Jérôme Deyx, technical sales engineer at Codra, was recently interviewed by Actu-Environnement, a French media outlet specialising in matters environmental. Jérôme Deyx’s professional background has been very much on the technical side, with some 15 years devoted to the water sector. So he was more than happy to answer the questions of the specialised press, and to do so took full advantage of our “Codra Water” demonstrator, a business application illustrating all the different water treatment processes.
Can you tell us something about the IT security issues that you face in the water sector?
Water is a fundamental natural resource and its scarcity is increasingly an issue clearly. Water is of course a vitally important commodity for everyone in their daily lives.
The management and distribution of water requires special attention both to minimise losses and to make sure everyone has access to clean water.
So water treatment involves a whole set of essential safety and security issues and IT security is one of them. Codra, with its software suite, knows how to meet these needs. Codra was the first software manufacturer to have its SCADA software certified and its Panorama platform qualified. However, that’s not enough, you have to go beyond certification. And Codra does that, supporting its customers by offering native cybersecurity mechanisms inside the product. On top of that, Codra delivers training on cybersecurity, detailed best practice documentation and regular security bulletins published on our customer portal: my.codra.net.
With Codra, you benefit from a SCADA system with state-level backing, so you can develop your SCADA applications with built-in security mechanisms.
Codra provides regular security bulletins in your Customer Portal to keep you up to date with cyber security developments within Panorama. We do our utmost to ensure the protection of our customers’ SCADA systems.
What about service continuity? Are requirements increasing in that area?
In the water sector, the requirements in terms of continuity of service are certainly becoming more and more demanding. It is hard to imagine today that a household subscriber should suffer cuts or that a manufacturer who needs water to produce should have to face supply outages. For this reason, Codra’s Panorama solution helps address continuity of service as part of the SCADA process.
Panorama SCADA software allows operators to display different types of alarms. The alarm in question can then be classified and managed according to its level of criticality. An on-call operative in the field will be able to deal directly with the incident in question via their Panorama mobile application. The speed of processing that this enables helps minimise risk and mitigate any losses in terms of operations.
How do you adapt Codra’s solutions to new uses?
In many cases, as in the example above, mobility is an undeniable asset for keeping operational in the field at all times.
To support this, with Panorama Suite 2022, Codra is introducing some new web technologies.
Panorama’s Web HMI has been developed to provide a web-based interface from a simple HTML5 web browser to monitor and operate equipment in real time. The views in Panorama are also designed to match the equipment used by the operator, and offer functionalities that are adapted to their own usage and are immediately recognisable in the context. This is known as UX design and its aim is to present information in an operationally effective way.
Equally, it is important that we are now “web responsive”, in other words, this means having all the elements of a sewage treatment plant, for example, rearranged in a way that is readable on a mobile phone.
These innovative solutions, which Codra has been very attached to developing, enrich the user experience of our customers.
Who is the Panorama platform for?
In the water sector, the Panorama platform is aimed at local authorities that manage drinking water and sanitation, but also at private companies that are delegated to provide public services on behalf of these municipalities. One example is Nantes Métropole, in France, one of Codra’s long-standing customers. For more than 25 years, the company has been working with Panorama to manage the distribution of drinking water for the entire Nantes area. This water authority also attaches importance to UX design. They are currently working on the redesign of their SCADA application, at the mimic diagram level, in order to make it more ergonomic for the users and thus facilitate their daily tasks.
Another example is the city of Cape Town in South Africa, which Panorama centralizes and collects water level data via level transmitters that have been deployed in the distribution network. Water flow monitoring is an effective way for the city to know exactly how much water is being lost at a given measuring point and then to intervene on the ground in order to remedy leaks as best it can.
Panorama’s solution is therefore suitable for a wide range of activities and therefore a multitude of sectors.
Here we have highlighted applications in the water sector, but Panorama is also at work in areas such as industrial processes, building management, safety and security, etc.