The ARC Industry Forum witnessed even more HMI SCADA Manufacturing Software news last week in Orlando. Yesterday I discussed the re-write of Ignition 8 by Inductive Automation. Today two more items. Yes, there was room for improvement in this technology area.

  • AVEVA announced updates to (Wonderware) InTouch HMI, InTouch Edge HMI, System Platform, Historian, and AVEVA Insight products
  • GE Digital announced iFix 6.0 and discussed the new GE Digital

AVEVA Updates Monitoring, Control, and Information Management Portfolio

Company spokespeople said the updates are delivering edge-to-cloud integration and advanced visualisation tools, along with seamless access to advanced applications and powerful analytics. They also announced commercial flexibility with subscription.

With these capabilities available in a hybrid cloud model, customers can quickly bridge OT and IT requirements, create reusable industrial applications with rapid time to value, and drive operational efficiency with increased visibility across multiple levels of an organisation, in the discrete, process, hybrid and infrastructure industries.

AVEVA CEO Craig Hayman said, “AVEVA is committed to partnering with our customers to achieve maximum value from industrial digital transformation. We enable smarter decisions by creating innovative technology. The latest enhancements in our Monitoring, Control and Information Management portfolio, exemplified by the benefits delivered through the ADNOC Panorama initiative, perfectly illustrate how we are empowering our customers with edge-to-enterprise visibility.”

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was cited as an example use case. The Panorama Digital Command Centre enables ADNOC to monitor and optimise the performance of its assets and operations across 16 operating companies (OPCOs) from their Abu Dhabi headquarters. This includes oil and gas development and production, through to processing, petroleum and chemical products to transportation and distribution

H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, ADNOC Group CEO, said, “The Panorama Digital Command Centre demonstrates how ADNOC is utilising cutting-edge technology to find new ways to optimise our assets, unlock value and drive efficiencies across the company. It provides a single access point to critical operational and performance information, facilitating smarter and faster decision-making and better enabling us to uncover new solutions.”

GE Digital Announces Updated iFix

GE Digital announced a new version of iFIX. Part of the Predix portfolio, the new iFIX 6.0 gives users the most informed view of the problem or task and secure visualization from anywhere at any time.

“We are excited to announce a number of powerful improvements to our iFIX offering,” said Matt Wells, Vice President of Product Management for GE Digital. “Building on our heritage as an industrial company, we are intimately familiar with the challenges our customers face every day. Industrial companies are looking for better ways to quickly build new SCADA applications, improve user performance and respond to changing needs while maintaining the security of the application. By leveraging standards such as OPCUA, integrated support for ISA alarm shelving, and enabling new web development tools, iFIX 6.0 allows organizations to rapidly build new applications while ensuring the stability and security of their operations and empowering operators to respond better to changing conditions in real time.”

iFIX 6.0 includes integrated support for ISA 18.2 standards for consistent alarm shelving and interface presentation, which enables operators to easily prioritize critical alarms to avoid spending unnecessary resources on less-pressing needs – helping plants to increase productivity by up to 70 percent. A new alarm summary grid allows operators to filter and focus on the critical alarms that matter, making it easier for immediate responders to review information and deal with the priority situation at hand.

Additionally, iFIX 6.0 now offers secure-by-design client connections with its new OPC Unified Architecture (UA) server – a machine-to-machine communications protocol for industrial automation. Incorporating the latest industrial interoperability standards ensures platform independence, meaning that iFIX 6.0 runs across a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. Industrial organizations can now easily share data, alarms and events across supply chains with user authentication and encryption on iFIX 6.0.

“With iFIX, our operators are able to monitor system activity and respond immediately to any issues with full insights into what raised the alarm, helping us save time, reduce unnecessary downtime and meet compliance standards,” said Haley Lehman, Control Systems Technician, City of San Luis Obispo, Calif. “iFIX also allows us to get into the system from wherever we are, whether at home or out in the field. iFIX provides more reliable and readable information on demand, empowering plant operators to spend more time applying their expertise to the problem at hand and reducing the time spent navigating the system.”

iFIX 6.0 also provides new rapid application development features for HMI/SCADA, such as long tag names and descriptions – helping industrial users capture any hierarchy from their Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Rapid application development significantly speeds the configuration and deployment of HMI/SCADA, reducing costs and saving time for automation systems integrators and in-house engineering teams.

The iFIX 6.0 high performance HMI is based on ISA 101 standards, further improving safety and performance with more effective operator graphics. Users can access their iFIX high performance HMI screens in a native HTML5 format, supporting operators from any location and on any device. This also provides a more intuitive user experience which can help reduce operator errors and improve response time to events and incidents.

Like all products in the Predix portfolio, iFIX 6.0 provides immediate value on its own, or can be deployed alongside other Predix products to drive additional outcomes across a customer’s entire asset or system lifecycle. From data ingestion and processing at the edge to process and throughput improvements to broad fleet-wide optimization, the ecosystem of GE Digital solutions provides simple, accessible options for businesses at all phases of their digital transformation journey, regardless of maturity or vertical.

In December 2018, GE announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software portfolio. The GE-owned company will bring together GE Digital’s core software business – including the iFIX offering – with GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions and will start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue. Based on proven domain expertise and with more than 20,000 customers globally, the new company will provide a complete, end-to-end digital offering that will enable customers to go from generating insights to driving outcomes.

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