associate Partner of the Smart Cities Council.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World's Longest High-speed Rail Line Operates on ArchestrA System Platform

In China, more than 220 railway stations across 15 high-speed rail lines are controlled by Invensys software. When the China Ministry of Railways' nation-wide system is completed in 2020, more than 800 stations will be running on Invensys technology solutions throughout a 12,000-kilometer (7,500-mile) rail network.


Combining Transportation and Facilities Management elements on a large scale, this story includes the following successful results:
  • The Wonderware System Platform and Wonderware InTouch HMI solution allows the integration of 60 different third-party vendors into each station's Passenger Information System
  • New stations can be deployed as needed and configured in as little as one day
  • Operational costs have been lowered because personnel can be reduced or allocated more effectively
  • Better visibility to the entire system has led to decreased maintenance costs
 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Invensys featured as smart city provider in Spain



Barcelona wants to become a people-oriented city, where technology contributes to achieving a greater welfare, quality of life and boosting economic progress.

Located on a former military barracks site south of the city of Zaragoza in Aragón, Spain, Ecocity Valdespartera is a revolutionary social housing project that is putting the environment and the well being of its citizens first.
Please read the story here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

China targets first batch of Smart Cities

Feb 2013 – Smart Cities in China –  The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) released a list containing the first batch of pilot smart cities [90, included on list] …



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ouch! AP claims grid spending is making power LESS reliable

A new utility spending analysis offers up a startling conclusion. It suggests customers are paying more for power and getting less reliability. How did we get to this point?

Invensys Joins Smart Cities Council

Invensys recently joined the Smart Cities Council as part of an effort to work with other similar minded technology vendors who are passionate about making the cities we live in, more sustainable. Wonderware Smart Cities Solutions help clients utilize critical data to make better, faster decisions and improve efficiency – and these are precisely the kinds of benefits smart cities are looking for.


The Smart Cities Council shares our vision.

We envision a world where digital technology and intelligent design have been harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs. We promote cities that embody our three core values:
  • Livability: Cities that provide clean, healthy living conditions without pollution and congestion. With a digital infrastructure that makes city services instantly and conveniently available anytime, anywhere.
  • Workability: Cities that provide the enabling infrastructure -- energy, connectivity, computing, essential services -- to compete globally for high-quality jobs.
  • Sustainability: Cities that provide services without stealing from future generations.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Carson City, Nevada, is a “Smart City” with the Help of Invensys

Carson City Public Works is responsible for taking care of the city’s water, wastewater, transportation, landfill, fleet, environmental, and renewable power systems. To achieve its goals, Carson City Public Works created an infrastructure that revolves around the capabilities of its people and the best available smart city technology from Invensys. The result is improved operator and managerial efficiency, increased situational awareness, and a high level of operational readiness. This short video shows how the city’s various systems are integrated together to create a smart city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Watch video

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

World Urbanization Animation Using UN Data for 1960, 1980, 2011 and 2025





Click on the image for a clear, full-size animation. This was prepared using static UN Urbanization data for 1960, 1980, 2011 and 2025.
 
The increasing % of urban population is shown by increasingly dark country colors. Growth in the number and size of large cities is represented with dots: 
  • Small Yellow = 1-5 Million
  • Medium Orange = 5-10 Million
  • Large Red = Over 10 Million

Friday, March 1, 2013

Some figures on IT in smart cities market size: $20Billion USD in 2020 from 6 today


I was recently alerted to this posting from our team in Europe, who continue to find new opportunities in Smart Cities. So just how large is this market?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RTU or PLC?


What is the difference between an RTU and a PLC?

Friday, February 15, 2013

America’s Aging Infrastructure



Written by Lane Swensen, Product Marketing, Invensys

Infrastructure is critical to the well being and proper functioning of a society. Whether on a national, regional or local/municipal level, infrastructure provides citizens with critical, life-sustaining services like drinking water, wastewater treatment and electricity. It also enables mobility through efficient transportation networks and makes competitive manufacturing possible through integrated transportation/delivery systems including roads, rail and air.

Lack of infrastructure is one issue receiving attention. We see many rapidly developing economies (RDEs) that are instituting infrastructure projects of many types, some of which are very impressive and large in scale.

In developed economies, while infrastructure has continued to expand with population growth, some existing infrastructure has been in place for decades with little fundamental upgrade. Too often, these systems are well beyond their original design life and are in need of attention.

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address this week, he acknowledged that America had “an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE website) has published the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure a number of times. Though the categories have evolved a bit over the years, America’s cumulative grade has pretty much stayed the same – and not in a good way (Report Card website):

2009 – D
2005 – D
2001 – D+
1998 – D     

…where “D” means Poor, and “F” means Failing.

A new, 2013 report card will be coming out next month and will provide a valuable update. If it’s consistent with prior years, the report will also indicate the massive amount of investment estimated to be needed to bring lower grades up to a “B” or Good status. In the 2009 report, that amount was $2.2 Trillion over the subsequent 5 years.

Last month, ASCE released the report Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future (details here). It is thought-provoking and reminds us that failing to act only exacerbates the problems America is facing with its infrastructure. And, because infrastructure is so fundamental to a society, its decline (lack of maintenance) likely means a substantial impact to a national economy, fewer jobs and lower incomes / consumer spending. 

We’ll continue to discuss infrastructure developments around the world on this blog, including across the segments receiving attention. There are many opportunities. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Manufacturing in Space

I recently found this article about a company in California that announced ambitious plans to begin prospecting and mine near-Earth asteroids by 2020. Eventually these can be used to place small manufacturing facilities on the asteroids to manufacture things like space stations.



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is The UK Ready For A Smart City?

Well, it is not just the UK, but here is a good article from one of our partners in this part of the world, Solutions PT that talks about the level of technology that administrators and managers of these cities are accustomed with, and suggests they explore more advanced techniques and technologies.