Manufacturing Software Beyond HMI/SCADA

A manufacturing software supplier must go beyond where they are to keep pace with today’s needs. GE Digital just announced such an extension–to offer decision support capabilities. The new GE HMI/SCADA software offers “comprehensive and best-in-class monitoring and visualization capabilities,” as well as work process management, analytics, and mobility. Based on ISA high performance design principles, this solution enables companies to troubleshoot faster, reduce waste and increase productivity.

“Most SCADA systems are still configured as HMIs – simply a display to indicate status,” said Matthew Wells, General Manager Automation Software for GE Digital. “In developing this new generation solution, we have combined industry standards, GE research and Industrial Internet technologies to exceed traditional HMI/SCADA, increasing operational efficiency and delivering on business outcomes.”

Context-driven navigation and situational awareness

The new GE software features a context-rich HMI that changes as the user moves through the system. Navigation is derived from a structured asset model. Using the model, the software always can provide operators with the most relevant information – in context – and minimize time to response. Additionally, the structured asset model mapped to the SCADA database significantly speeds configuration. Modern technologies such as HTML5 and Web HMI allow for centralized development and deployment, as well as accessibility anywhere in multiple form factors.

“With high performance HMI/SCADA, operators are able to quickly determine an abnormal situation and get to the root causes of many issues,” said Sergio Chavez, Automation Engineer with Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power. “We help operators visualize a process and make alarms very visible. We’re shaving the time it takes for operators to act on a situation.”

To help engineers create the right user experience, GE also provides predefined smart objects and templates designed using efficient HMI concepts. Standard layouts and cards – such as trends, alarms, alarm summaries, and KPIs – are available out of the box, speeding configuration and improving user situational awareness.

Task management and mobility

Additionally, GE’s fourth generation HMI/SCADA portfolio has task management capabilities, triggering the right actions, at the right time, by the right person, in the right place based on alarms or other events. GE’s new Workflow 2.5 and Mobile 2.0 solutions extend the capabilities of Decision Support HMI/SCADA further, helping companies achieve their critical business outcomes with integrated workflows and intelligent alarming, available anytime and anywhere.

“Operator effectiveness allows operators the opportunity to grow professionally,” according to Bill Fritz, Director of Public Works, Waterford Township, Michigan. “They can reinvent themselves and gain new value-added skills. They can take on new roles.”

GE’s Wells explained, “Use technology to improve the operator experience and manage operations for greater efficiency. With just a quick look, operators today should be able to recognize which information requires their attention and what it indicates – which speeds response and drives to business outcomes.”

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