In 2006, Invensys Process Systems launched what Invensys vice president Dr. Peter Martin called an enterprise control system. Company marketers called it InFusion, and they had great difficulty explaining what it was. It wasn't an MES system; it wasn't a DCS or a SCADA system, although it could be used with and interface with those systems. It was, according to Invensys, something entirely new. Now, Invensys Operations Management has re-launched InFusion and the concept of an enterprise control system. After morphing Invensys Process Systems, Wonderware, Eurotherm and IMServe into Invensys Operations Management, and significantly re-architecting the company's portfolio of offerings, it has become clear what an enterprise control system is, not just what it isn't.
First, the company has articulated what enterprise control is. In the simplest terms, according to Dr. Martin, it's the synchronization of business strategy with production execution—in real time. This means that plant and enterprise management can apply the principles of optimization to a business, while operating within a set of interrelated constraints. Enterprise control weaves the fabric for this synchronization, Martin says, by supporting the alignment of all of the operational excellence areas—environment and safety, people, assets and control—with a strong emphasis on empowering the enterprise's most critical asset—people.
An enterprise control system integrates systems and processes throughout an enterprise, creating a "business control loop" to provide situational awareness to people throughout the enterprise, providing real-time decision support with both context and perspective.
"In principle," says ARC vice president Dave Woll, "the capabilities of the InFusion enterprise control system align with ARC's Collaborative Process Automation System (CPAS) model, and do so with a single integration software platform (ArchestrA)."
InFusion is Invensys' enterprise control system offering. It consists of the hardware and software components that the company states are necessary to rapidly create a sustainable, integrated enterprise control solution. According to the company, InFusion embraces and extends a client's unique combination of existing automation and information investments.
InFusion components may be provided by Invensys or by third parties. For example, components might include a process control system (DCS or SCADA), a historian, a workflow system, a CMMS system and others. Any of these components may be from any vendor. The company claims this capability provides the ability to supply best-in-class systems and construct an individualized enterprise control system based on each customer's unique requirements.
ArchestrA is the open software integration and workflow technology that is the backbone of an InFusion enterprise control system. Jointly developed with significant investment from Microsoft, the technology has been proven over the past nine years with over 250,000 licenses in the field.
ArchestrA provides industrial software services on top of the Microsoft .NET framework, creating what Invensys claims is the first industrial services-oriented architecture. Among other key industrial services, ArchestrA technology includes both development and runtime functions, which are linked via a common integrated development environment (IDE) to provide a component object-based application environment capable of application development and deployment over an entire industrial enterprise.
Any third-party or Invensys product that communicates with the open ArchestrA System Platform is an InFusion Component. The company claims the platform provides a comprehensive engineering environment and a powerful toolkit for application development and integration of Invensys and third-party applications and systems, along with a complete library of reusable objects.
For more information, visit www.infusionjourney.com.