New Wonderware Software Tackles Range of Industry Needs

From Smartphone Access to Quality Management to High-end Scalability, There's Something for Every Industry in Wonderware's Latest Releases.

By Walt Boyes

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"Let's start with a few numbers: 725,000; 135,000; 5,000; 27 and 1."

So began Rob McGreevy, Wonderware vice president of platform and operations software, in his keynote address to users of Invensys Operations Management's Wonderware and Avantis software this week in Anaheim, Calif. "That's 725,000 licenses at 135,000 sites worldwide—including 5,000 new licenses and 27 new product launches since 2011—for the Invensys software business," McGreevy explained. "All these contribute to us being the number one industrial software company in the world."

As befitting the industrial software leader, Invensys this week unveiled a broad range of new software releases and new functionality designed to satisfy a range of industries' particular needs.

ArchestrA System Platform 2012 R2

First up was the new release of ArchestrA System Platform 2012 R2, which includes extended plant-to-plant communication, a 300 percent increase in historian data capacity, redundant historians, support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012, greatly improved data throughput, higher security and higher data reliability. The updated software further improves upon its reputation for tight integration, compatibility, ease of upgrade, high availability and the ability to analyze data quickly and easily, which translates to bottom line dollars, especially for those running 24/7 operations.

"The new ArchestrA System Platform 2012 R2 helps customers achieve operational excellence with improved capacity, more flexibility and system expansion," said McGreevy. "The updated software enables companies to easily and seamlessly connect all of their control systems with one common, tightly integrated infrastructure and common security, no matter how many operations they have or how geographically dispersed they are."

ArchestrA System Platform 2012 R2 software maintains data integrity and high availability with optimal performance under a single, easily managed and maintained engineering environment. This can be applied to large global companies and to medium-sized companies wanting to separate different parts of the business for operations or reporting purposes. This is not only extremely cost effective, but configuration of even the most sophisticated systems is as simple as checking a box.

"Customers with remote sites, such as oil and gas production, power plants, facilities management, water and wastewater plants or any SCADA-specific use, typically have issues properly handling intermittent, uncurrent or out-of-sequence data," said McGreevy. "When off-line remote sites suddenly connect, a burst of cached information must be handled quickly, efficiently and accurately. ArchestrA System Platform 2012 R2 software and Wonderware Historian 2012 R2 software, with significantly higher storage and retrieval throughput, can process intermittent and 'late' data with total integrity. In addition, the communication channel for data from the ArchestrA System Platform to the Wonderware Historian can be encrypted, greatly improving security of data across communications channels."

Mobility and the Cloud

The ability to deliver information to a broader range of decision-makers also is on Wonderware's priority list. McGreevy noted that just a few short years into its existence, the smartphone and tablet market is now outpacing that for PCs. "This is going to make a big difference in the way we interact with our data," he said.

"We now have over 480 registered devices using SmartGlance, an innovative mobile reporting offering that delivers plant data and reports directly to smart phones," McGreevy said. Originally offered only as a cloud-hosted solution, the company also is introducing an On-Premise option that allows companies to locally host and manage the application without requiring third-party services.

"Last year," McGreevy said, "we released advanced support for virtualization with high availability and disaster recovery for both VMware and Microsoft. This year we're further expanding our support."

"And while many people continue to be uncomfortable with ‘cloud computing' in the industrial environment," he continued, "the farther we get away from regulatory control, the easier it is to get users to buy in. Within the infrastructure and manufacturing markets, we have over 40 sites using cloud-enabled reporting solutions today and we're announcing two new managed services this year, Historian and Workflow, both using Microsoft Azure technology."

Quality Bolsters MES Suite

Tom Troy, director of operations and execution portfolio, next took the podium to introduce Wonderware MES 2012, stressing the addition of a major new quality module.

Wonderware MES 2012 is already installed at over 600 sites, and has provided significant capabilities to its users, Troy said.  Now, Wonderware MES Quality is seamlessly integrated into MES, and leverages the power of system management, Troy said. "It's the third module in the MES portfolio. It has integrated quality and SPC reporting, and the sampling plans are entirely in context of work orders." Quality reporting is made even easier with simple user interface controls for quality data entry and viewing, a complete template set of SPC charts, and tight integration with ArchestrA System Platform.

Ever Bigger Systems

John Krajewski, Wonderware director of product management for HMI/SCADA focused primarily on the ArchestrA System Platform's ability to handle increasing large systems through application segmentation and cross-galaxy operation.

"We are seeing larger and larger applications," Krajewski said. "System Platform scales to millions of data points. Still, we find our customers bumping up on boundaries. What they tell us is that they want to segment applications with galaxies, yet link the galaxies together."

Krajewski went on to describe some fantastic capabilities for data exchange using a universal discovery service that they are currently calling MX Data Provider. The discovery service can be easily configured to browse tags and gather information across galaxies even if the galaxy is in another part of the supply chain. This unique capability may revolutionize the way entire enterprises are controlled.

"When it comes to envisioning and enabling real-time operational excellence, Invensys are the experts," McGreevy concluded. "Our software solutions help modernize all phases of plant operations, from the executive office to the plant floor. They help minimize downtime; they reduce costs; they cut total cost of ownership; they improve safety and quality; and, most importantly, they empower our clients' most valuable resource– their people. In short, innovative Wonderware and Avantis software and solutions can help our customers flexibly grow and compete in today's increasingly competitive market."

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