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Automation Vendors Vie for EMI

AMR Research Inc., Boston, has assessed the enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) moves of a number of vendors.

AMR expects automation vendors to buy up more EMI providers as they help automation companies close the information loop, and they are relatively inexpensive acquisitions. Following is a list of automation and control vendors that have moved—through acquisitions or by other means—to capture the space between the plant floor and the rest of the manufacturing information technology (IT) structure.

GE Fanuc Automation. GE Fanuc bolstered its position in plant software intelligence with the acquisition of Intellution and Mountain Systems. These buys give GE Fanuc an edge of historian and manufacturing execution system (MES) functionality.

Invensys Systems. Invensys continues to expand its platform for EMI. Its Wonderware suite includes a human-machine interface that provides light analytics and a distributed interface for machine performance monitoring via its Windows-based architecture.

Rockwell Automation. Rockwell recently acquired capabilities to provide manufacturing intelligence systems as it moves data up from the plant floor and into the enterprise. Rockwell also has a close working relationship with Lighthammer Software Development Corp., Exton, Pa., which fills the need for high-level visibility, analytics and SAP connectivity.

Siemens Energy & Automation. Siemens has a variety of tools tailored to individual vertical industry groups. Tools span MES and historian functionality. The company’s IT PS group partners with IndX Software Corp., Aliso Viejo, Calif., in the process industry to share control and automation data.

Upcoming moves. ABB, Emerson and Honeywell also offer historians and data analysis tools, mostly to support their own equipment. AMR notes that it is still not clear whether these vendors will aim for the higher IT ground in the manufacturing enterprise.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: The Scramble for the Software Middle Ground


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