ARC Forum 2008: Variations on a theme; plant and enterprise connectivity

Connecting the “shop floor to the top floor” has been a goal for manufacturers since Ethernet technologies first made their way onto the plant floor, and solutions aimed at improving information exchange between business and plant level systems were prominent at ARC Forum.



Orlando, FL wo critical elements of any industrial organization easier, more transparent and more productive.



ARC Advisory Group


’s “Winning Strategies and Best Practices for Global Manufacturers” conference, held Feb. 4– 7, 2008, at the Rosen Center in Orlando, FL, features a distinct focus on “shop-floor-to-top-floor” connectivity and how to “do more with less.” This focus was apparent in several of the press conferences which marked the event’s official kick-off:



As reported yesterday in Control Engineering online



Kepware Technologies


announced a new strategic partnership with Oracle, adding new functionality to their KEPServerEX solution, which will enable Oracle to connect directly to devices on the plant floor as well as provide basic calculation and data aggregation “in-line.” Read more about how KEPServerEX expands ERP connectivity.





unveiled the latest additions to their ePlan electric P8 / ePlan ppe integrated engineering solutions. According to a presentation by Mark Taylor, Eplan’s executive vice president and general manager, the solution can streamline and accelerate new product development by eliminating the manual (paper-based) transfer of information between engineering teams working on diagram and spec development projects. By taking a database-driven approach, Eplan automatically can generate such items as bill of materials (BOM), piping schedules, equipment and instrumentation schedules, cost estimates and more. Read more about Eplan's latest news.



ILS Technology


provided greater inisght into its recent work on developing and delivering a service oriented architecture (SOA) optimized for the automotive industry. Teaming up with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IBM, ILS facilitates device-to-IT connectivity via its deviceWise software which is embedded into Mitsubishi’s e-F@ctory Portfolio; deviceWise is also certified for use with IBM Websphere. Read more about ILS Technology's deviceWise.



Mitsubishi Electric Automation


formally introduced its e-F@ctory solution in North America, announcing that it is available for all industries. The suite is based on four main components: iQ Automation, iQ Works, the CC-Link network architecture and their Manufacturing Execution System Interface (MESIF). The goal of e-F@ctory is to provide seamless integration between Mitsubishi’s plant floor devices as well as provide relevant and timely data to enterprise and other business-level systems. Mitsubishi and ARC created a series of whitepapers .





also introduced the latest evolution of its VigilantPlant solution by unveiling CentumVP HMI– a unified operating environment which provides a central, consistent view which conveys multiple types of information within a simple, browser-like interface. Taking a page from such popular browsers as IE7 and Firefox, CentumVP HMI uses a tabbed interface to serve multiple types of informationand visualization while keeping the HMI screen uncluttered. The solution also features a frame-based “Plant Hierarchy Viewer,” a consolidated alarm management system and other features.  Read more about Yokogawa CentumVP HMI.


For ongoing coverage of the event and these topics, be sure to bookmark or, better still, make it your homepage.


Marc Moschetto, editorial director
Control Engineering News Desk


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