Wonderware Moves to Platform Plus Services Architecture

Long known for its “suite” of software applications, Wonderware, reflecting modern software engineering, has unveiled a new look with a unified software platform with services layered on top.

Wonderware, a Lake Forest, Calif., business unit of Invensys, has unveiled a unified industrial software platform called the Wonderware System Platform. The System Platform is designed to support simplified and consistent operations across a wide range of industrial operations and manufacturing facilities by delivering a common set of applications software services. 

The Wonderware System Platform is intended to make it easier for industrial information and automation personnel to normalize their integration and application generation issues to rapidly adjust to the ever-changing needs of their customers and the overall market. The platform services and functionality serve to extend Wonderware customers’ existing systems and software investments and enable new flexibility in rapid application development. 

Common platform 

Built on Wonderware’s industry standards-based ArchestrA software architecture, the Wonderware System Platform allows customers to have one common strategic platform for all of their networked supervisory human-machine interface (HMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), production management (manufacturing execution system) and performance management (manufacturing intelligence) solutions. The underlying industrial automation and information application architecture, ArchestrA, enables an incremental, low-risk deployment of increased application functionality, one step at a time, Wonderware says. 

The Wonderware Systems Platform includes a comprehensive set of capabilities that previously would have required multiple product offerings: 

- Industrial domain services for industrial computing functions that are not provided by commercial operating systems or products 

- Software and device connectivity services for easy communication to virtually any plant or business information source 

- Information and data management services for management of real-time and historical information 

- Information delivery and visualization services for functions that provide information to the right user at the right time, and in the form in which they expect it 

- Application development services that provide easy and intuitive development of modular industrial software solutions that can be easily changed to meet future needs 

- System management and extensibility services that provide easy management, expansion and modification of the application or the computing architecture. 

In addition, new Wonderware software modules are designed to leverage the Wonderware System Platform by adding functional capabilities to meet specific operational needs. These new modules include one or more QuickStarts. A QuickStart consists of a pre-configured example of best practices to address a specific manufacturing scenario. QuickStarts accelerate the design and implementation by supplying example applications, database structure, HMI graphics, Web reports and implementation guidelines. 

The new Equipment Operations Module leverages the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society’s ISA-95 information standard in order to capture “as built” records for rapid response to such unexpected events as product recalls, while also providing information for improved reliability and repeatability of equipment setup. 

The Equipment Performance Module captures critical equipment performance events and efficiency information and provides it to operators and decision-makers, enabling them to take immediate action to improve operational performance. 

WIP tracking 

The Manufacturing Execution Module, the next generation of the product formerly known as InTrack, is used for work-in-progress tracking applications to monitor, manage and improve manufacturing production efficiency. The Manufacturing Execution Module includes an enhanced graphical user interface, new Web-reporting capabilities and support of the latest Microsoft and Oracle databases.  

“The customer directly benefits because leveraging a unified system platform, along with the modular nature of Wonderware’s new components, offers a common data model for manufacturing resources that decreases the risks associated with initial implementations, as well as increases application flexibility for rapid change over time,” says Kevin Tock, vice president for the production and performance management/MES business group at Wonderware. “Based on our experience with the evolving role of IT (information technology) in manufacturing, we understand that the success of our customers requires alignment of business operations, engineering and IT departments, along with aligning technology roadmaps with current and future investments.”


More in Networks