We have a new company in the space, plus User Group news is picking up.

Aware Technology

I have known Roy Kok for many years now. The veteran marketer has helped start a new company and is serving as President. Aware Technology, based on NASA R&D, additional layered intellectual property and the vision of industry professionals, says it will deliver “the next step in the evolution of HMI/SCADA, DCS Systems and Historians.” The value proposition is layered analytics delivering “Automation Confidence through System Awareness.”

The automated learning solution builds a knowledge base of process experience to deliver both operational confidence metrics and anomaly detection. The product, Process Data Monitor (PDM), will integrate with all existing HMI/SCADA, DCS and Historian solutions through both native interfaces and industry standards such as OPC. PDM will also integrate directly with automation components—sensors and controllers—through a PDM Data Gateway. Gateway-collected data will be delivered to PDM running as an enterprise appliance, or to PDM running as a hosted “Private Cloud” application.

Target markets initially include Process and Hybrid applications. Examples include; Oil and Gas Production and Refining, Power Generation and Distribution, Water Purification, Wastewater Treatment, Chemical Manufacturing, Metals Manufacturing, Mining, and Building Automation. PDM is said to complement existing Advanced Process Control (APC), Health Monitoring and Asset Management systems.

“This is not a grass roots startup,” commented Peter Millett, chairman and CTO of Aware Technology. “iSagacity, a services company I co-founded in 2004, initially pioneered this technology in 2006, licensing and improving upon NASA’s patents and offering it to our customers in the nuclear industry as a service. We’ve formed Aware Technology to improve the product and deliver it to the masses, under the guidance of Roy Kok, our president and longtime automation industry veteran.”

“This product represents the natural next evolution of virtually all automation systems,” stated Kok. “It is widely known that 50% of automation engineers and operators are likely to retire over the next 5 to 10 years. This is a major loss of experience for the industry as a whole and the focus will be on capturing experience into a database, to offer guidance to new personnel, and give operators and engineers the tools to be proactive in process management rather than reactive to process alarms and failures. Other solutions focus on Advanced Process Control through complicated modeling processes and can’t deliver Confidence Metrics. Our solution is quite unique and is designed for the majority of the market, even addressing applications that do not have control rooms today, like Building and Facilities management.”

User Group Conferences

I was reminded of the upcoming User Conference Season by this Jim Cahill post on Emerson Process Experts. Jim writes about the last couple of weeks for you to submit an idea for a paper for Emerson Global User Exchange (this year October 24-28 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville).

Other upcoming events that either I will attend or someone from Automation World include the ABB Power and Automation World conference April 19-21, Siemens PLM May 2-5 in Las Vegas, WBF May 23-25 in Deleware, Honeywell User Group in Phoenix and Rockwell’s RSTechEd in Orlando both the week of June 12, a Cisco summit in July in Las Vegas, NI Week in Austin August 2-4, Rockwell’s PSUG and Automation Fair November 14-17 in Chicago.

Odd Thoughts
Humans have always enjoyed entertainment. But actors were considered low-class people from, say, the beginning of humankind until the Hollywood press machine got rolling in the 1920s. Then actors/actresses became celebrities. And with that status, they thought they could speak with authority on all manner of issues—and people actually listened to them! (well, many people anyway)

Now we see the explosion of Charlie Sheen. The problems of Mel Gibson. And many others. Perhaps it is time to revisit the wisdom of 5,000 years of human experience versus the last 90. Maybe our ancestors got something right?

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