Users of Invensys Operations Management's RemoteWatch, a feature of the company's Customer FIRST service program, will be getting a bevy of upgrades. RemoteWatch, which monitors the status and health of users' Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system (DCS), will now offer improved issues detection, diagnostics and troubleshooting, improved reporting capabilities and enhanced cybersecurity.
The intention behind RemoteWatch, says Rick Devoe, product manager for RemoteWatch, "is to provide the ability for engineers on-site to be focused on optimizing production, not on systems issues. RemoteWatch gives them the ability to focus on what they're supposed to be focused on—optimizing production."
RemoteWatch continuously monitors the performance and health of the Foxboro DCS, in particular the operating KPIs, and proactively detects issues such as available memory, CRC errors and other systems alarms and trends at an early stage, before they become serious. Then, using two servers in tandem, one that contains RemoteWatch applications at the customer site and one at an Invensys operations center, Invensys experts analyze the performance of the DCS, and transmit the results back to the customer using a secure communications protocol. The Invensys engineers work with the customer to take corrective actions and make adjustments, reducing the risk of unexpected production downtime.
"There's a huge time savings here," says Devoe. "The customer doesn't have to wait for a live technician. We can fix a problem in real or near-real time, or do it when it's convenient for the customer."
Paul Ayres, lead technical engineer for RemoteWatch, adds, "Through established processes, we contact the customer by phone or email. Our engineer would relay information, and help determine root causes of issues. The user can request that Invensys log in and look at the site, and take action or not. The customer is in full control of when the fix happens."
New features include Remote Backup Service, which allows users to store systems backups automatically and security on the RemoteWatch server; Netsight Console, which enables local and remote engineers to troubleshoot network issues; and Data Diode, a device that creates a physical gap between the I/A Series DCS and the RemoteWatch server, and can't be breached by a remote cyber attack.
RemoteWatch users can now benefit from the system's ability to push and install Foxboro I/A Series product quick fixes and McAfee antivirus programs onto the DCS locally. They no longer need to log in to the Invensys website to review the latest systems patches, and they can view the availability of the latest antivirus files on their LocalWatch interface to determine if they're applicable to their particular DCS. If appropriate, they can install the patches during normal maintenance cycles, all without leaving the Remote Watch server.
RemoteWatch allows technicians to perform higher value tasks while providing what Invensys calls "the highest level of security in the history of remote login technology." Users of RemoteWatch also have no need to bring in on-site engineering to resolve systems breakdowns. Because the system can detect, identify and resolve systems issues before they occur, it helps reduce maintenance costs, increase DCS ROI, and maximize system uptime.
RemoteWatch is available to members of Invensys' Customer FIRST Premium, Elite and Standard programs. For more information, go to http://iom.invensys.com/EN/Pages/Services_RemoteServices.aspx.
For more information about Invensys Operations Management go to http://iom.invensys.com.