Aveva Outlines Its Technology Plans

Dec. 7, 2022
The first step in fulfilling Aveva's vision for an end-to-end, artificial intelligence-infused software for engineering and operations accessible via one pane of glass involves a new HMI/SCADA release in 2023.

With the recently announced acquisition of Aveva by Schneider Electric (which already owned a sizable stake in the company), many current and perspective users may be wondering about the future direction of the company. Aveva executives sought to clarify this at the Aveva World 2022 event in San Francisco. (See details about the acquisition.)

Peter Herweck, CEO of Aveva, said Aveva will continue to operate as a separate company under the Schneider Electric umbrella. “Aveva will become a private operation in a large, publicly listed company.” He added that Schneider Electric is Aveva’s “largest client today” and most of Aveva’s software is already part of Schneider Electric’s technology offerings.

With Aveva’s stated goal of bringing together its technologies into one end-to-end, artificial intelligence-infused software for engineering and operations, all accessible via one pane of glass, the task lies in achieving this broad-based integration.

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Rob McGreevy, chief product officer at Aveva, explained the work ongoing at Aveva to achieve this vision.

“We will continue to offer a modular, not monolithic, approach with the intent to create an open, vendor neutral environment to deliver an industrial software platform,” he said, explaining that 30-40% of that data that comes into Aveva’s engineering and operations software comes “from other company’s products. The PI System (acquired by Aveva from OSIsoft in 2020) was a leader in this. And it’s the same with Wonderware InTouch HMI/SCADA (acquired by Aveva in 2018 via the merger with Schneider Electric, which had owned Wonderware since 2014 with its acquisition of Invensys).”

McGreevy said Aveva is essentially blending different user interfaces to connect systems from the edge to the enterprise. Based on this approach, Aveva plans to release the “first-ever coordinated HMI/SCADA release in 2023 via the integration of the Aveva Historian and PI systems to the cloud-based Aveva Data Hub,” McGreevy said. “This takes the HMI concept and applies it to the enterprise.”

Learn more about the trend toward HMI/SCADA becoming core to enterprise-level software.

To optimize both equipment assets and operational processes, McGreevy said the combined forthcoming system will be able to schedule work based on data-driven performance plans and asset maintenance predictions. He said this will involve the integration of Aveva artificial-intelligence-powered analytics and the PI system to connect operational processes and analytics.

As an example of what will be possible for industrial companies with these combined technologies, McGreevy noted Thai petrochemical company SCG now saves 40% on maintenance costs after digitalizing its equipment and processes data through application of the PI system. “SCG achieved a 9x return on investment (ROI) in 6 months using predictive analytics, mobile operator technology, Unified Operations Center, and the PI system,” he said.

He added that Aveva’s vision is to create a connected community where users still own all their data but can securely share it with equipment vendors, suppliers, and customers. “Digitizing this value chain—from design to operations—helps identify and minimize costs,” said McGreevy.

The ability to access a digital twin of assets, processes, and sites gives users information needed to improve operations and maintenance as well as training. With digital twins built on this coordinated data, engineering efficiencies can be increased by 30%, McGreevy added. “It’s more than linking documents for access, its’s about delivering additional information to a worker as it’s presented; for example: Do you need a ladder to access the equipment [to perform the required maintenance]?”