ACE - Automation, Communications and Energy

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Automation, Communications and Energy

Automation, Communications and Energy Services

We provide engineering consulting services in the field of Automation, Communications and Energy, designing and developing projects with a view to enhancing the operational efficiency and cost rationalization of the Supply and Sanitation Systems, highlighting:

Preparation of Projects for Telemanagement Systems and Communications Networks to support Telemanagement

Preparation of Specifications, with a view to the respective public procurement procedure for the implementation of Telemanagement Systems and Communications Network

Analysis of proposals for the public procurement procedure for the implementation of Telemanagement Systems and Communications Network

Technical Assistance and Supervision in the implementation of Telemanagement and Communications Network Projects

Development of Multiservice Communications Network Projects, based on VPN-IP MPLS technology supported on operators' broadband circuits, and on APN supported on GPRS/UMTS mobile networks

Development of Integrated Solution Projects for WAN Communications Networks supported by microwave networks, local area networks (LAN), video surveillance over IP and voice over IP (VoIP)

Support in the negotiation of communications solutions with telecommunications operators

Preparation of Dispatch Room Projects for the Central Control Centers

Remote Management Systems

With the implementation of Remote Management Systems, it is intended to provide the Managing Entities with information technology infrastructure (hardware and software) for monitoring, command and control, allowing:

An effective and integrated technical management of its operational facilities, through monitoring, command and control, in real or "almost real" time, and remotely and centrally, of the operating status of the various operational facilities, geographically distributed, thus enabling a immediate action in case of anomalies

Economic and efficient management of water supply and distribution and sanitation systems, enhancing their energy efficiency, through the optimization of production and pumping, control of consumption and energy quality, as well as the efficiency of travel and local interventions , in case of anomalies, upon prior knowledge of the origin and nature of the anomalies that occurred.

At the top of the Telemanagement System is the IT infrastructure (Data Center) to support the Supervision System (SCADA System) and the Dispatch Room, which make up the Central Control Center.

At the base of the Telemanagement Systems is the processing and control infrastructure, supported by various types of equipment, including actuators, sensors and instrumentation for measuring and analyzing the quality of water and energy, data acquisition, processing and control, with the particularity of being located in operational facilities spread over a vast geographical area.

A Remote Management System, due to its geographically dispersed nature, also proposes the existence of a Support Communications Network, which ensures the regular flow of data between the various remote operational facilities and the supervision system of the Central Control Center.

Multiservice Communication Networks

With the implementation of Multiservice Communication Networks, it is intended to provide the Management Entities with their own communications infrastructure, or by operator, which, in addition to the necessary support to the Telemanagement System of the operating facilities, allow supporting, in their main facilities, the aspect multi-services, namely IT, Voice over IP (VoIP) and Video over IP, in order to enhance economic efficiency with the communications infrastructure.

Multiservice Communication Networks are supported by the concepts "all-IP communications" and "all in one IP access", that is, all communications are supported by the IP protocol, and each installation has its communications services centralized in a single access to the Communications Network, safeguarding the existence of redundancies in critical installations.

They are based on proprietary solutions supported on microwave and fiber-optic links, or on circuits leased to a telecommunications operator, consisting of VPNs (Virtual Private Network), supported by the MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) protocol with differentiation in Quality of Service (QoS), with a view to the implementation of bandwidth management policies, in a fast, flexible, secure and reliable way, and adjusted to the needs of the targeted installations.

In operational facilities, spread over a vast geographical area, the option also involves the use of the mobile network, through GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) technology, ensuring the security of communications through integration into an APN (Access Point Name) own.

Optimization of Energy Consumption and Energy Efficiency

The existence of specific modules for the economic and efficient management of water supply and distribution systems is a requirement of the Telemanagement Systems, in order to ensure a service with the best profitability conditions, namely the optimization of electricity costs.

This is the case of the "parameterization and optimization of energy consumption module", which allows the optimization of the operation of the various equipment, namely the electric pump groups, through its use at the lowest tariff hours (empty hours), taking into account the amount of stored water and predictable consumption, taking into account the respective hourly rate costs.

This module also allows, through information collected from energy analyzers and group analyzers, and other process instrumentation, to have detailed information and energy indicators by installation, subsystem, system, and global, for those responsible for operation and management system, can, in addition to analyzing the associated costs, trigger the necessary actions for energy optimization and implement Active Energy Efficiency programs.

Consulting and Technical Assistance in Cybersecurity

The OT (Operation Technology) and ICS/SCADA (Industrial Control Systems/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) environments, pillars of the Telemanagement Systems, are currently exposed to the most diverse cyber threats, as well as the vulnerabilities of IT (Information Technology) environments.

In the drinking water supply and distribution sector, operators of essential services, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the approach to Cybersecurity, and it is urgent for the Managing Entities to promote concrete measures in order to protect the operational systems.

Aware of the risks and degree of exposure of operators of essential services, the EU recently adopted the NIS Directive (EU) 2016/1148, or SRI Directive (Security of Networks and Information Systems), which establishes measures aimed at achieving a high common level of security of networks and information systems in the EU, imposing security requirements and notification requirements on operators of essential services.


Risk management

The Managing Entities must adopt appropriate technical and organizational measures to manage the risks to which their operating systems are subject, taking appropriate measures to prevent any incidents that may affect them, and to minimize their impact, in order to ensure the continuity of the service provided.

Security Incident Management

The Managing Entities, in accordance with best practices, must implement incident management processes, and notify the competent authorities, or CSIRT, of incidents with a significant impact on the continuity of the service provided.

With a technical team with extensive experience in the Design and Design of Remote Management Systems, and Automation and Supervision, we provide services of Consultancy and Technical Assistance in Cybersecurity, supporting managing entities in the definition and implementation of Risk Management and Security Incident Management processes in OT environments.