Pillar to Post: Peter Welander's Blog
News and comment from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander
Moving information across an enterprise
November 07, 2012
In yesterday's discussion, we considered how wider deployments of wireless field devices could create larger volumes of process data. The question is, of course, how to make that data valuable. Invensys has built much of its reputation on doing that sort of thing, and creating ways to integrate that data into the decision-making process.
Last month Wonderware had its user group meeting for 2012 under the leadership of Ravi Gopinath, president of the company’s software division. In a discussion with your correspondent (watch the video), he discusses some of the ways in which users can integrate this capability across an entire enterprise.
As Gopinath puts it, “We need to abstract data from automation systems. We’ve got thousands and thousands of data points available through automation systems. What does it all mean? When I talk about abstraction, there is some logic where we take raw data and filter it through abstraction logic and make sense out of it. The way a control room operator looks at a narrow set of information, vis-a-vis how a plant manager wants to look at consolidated set of KPIs across the entire plant are completely different. But guess what? The data sources are exactly the same. So one very important element is making sure that the right information is available to the right person, and this is really the abstraction logic.”
Implementing that in real life is the challenge. He points out that undertaking such a project is really a massive exercise in change management, and it needs to follow an extensive analysis of determining which people in an organization are likely to need which specific types of information. Of course as the process unfolds, it usually evolves to some extent. Even though such change can be traumatic, he says the benefits have been proven.
Peter Welander, pwelander(at)cfemedia.com