Some manufacturing and automation news including interesting conferences, acquisitions and product and solution updates.

Water/Wastewater Symposium
For you Water/Wastewater and related Automation and Controls people, here is an announcement of the 2013 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium.

It will be held August 6, 2013 – August 8, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza-Universal Hotel in Orlando.

Now in its eighth year, the symposium offers a unique opportunity for automation, instrumentation and SCADA professionals in the water and wastewater sectors to share ideas, network and earn continuing education credits. This 3-day symposium focuses on the challenges associated with providing reliable, secure and cost-efficient automation for the world’s municipal water/wastewater infrastructure.

This year’s program includes over 40 technical speakers, networking events, poster session and supplier showcase. The keynote is by IBM’s Carey E. Hikada on using data to make smarter investment decisions. Two short-courses on SCADA cybersecurity and flowmeter section/sizing are also offered. Registration is $425 and includes breakfasts/lunches.

Invensys Acquires SmartGlance Software
SmartGlance ScreensNot a surprise here, Invensys has acquired the SmartGlance mobile reporting product of Sarla Analytics, LLC, a privately held company headquartered in Barrington, R.I.

Founded in 2010, Sarla Analytics is part of The Sarla Group of software companies. SmartGlance, an industrial mobile reporting business app, delivers secure, on-demand access to rich, graphical reports from any operations data source via mobile devices, allowing industrial personnel to make smarter, faster decisions from anywhere, at any time and on any device.

SmartGlance provides connectors for accessing data from different manufacturing sources, including both Invensys and non-Invensys systems. SmartGlance permits the ability to push data from virtually any data source, including popular process historians and any SQL database.

As part of the acquisition, the SmartGlance product will be part of the Invensys Wonderware portfolio of software product offerings.

PAS Provides Live Chat
Here’s a feature I love on consumer sites coming to you from an industrial B2B site. PAS announced live chat support on the company website. Live chat allows visitors to PAS website to quickly gain access to company resources.

“As a series of initiatives to enhance our customer experience, we have integrated the latest technologies to allow customers real-time access to our support staff,” said Bijan Habibi, Co-founder and Executive Vice President at PAS. “With live chat, visitors to our website will be able to quickly communicate with us from anywhere and at any time”.

Live chat enables PAS customers to initiate support chat conversations in seconds. A click on the “Live Chat” icon will launch a chat window for real-time communication.

TwinCAT 3.1 from Beckhoff Adds Features
As a continuation of the company’s next generation PC-based control software, Beckhoff Automation has announced the release of TwinCAT 3.1 with new features for eXtended Automation. One of the core concepts of eXtended Automation involves the convergence of automation with the domain of IT and computer science.

A key update with TwinCAT version 3.1 is support of 64-bit operating systems and the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. Support of IEC 61131-3 programming languages, object-oriented programming (OOP), C/C++ and Matlab/Simulink is continued and provides numerous optional tools to the TwinCAT programmer.

Another highlight in TwinCAT 3.1 is the possibility to reserve individual CPU cores of a multi-core processor exclusively for TwinCAT. This feature, known as “CPU Isolation,” gives the full performance of the reserved cores solely to TwinCAT.

A step toward simplifying and advancing TwinCAT is the integration into Microsoft Visual Studio, making use of the most widely used IDE in the world.

The integration of TwinCAT into Visual Studio also offers the option to use familiar source control techniques used by the IT world. In addition to saving and backing up source code, source control is increasingly used for revision control. Comparison tools are available in TwinCAT 3.1 for displaying the differences between the versions and it is possible to view which nodes have been modified. If a difference is detected, more details can be made visible by a double click. The comparisons are available in all IEC 61131-3 languages.

Honeywell Introduces Turnkey Virtualization
Honeywell launched the newest Experion Virtualization Solutions package, said to be the industry’s first turnkey blade solution that is optimized for virtualization and the needs of the process control industry, enabling offshore oil and gas, refining and petrochemical customers to increase operations availability and reduce the total cost of ownership of their control system.

Virtualization is a major productivity and efficiency tool for commercial and industrial operations. Process controls typically require separate servers to support different applications – requiring additional space, hardware and significant maintenance costs. Virtualization allows a single server to simultaneously run multiple operating systems and applications, insulating the operating systems from hardware changes, improving overall server utilization, simplifying maintenance and reducing costs.

The newest member of the Experion Virtualization family, called the Premium Platform, is based on blade server technology. It provides an alternate offering for the ultimate in lifecycle and availability features being demanded by the process industry. The Premium Platform reduces setup time by 90 percent, generates 40% more energy savings, has 22% greater density than alternative virtualized server platforms and allows recovery from a processor failure in minutes.

The new Premium Platform leverages blade server technology from IBM. IBM’s long term support along with its significant worldwide support infrastructure and the maturity of this platform were considerations in our decision.

IQMS Goes Mobile
IQMS, a manufacturing ERP and MES developer, released six mobile apps as part of its expanded mobile offerings initiative. These are compatible on all Android devices, such as tablets and smart phones, as well as IQMS’ proprietary rugged shop floor control device, the RTStation.

The Mobile Application Manager allows users to track, assign and organize their app licenses for any IQMS supported device, then freely reorganize them when different needs arise. Recently released mobile apps include:
• Carton Builder App: Interface directly with a weigh scale to calculate total parts by weight, then print labels with the push of a button once the package is full.
• Inventory Transactions and Locations App: View inventory location information and perform inventory transactions, such as creating new locations, adding and removing inventory and moving items between locations.
• Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) App: View existing MRO work orders or create new work orders for any piece of MRO equipment.
• Opportunity Central App: Gain enhanced CRM control by managing contact information, tracking the progress of specific customer or partner leads and viewing action items assigned to your opportunities
• ScanID App: Print box labels based on item BOM standards and ensure a correct box count instead of having to rely solely on your packaging personnel for accurate counts.
• Signature Capture App: Electronically captures and stores the signatures of your shipping company’s drivers for review or to be printed on associated bill of lading (BOL) reports.

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