InFusion, Enterprise Control Systems Explained

Invensys Operations Management executives explained the reality and vision of Enterprise Control Systems (ECS) and InFusion during the opening keynotes of OpsManage'10 on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Speaking to a larger than anticipated crowd that exceeded 1,200, speakers explained ECS as a platform that allows integration with many different Invensys systems and products, as well as those from third parties.

Steve Blair, president of Invensys Operations Management in North America, started the session with a business review. "In a little over a year, we've brought together nine first class brands into one company with solutions that drive value for customers," Blair said. Companies right now are not spending capital dollars, while overall, companies are holding the highest cash reserves since 1964. "They are starting to invest, but cautiously," Blair noted. "One thing we have noticed that customers say they have a real need for information." Blair then proclaimed the conference theme: "Real Collaboration, Real-time Results."

The point of ECS is to close the "control gap" between strategy and execution, or put another way by Invensys Operations Management President and Chief Executive Officer Sudipta Bhattacharya, "It's time to close the profit control loop."

"We will be the foremost provider in the world of ECS. No one has a package solution but us. This is our vision of ECS, and it is one that leads to operational excellence," declared Bhattacharya during his keynote presentation. The challenge in manufacturing is to be able to manage the real-time plant. To do that, you must understand the plant floor. "That is our challenge and our opportunity," he added.

The key is to integrate all the levels of the enterprise. Bhattacharya noted the company's challenge is how well it can put the pieces together better and faster than the competition. "That is our journey," he said.

Information without context is useless. Bhattacharya pointed to the Skelta acquisition which has led to ArchestrA Workflow—a technology that adds actionable context to plant information.

Grant Le Sueur, director of InFusion Product Marketing, demonstrated a scenario of a leaking control valve to show some of the ECS value. The leaking valve could lead to potential loss of production, profitability or even potential danger.

Using SimSci-Esscor Dynsim, Foxboro I/A Series distributed control systems (DCS), Wonderware InTouch, Avantis Pro & CM, Wonderware IntelaTrac and ArchestrA Workflow from Invensys plus integration to SAP, Le Sueur showed how the integrated solution delivers consistent operational integrity, a full audit trail for traceability, control excellence and asset excellence, plus involvement of all plant and business stakeholders to solve both plant and business problems.

A demonstration of a proof-of-concept for cloud computing for ECS showed that Invensys is poised to help customers exploit this new technology when customers are ready to leap into it. Some benefits would be ease of getting information from multiple sites for corporate decision making or assisting engineering best practices standardization across multiple sites.
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