The Clock's Ticking (sidebar)

April 1, 2004
Solutions for Real-Time Performance

ARC Advisory Group has defined Real-Time Performance Management (RPM) as a strategy for bridging real-time plant floor data with the enterprise’s business goals. The eight components of RPM are:

Infrastructure: Computing and network technology used to promote information flow.

TARGETS: Key performance indicators (KPIs) tell employees what they should pay attention to in order to make informed decisions.

ANALYSIS: Feedback from changing operational conditions is analyzed to determine appropriate response.

KNOWLEDGE: Includes employee expertise, training and process knowledge.

CONTROL: Recognizes deviations from the target and makes corrections to the process in real-time.

PREDICTION: The projection or prediction of where performance is headed is critical to making corrections.

MEASUREMENT: Includes production, inventory, quality, and other information, as it relates to the KPIs.

VISUALIZATION: Puts the right information in front of each employee.

Says ARC Vice President Dick Hill, “While RPM is a strategy, not a product, there are suppliers who support RPM with their solutions. A number of companies have infrastructure products, such as the automation suppliers themselves, which provide the distributed or programmable control systems. These are natural platforms on which to run the real-time performance calculations.” Hill includes on this list suppliers such as ABB, Emerson Process Management, GE Fanuc, Honeywell, Invensys, Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Yokogawa.

Another class of products important to RPM is the historian solution, provided by suppliers such as AspenTech, OSIsoft and Wonderware (part of Invensys), among others, says Hill. And a third class of solutions—what ARC calls Performance Personalization Tools—are provided by suppliers including ActivPlant, IndX Software (now part of Siemens) and Lighthammer. “The concept behind these products,” says Hill, “is to have a Web browser-based tool that eliminates the heavy client implementation.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: The Clock’s Ticking