Engineers' Choice 2006 - Software

02/27/2007



Engineers Choice Competition
New Products for 2006: Application and Programming Software

Control Engineering — February 15, 2007
The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S. marketplace and available for purchase between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. All descriptions have been provided by product vendors, and Control Engineering makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the claims.

The Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards honor the products from this list that survey respondents chose as the most exceptional or noteworthy based on technological advancement (innovation), service to the industry (usefulness) and/or market impact (would buy it tomorrow if I could). Results are announced in the April 2006 issue of Control Engineering .

Enterprise integration, analysis

PortalWorX
PortalWorX, based on Microsoft SharePoint Server .NET technology, creates portals for real-time, historical plant and business information. It requires virtually no administration, is easy to configure, and delivers data on demand. New features include customizable, role-based portals as well as several new industry-focused Web parts including those suitable for navigation, charting and slide shows. PortalWorX integrates with data sources such as Microsoftstorian (AlarmWorX32) and OPC real-time Data Exchange product (DataWorX32). PortalWorX can integrate with other popular data sources such as: HMI, SCADA and DCS Systems; MaintenanceSystems; Plant Historians, MES and ERP; Building and Security Systems; LAB Information Systems; and Corporate & Manufacturing Production Databases. PortalWorX provides three-step, easy drag-n-drop configuration. First, pick a layout. Several aresupplied or a new template can be made. Next, select a Web part. Several are provided andadditional ones can be downloaded. The last step is to use the configuration wizard. This intuitiveassistant tailors Web parts to individual needs.

Incuity EMI Incuity™ is a second-generation business intelligence (BI) solution for manufacturing companies. It eliminates the “silos” of data throughout enterprises because it uniquely integrates data from transaction-oriented business systems and real-time production systems and provides analytical, processing and presentation services that allow users anywhere in a company to request, view, manipulate and share data using the Incuity portal and their own dashboard designs.
Incuity leverages industry standards for both interoperability and connectivity, including the ISA S95 standard for modeling, XML for data interchange and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for openness (using major protocol standards such as OPC, ODBC and OLE DB). It provides standards-based connectivity to just about any database system, to all of the most popular process historians and to more than 100 different families of real-time control data sources.
Incuity’s Unified Production Model enables users to build representations of their businesses using real-world terminology instead of talking about protocols and SQL statements, thus creating portable content that can be viewed and reported on independently of the underlying data infrastructure. Hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies already use Incuity for optimizing process operations in major industries such as oil and gas, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, water/wastewater treatment and more.

InFusion Enterprise Control System
As the first of a new class of “enterprise control systems” (ECS), InFusion provides the means to cost-effectively integrate the plant and the enterprise into one unified real-time control and information environment– without having to resort to expensive, difficult-to-maintain point-to-point integration techniques.
The new system allows process manufacturers to preserve and extend the useful life of their installed automation and information assets, while linking all plant and enterprise systems to more effectively align plant operations and maintenance departments with the business.
Invensys’ new enterprise control system delivers a unique set of capabilities not previously available from any single automation or information system. These include:
1. Interoperability across all existing plant floor systems (OCS, DCS, PLC, etc), sub-systems, and intelligent field devices– regardless of vendor or generation
2. Low-cost, standards-based information interoperability between plant floor, MES, and enterprise systems
3. A unified engineering and support environment incorporating a powerful application object model that simplifies the creation and re-use of innovative new equipment, unit-, and plant-level strategies capturing and codifying the knowledge of human assets
4. Real-time visibility into the plant with a unified view across operations and maintenance domains to help align overall plant performance with business objectives

High Availability Platform
OSIsoft’s High Availability platform is a significant update to the company’s enterprise class real-time historian platform. This unified release meets the demands of organizations that depend on the availability of operational data more than ever before and introduces a significant boost in protecting data by providing fault tolerant software that delivers interface failover, buffering and PI Server replication and SDK Services. Even in a simple configuration, there are unavoidable conditions that can trigger data loss or render data inaccessible. While the PI System can prevent data loss during planned maintenance, lack of access to data during a maintenance period may be unacceptable for the end user who depends on timely access to that data. Unplanned downtime represents another potential source of data loss. Cables become exposed, network issues occasionally surface and system and software bugs may arise that can bring down a system momentarily, or until such time as the failure is detected and repaired-which may go on for hours without anyone's knowledge. With the HA release, there is greater assurance that data will always be gathered, stored and available to everyone across the organization.

