Taking a ‘joined up' approach to factory, plant or utility security can help significantly reduce your risk, explains Bradford H Hegrat, CISSP, CISM, senior principle security consultant, Rockwell Automation

Whether your company is considered part of the UK's ‘critical infrastructure' or not, the consequences of a malicious security breach could reach catastrophic proportions. When investigating the potential repercussions of a successful attack for a cement company we learned a miniscule change to the batch – minor enough in fact for it still to pass two levels of testing - could result in a concrete application that was inherently unusable for its intended application. If this concrete was intended for a large building foundation, for example, the forces involved by the time you reached the fifth floor of construction may be enough to bring the whole lot down.

When selecting cable management solutions for panel building, ensuring elements such as wiring, terminal blocks and all the other components involved have the right level of identification is critically important. Correct and safe maintenance and any future reconfiguration work will depend on this. Here John McGee, product manager for identification and protection at HellermannTyton, examines some of the latest cable identification techniques and how these can be applied to ensure the best result for panel builders

Correct management of cables is something that needs careful consideration when undertaking a panel building project. Clear identification of each cable and component is will ensure the best option both for short and long term use. There are many products and techniques available today that offer a number of solutions for panel builders and those involved in their use.

Surge protection devices (SPDs) play an essential role in protecting sensitive electrical and electronic equipment from damage caused by overvoltages or other electrical power surges or spikes. Alan Reed, low voltage product manager at Cooper Bussmann, takes a look at the latest developments in surge protection for a wide range of applications

Overvoltages, electrical power surges or spikes are fast, short duration electrical transients in an electrical circuit. It is generally thought that up to 80% are generated from internal sources such as inductive load switching and normal equipment operations, while around 20% derive from lightning strike and power utility switching. The result can be cumulative equipment damage and possible premature failure, expensive system resets, downtime and data losses. Lightning strikes can cause catastrophic equipment failure, resulting in longer-term business disruption, plus expensive equipment repair and replacement costs.

Seamless integration of energy harvesting wireless technology in IP networks creates whole new possibilities for building automation

Internet protocol (IP) has now become a worldwide standard for data communication between all manner of devices over the Internet. Currently there is much discussion surrounding the idea of assigning every outlet and every filament lamp its own IP address and then connecting them over the Internet. What many do not know is that today already all electric loads can be addressed over an IP network - enabled by batteryless wireless technology and matching access points.

Nowadays there are several large projects to implement advanced meter management (AMM) solutions. These projects are being developed by the electrical utilities and contemplate the aspects of replacement of meters and the deployment of their associated communication. The meters are replaced by ‘smart' meters that automate the collection of usage data. The following paper, from Juan Antonio and Hugo Baroja from Ormazabal, and Javier Arriola from Iberdrola, was submitted at a CIRED seminar: SmartGrids for Distribution

The quest for intelligent, so called smart grid technology is seen by many as the key to future exploitation of renewable energy sources and the inclusion on the grid of home grown generation from micro CHP systems. But, as Keith Hamilton, group managing director of PBSI Group explains, the prerequisite for the establishment of smart grids relies on a significant investment in equipment as humble as protection relays

Organisations' increased dependence on their computing resource, together with growing concerns over UK grid power quality and availability, highlight the critical role of the UPS. A recent survey from Uninterruptible Power Supplies Limited (UPSL), a Kohler company, reveals users' experience of mains supply problems, their concerns for the future and their priorities for UPS protection. this article explains the threats posed by power quality problems today

I paid a visit to the Electronics and Electrical Industries Benevolent Association (EEIBA) at its new offices in Wandsworth in sunny Saarf West London recently. Apart from the fact I had a little trouble announcing into the entry phone who I wished to visit- the name hardly trips off the tongue - I was intrigued to find out a little more about the organisation.