Cross-Industry Drivers Behind Invensys Product Strategy

Oct. 16, 2013
The Expo hall display at the Invensys Software Conference could be viewed as the company’s new product roadmap strategy writ large. From consolidated asset management to mobility, cloud hosting of applications and big data, the driving direction behind the company’s product strategy is clear: More access to data anywhere, on any device to improve workforce collaboration and operator performance.

In a product roadmap session Norm Thorlakson, Invensys’s vice president of HMI and supervisory software, and Rob McGreevy, vice president, information, asset and operations software, highlighted several industry drivers as being key to the company’s product strategy moving forward. Among those trends are: interest in consolidated asset management solutions—even to the point of including financial reporting; greater integration of planning and scheduling; advanced reporting and analytics; integrated asset management; and a revival of interest in tightly integrating ERP systems with production systems.

Specific Invensys products addressed in the roadmap discussion included:

  • InTouch Access Anywhere, which provides full HMI via HTML 5 and supports nearly every mobile platform.
  • Work Tasks for Windows 8 for handling procedural tasks for complete manufacturing process workflows.
  • SmartGlance, now officially a Wonderware product, which uses My Alerts to deliver specific alerts that can be shared user to user.
  • Improved device integration capability in System Platform 2014 via interoperability with standards such as OPC UA.

The product strategy focus at the Invensys Software Conference centered largely on three areas: the new Wonderware System Platform, CrudeSuite integration with SimSci PRO/II and ROMeo, and Wonderware Historian Online Edition.

Key aspects of the new System Platform and InTouch release revolve around the HMI.  “System integrators and end users don't typically come to the table with a lot of knowledge about how to ideally design HMIs,” says John Krajewski, director of HMI and supervisory product management for Invensys. “That’s why we made the upgrades that we did around the Style Libraries and Symbol Wizards. With these changes, HMIs start to look more intelligence dashboards.” Read more about the new System Platform and InTouch release.

Numerous large oil and gas projects in North America currently pending will stress the engineering resources available. “The EPCs won't be able to handle all the projects because there are simply not enough engineers available to do all the work,” says Tobias Scheele, vice president, design, simulation & optimization software. The pressure this will create on engineers led to the integration of CrudeSuite with SimSci PRO/II and ROMeo. The integration enables crude data for inventories around the world to be brought into SimSci PRO/II by accessing menu options.  Once a crude type of mix of types is selected, the information is used by SimSci PRO/II for refinery design. The vast reduction in keystroke entry for crude assays will save large amounts of data entry and design time for engineers.

With more than 100 sites worldwide using cloud services for Invensys mobile applications, coupled with increasing adoption rates of software as a service (SaaS) across industry, Invensys has released its Wonderware Historian Online Edition to deliver on market demands for more mobile access to data intelligence.

Enabling much of the mobile technology showcased at the Invensys Software Conference, Historian Online houses on-site historian data in the cloud. “You don't have to worry about availability or maintenance of the system to access the data for analysis,” says McGreevy, “because it’s in the cloud. This product serves as the ground level for all kinds of analytics—from trending to OEE to quality analysis and operator performance.” He added that initial interest in this product is already heavy, especially from users at municipal utilities, water/wastewater and small-to-medium-sized businesses. With all this data stored in the cloud for analysis, the “onus in on Invensys to manage upgrades and patches, thereby relieving customers of having to worry about that,” he says.

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