SuiteVoyager 2.6
1. Sharepoint Services Integration: SuiteVoyager 2.6 software is integrated with ArchestrA technology and takes advantage of Microsoft SharePoint Services technology, which enables users to collaborate more effectively with greater flexibility, scalability and reliability. With this new version, plant information can easily be included in existing SharePoint Web sites, facilitating access to both business and plant information in one integrated view.
2. In addition, SuiteVoyager 2.6 software enables customers to rapidly navigate through multiple performance management applications from Wonderware and third parties. Based on their roles and responsibilities, users can access valuable information pertaining to trend analysis, event and alarm notification, visualize process graphics, downtime analysis, key performance indicator reporting, drill-down and root-cause analysis, product genealogy, traceability, and batch reporting.
3. User can view data from many different data sources such as real-time OPC servers, data access servers, historical data, MS SQL server and other Relational databases.

Equipment Operations Module 1.0 A Scalable and Flexible Approach to Improving Equipment Operations
The modular nature of the Equipment Operations Module enables incremental, low-risk deployment of increased application functionality, one step at a time. Small applications that target specific production issues or regulatory requirements can be quickly and easily implemented. These applications can then grow to accommodate a larger scope or enhanced functionality.
Gradually Increase System Functionality



Create or Enhance Systems that Absorb Functional Changes


Fully Leverage the ArchestrA Architecture’s Scalability and Integration Benefits

Programming

PackAL Software Library
TwinCAT PackAL is Beckhoff Automation’s implementation of the PackAL standard - an application library developed by PackSoft, the OMAC technical subcommittee working toward the standardization of software for the packaging industry. PackAL was created to assist in the design, programming, debugging and maintenance of packaging machines.

LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO
The LEGO Group and National Instruments worked together to develop the new MINDSTORMS NXT software that includes a simple drag-and-drop, graphical interface optimized for children 10-14 years old. With the new LabVIEW Toolkit, more advanced MINDSTORMS NXT users, including adults, students and secondary school and university educators, now can program the NXT using advanced graphical programming tools available in LabVIEW.
The technology enables four distinct new capabilities. First, with the LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, engineers can write LabVIEW VIs that run on the NXT, enabling more advanced programming including arrays and structures. Secondly, engineers have advanced debugging capabilities to view data and change values in a running program. Also, Direct Commands enable users to run LabVIEW programs on a PC or Mac that control the MINDSTORMS robot remotely. Fourth, the Toolkit contains an authoring tool, allowing engineers to create new blocks that can be loaded into MINDSTORMS NXT software the 10-14 age group.
The LabVIEW Toolkit for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT impacts the market by opening a platform that both encourages individuals and companies in innovation. Individuals participate in community-driven innovation—innovating new blocks and processes to support the innovation of children, and third-party companies participate in competitive innovation—working to create sensors and add-ons for the software to enhance the capabilities of the product.

LabVIEW 8.20
Building on its long history of interconnectivity with third-party hardware and software, National Instruments LabVIEW 8.20 extends the LabVIEW graphical dataflow language with native support for text-based math with MathScript, brings significant improvements in control design and simulation performance, and accelerates development of real-time system prototypes using standard PCs, FPGAs, or custom designs. LabVIEW 8.20 delivers an open platform that embraces multiple design tools and uses powerful, custom measurement capabilities to streamline product development, as well as enhances industrial measurement capabilities with new features designed for advanced analysis and control, improved distributed system management, and new targets for HMIs.
With MathScript, engineers can now integrate their existing m-files created using MATLABPID Control Toolkit, which has improved performance by up to 14 times. LabVIEW 8.20 streamlines the prototyping and deployment of real-time embedded designs on NI CompactRIO or PXI platforms, as well as standard desktop computers, FPGAs or custom board designs – all using graphical programming.

Development Modules for ControlLogix
Development Modules for ControlLogix (MVI56-ADM for serial and MVI56-ADMNET for Ethernet) let users develop and deploy “C” applications for the Allen-Bradley processor.