Calling it the biggest company announcement in 20 years, Invensys Process Systems, Foxboro, Mass., assembled 100 journalists, analysts and customers at Boston’s JFK Library to explain its new enterprise control system named InFusion. This software application is designed to provide enterprise-wide views of real-time cost and process information in a way that enhances decision making from the chief executive officer to a process operator—and at every stop in between.
The system combines technologies from the many Invensys units—for example, the extensive driver set from Wonderware—along with technologies from Microsoft Corp. and SAP AG, and extensive use of standards such as the OpenO&M Initiative (aimed at open standards for operations and maintenance), to reduce the integration costs that have been the main inhibitor of extensive adoption of “shop floor-to-top floor” applications.
“The InFusion enterprise control system that we are introducing today is as revolutionary as our ground-breaking Foxboro I/A Series automation system and Wonderware InTouch human machine interface (HMI) software were when first introduced,” said Mike Caliel, president of Invensys Process Systems. “By combining the latest capabilities from across Invensys into one unified architecture, Invensys has realized a step change in the utilization of open technologies and standards in a fully industrial system.”
Some of the capabilities of the system include:
• Integration across virtually all existing plant floor systems, subsystems and intelligent field devices regardless of vendor or protocol
• Standards-based information interoperability between plant floor, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and enterprise systems
• Unified engineering and support environment across both plant floor and MES, an application object model that simplifies the creation and re-use of innovative new equipment-, unit- and plant-level strategies
• Real-time visibility into both the plant and the business with a unified view across operations and maintenance domains to help align overall plant performance with business objectives.
InFusion unifies Foxboro’s process control capabilities with Wonderware’s HMI, plant intelligence and device integration capabilities into a new, ArchestrA-based system. (ArchestrA is Invensys’ fully industrialized software architecture built on .Net and other Microsoft technologies.) It also incorporates Triconex triple modular redundant (TMR) safety and critical control; Foxboro remote terminal units (RTUs) and intelligent supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) applications; SimSci-Esscor advanced control, simulation, and process optimization; Avantis real-time condition monitoring and enterprise asset management; Foxboro intelligent pressure, level, flow, and electrochemical transmitters, valve positioners, and advanced, FDT-compliant diagnostic tools; and a managed approach to wireless technology that makes it practical and cost effective to incorporate new wireless measurements into the system.