Coordinating Multiple Data Sources
On the business intelligence side, Rockwell Automation launched its FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI software for manufacturing. FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI empowers users at every level of an enterprise with information from web-based dashboards, and reports on key performance indicators (KPIs) from multiple manufacturing and business data sources. Manufacturers can better monitor and manage productivity in real time and make more insightful decisions about business priorities, such as product quality, equipment utilization and global supply-chain management to help reduce costs.
"Basically, FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI is a reporting tool that connects to multiple data sources and then coordinates that data," said McPherson. "It's been said that FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI is a like a human-machine interface (HMI) for manufacturing enterprise systems. It allows users to step back and compare, for example, temperature in a tank to work shift information or specific batch parameters."
FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI software connects to multiple data sources—real-time, historical, relational and transactional—to create one resource that can access, aggregate and correlate information via a web browser. The new application is based on a unified production model (UPM) that provides a unified view of seemingly disparate manufacturing data and gives a context for relationships among equipment, product, materials and people. The UPM organizes various manufacturing and enterprise data using commonly referenced business terms, like "equipment," "batches" or "manufacturing lots."
Access to this information improves decision-making for the manufacturing environment – from inventory to maintenance, quality to production all the way through the enterprise, including the supply chain.
"Advances in IT have been a hidden gold mine for many manufacturers. Access to data is often not the issue," added McPherson. "FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI finds, assembles and distributes information critical for smart decision-making in an information-overloaded world."
The new business intelligence software allows users to report data via many tools, including Microsoft Excel, Trend and SAP Business Objects Dashboard Builder, and view it through FactoryTalk VantagePoint, Microsoft SharePoint and other portals.
FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI is the second application from Rockwell Automation to leverage technology it acquired from Incuity Software. The first edition, FactoryTalk VantagePoint, was announced in 2008. Both editions combine data produced by Rockwell Automation's Integrated Architecture system and other third-party production systems to provide a single access point for information that can help make better manufacturing decisions. With two versions now available, manufacturers can select the most appropriate feature set for their needs.
"FactoryTalk VantagePoint was initially focused on Rockwell Automation's real-time and historical data sources, while our new FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI adds the ability to connect to a much richer range of data sources," explained Ted Hill, Rockwell Software business development director. "We can now get to any business data, such as SAP, or transactional data, basically anything in a relational database, such as an SQL server. Essentially, FactoryTalk VantagePoint and FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI both layer a Unified Production Model on top of these data sources, and this allows all users to find the information that's most useful to them."
Also, FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI can be used to address single or multiple manufacturing problems on one manufacturing line or across a global enterprise. In addition, FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI can be used to address specific manufacturing needs, like downtime reporting, status tracking or multiple control-system reporting. The software also can be bundled with services to provide a complete solution to satisfy unique vertical market needs.