LimeWare acquisition to ease Foxboro system tasks

Schneider Electric brings foxray developer in-house, sees opportunity for broader use by installed base

By Keith Larson

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According to Grant Le Seuer, the decision by Schneider Electric to acquire LimeWare, the Brazilian developer of foxray software, was in many ways an easy one. As director of product management for Schneider Electric's Foxboro control system software, Le Seur sees his job as enabling customers to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, and to spend less time doing non-value-added tasks.  LimeWare's foxray software does just that, providing automated documentation, system analysis and change management for Schneider Electric's Foxboro control systems.

"LimeWare doesn't have a user base, it has a fan base," Le Seuer said of the many Foxboro customers who find foxray an essential everyday tool. But only 5% of current Foxboro system customers use foxray as well. "By acquiring them, we can bring the value LimeWare has created to the other 95% of Foxboro system users who can benefit from it," Le Seuer said.

"Foxray software is the go-to tool for working with our control system database on a daily basis," said Scott McWaters, process control engineer, Hunt Refining Company. "From easily locating and reserving spare I/O to improved troubleshooting and insight with the ‘where used’ function, system health reporting, operator action reports, alarm history, inhibited alarm tracking and many other functions, foxray has greatly increased our efficiency. The software has been instrumental in our recent alarm rationalization efforts, and the alarm shelving tool will be used to help cut down on the number of call outs to our on-call engineers for nuisance alarm silencing. This contributes to our overall confidence in the integrity of our operation."

LimeWare was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Its foxray system management software sits atop Foxboro Evo process automation and I/A Series distributed control systems, automatically interrogating and reverse-documenting them. It also offers capabilities for configuration management, alarm management and operator action analysis. Features include:

  • Change tracking with a complete change management workflow process;
  • Graphics visualization of the control block loops;
  • Integrity checks to solve configuration issues;
  • Scheduled reports;
  • Alarms and operator action management and tracking;
  • I/O and FBM (fieldbus module) spare reserve and tracking;
  • An advance query engine that can quickly fetch any DCS information.

LimeWare and its offerings will be fully integrated into Schneider Electric’s process automation business and will continue to be managed by its existing executive team. The foxray product name, however, will give way to System Auditor in the months to come.

"Acquiring LimeWare and its foxray software is an integral part of our strategy to help our customers improve their operational integrity and operational insight, while future-proofing their operations," said Gary Freburger, president of Schneider Electric's process automation business. "With additional investment in our flagship process automation offerings, we have even more power to address critical challenges around safety, reliability and efficiency. The ability to more easily tackle pain points while driving value across the entire process automation chain, is one of the big ideas we are discussing with our customers in Dallas this week, and it remains a major differentiator for our process automation business."

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