The former Invensys Process Systems (IPS) part of what is now Invensys Operations Management (IOM) has joined Intergraph's SmartPlant Alliance and is integrating its software with Intergraph's SmartPlant Enterprise engineering solutions, thereby enabling highly automated project execution and improving the transfer of data from EPCs to plant owner operators. Other members of the alliance include ABB, Emerson Process Management and Honeywell. "Aligning with SmartPlant Enterprise will help IPS meet our objective of changing how control system engineering is approached," explained IPS vice president of global processes and systems Neil Holden. "By compressing design and build schedules to make critical data available whenever it is needed, we can help improve our clients' overall manufacturing, installation, construction, commission and training operations." IPS has developed complementary interfaces between SmartPlant Instrumentation, SmartPlant P&ID and SmartPlant Foundation with its industrial automation solutions including field devices, control systems, safety systems and simulation and asset management software.
Meanwhile in India
One immediate problem for the new IMO executive team is what to do about the Invensys Development Centre (IDC) in Hyderabad, India. A flurry of postings on Jim Pinto's Invensys weblog have suggested that the company may be preparing to transfer IDC and its operations to an outsourced service provider, such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Earlier postings to the blog, some with a distinctly chauvinistic flavor or worse, have questioned the quality of the work done by IDC. Pinto, however, has become so fed up with the continual stream of postings, few of which have added much to the sum of human understanding, that he's threatening to ban anonymous postings, a move which would no doubt be welcomed by Invensys management.
INSIDER asked Invensys whether there was anything in the rumors and received the not entirely surprising response that "Invensys Operations Management does not comment on rumors of future activity.
One of the highlights of Microsoft's booth at last April's Hanover Fair was the 'Schtick' inverse pendulum balanced on two electrical drive axes in the x/y planes and kept vertical by a Beckhoff Embedded PC CX1020 controller. Commissioned by Microsoft to demonstrate the real-time capability of Windows CE 6.0, the demonstration has since been presented by the Microsoft Embedded product team from Redmond in conjunction with Beckhoff at the TechEd US international development conference where it made such an impression that Intel ordered a system if its own from Beckhoff to demonstrate the high performance of the Intel Atom-based controller.
The complete Schtick demonstration comprises three devices with different operating systems: the CX1020 running Windows CE 6.0 R2 controlling the inverse pendulum; a CP6203 Ethernet panel with Windows Embedded Standard as operating station; and a device with Windows Embedded Server 2008 for data storage in an SQL database.