Productivity in modern metals plants and processes depends on sophisticated computer-controlled automation systems that have become so powerful, and so ubiquitous, that they amount to a new industrial revolution – the Internet of Things.
Progress is, however, often accompanied by unintended consequences. In the case of automation, the computers that make production smarter also make it more vulnerable to external interference. The risk of infection by the malicious code that infests the internet is one thing -the Stuxnet worm was one memorable example of a virus that targeted industrial control systems- and since then we have also seen a sophisticated attack on a German steel mill that crippled a blast furnace, as well as many day-to-day attacks, that don’t make the headlines, but also cause damage and delay.
As it's our experts who design these cutting-edge control systems, we also know how to make them as resilient as possible. To this end, our experienced team has formulated a set of measures aimed at protecting their reliability, integrity and availability. The general idea is to set up a “defense in depth”, an important part in which is played by ABB’s distributed control system, ABB Ability™ System 800xA.