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Web-based HMI, SCADA, MES

Development in the technology world has moved overwhelmingly into Web-based applications. This technology movement has started to gravitate into the manufacturing software sector.

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Inductive Automation last week unveiled a new generation of its Web-based human-machine interface (HMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and manufacturing execution system (MES) product. Dubbed Ignition by Inductive Automation, the new release is called a major update by the company.

The heart of the new software is support for OPC-UA (for Unified Architecture), the latest version of the industry communication standard from the OPC Foundation.  While OPC Xi was developed to help suppliers who had extensive Microsoft Windows .Net platforms move to a new level of security and communication, UA is built from the ground up to be platform independent--a boon to embedded developers. Inductive Automation's implementation implements the vision of cross platform communications. Its engineers demonstrated both Windows and Linux implementations during a kick-off Webcast on Jan. 27.

"Over the past seven years, we've watched our customers derive tremendous value from our distinct model," says Steve Hechtman, president of Inductive Automation. "With Ignition, we've raised the bar by making our software easier to use, more cohesive, and more flexible."

Ignition is installed only on a central server and is accessed by clients through a browser. It offers unlimited tags, screens and no-install clients as part of the base price. The database is open SQL, connects to a number of databases, and encompasses and expands on the company's existing FactorySQL and FactoryPM products. According to Hechtman, the new SQL Tags Historian "makes the software easier to use and more efficient."

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