Communication and Integration Products Debut at ARC Forum

Automation industry vendors lined up to tout their latest wares before the trade press at the annual event.

Suppliers took advantage of one of the few remaining gatherings of industry press to hold a series of press conferences at the 14th annual ARC Advisory Group Forum, sponsored by ARC Advisory Group Inc. (www.arcweb.com),  in Orlando, Fla Feb. 8-11. The new products announced can be grouped into two broad categories: communications and integration. 

Communications

Kepware Technologies (www.kepware.com) has released KepServerEX version 5.2. New in this release are inclusion of OPC UA (Unified Architecture) client and server, an alarm and event condition option, updated drivers and enhanced custom interface driver (CID). OPC is an open communications standard. The combination of OPC UA Cclient and server interfaces, in addition to all other KepServerEX interfaces enable it to be a “standards-based” tunneling solution. Tunneling solutions are a replacement for Microsoft DCOM communications in distributed OPC DA (data acquisition) applications. The company points to security inherent in OPC UA, making it “an excellent choice for real-time data sharing in automation-related real-time business-to-business (B2B) applications.”

Fred Yentz, chief executive officer of ILS Technology (www.ilstechnology.com), characterized his company as a connectivity company. Reviewing the company's current products, he noted, “DeviceWise enables us to instrument devices from the edge. SecureWise secures remote data access.” At the ARC press conference, ILS announced “Virtual Service Infrastructure (VSI)” Application Suite. This product is a visualization tool for manufacturing information for smaller companies that do not have the full visualization options of an IBM or Oracle enterprise system.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. (www.meau.com) announced the addition of the Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center to its e-F@ctory manufacturing solution. e-F@ctory is Mitsubishi Electric’s vision for manufacturing to connect control hardware, networks and enterprise IT systems—beginning with IBM and Microsoft and now extended to Oracle. It says it is the first hardware vendor with an Oracle-tested-and-approved connection to the Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center.

Online Development Inc. (www.oldi.com) now has a standalone module. It previously developed modules to fit within Rockwell Automation controller racks. The eATM tManager Standalone module is designed to enable data exchange without custom programming or the use of a middleware computer. It can be installed in a panel or cabinet and connects to controllers and computer systems via two independent Ethernet ports. It can connect controllers from Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Schneider with databases such as Microsoft SQL, DB2 and Oracle as well as Java Message Service (JMS) systems. Configuration software for the eATM tManager features intuitive screens and drop down menus to select data and establish conditions for triggering data exchanges based on values, time and other characteristics. It also configures the appliance's store and forward and failover features. If data is interrupted between the controller and the computer system, it is either stored in the module, then forwarded when the connection is resumed, or sent to a defined failover destination. In either case, configurable alerts can be sent by e-mail to warn of data loss.

Integration

Invensys Operations Management (http://iom.invensys.com) has released a new version of InFusion Enterprise Control System (ECS). The InFusion ECS 2.0 features new software platform updates building on the company’s ArchestrA object model. Some of the new enhancements, which are actually incorporation of these existing products into the object model, include integration with the company’s Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system (DCS) and supervisory control and data acquistion (SCADA) hardware and software offerings, open integration with “virtually any other automation or information system,” and enhanced platform integration with the company’s latest applications, including its Wonderware batch, manufacturing execution systems (MES), mobile workforce management, enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) and enterprise business system integration offerings.

Yokogawa Electric Corp. (www.yokogawa.com/us) announced the release of VigilantPlant Services, a package of automation service solutions to help manufacturers achieve safe, environmentally friendly and profitable plant operations in line with the Yokogawa VigilantPlant concept. The company reorganized its operational and consulting services business, under the VigilantPlant Services name. It includes three basic types of services: opportunity identification; solution implementation; and lifecycle effectiveness. Opportunity identification includes identifing new improvement possibilities and optimum solutions through free plant analysis, comparative effectiveness analysis, management seminars, master planning and leader development programs. Yokogawa provides services to help implement solutions.

Schneider Electric (www.schneider-electric.com) announced its PlantStruxure architecture, a new collaborative system that allows industrial and infrastructure companies to meet their automation needs and at the same time deliver on growing energy-management requirements. The system offers flexible, scalable and collaborative architectures that are the building blocks for manufacturing and process within Schneider Electric’s comprehensive EcoStruxure energy management architecture portfolio. EcoStruxure allows organizations to improve energy efficiencies across multiple domains of business, including process automation. PlantStruxure integrates both a solution that allows companies to optimize their energy usage and drive maximum efficiency within their operations while also improving productivity. PlantStruxure combines a platform from the company’s Citect software acquisition along with manufacturing automation, building automation, and electrical power products and expertise. On top of these are support for a variety of networks, especially Ethernet-based technologies.

ARC Advisory Group Inc.
www.arcweb.com

ILS Technology
www.ilstechnology.com

Invensys Operations Management
http://iom.invensys.com

Kepware Technologies
www.kepware.com

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.
www.meau.com

Online Development Inc.
www.oldi.com

Schneider Electric
www.schneider-electric.com

Yokogawa Electric Corp.
www.yokogawa.com/us

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