Emerging trends in plant operations management

Congratulated at Rockwell Automation Fair on a just-inked agreement to put OSIsoft's PI System into Rockwell's FactoryTalk suite, OSIsoft founder and CEO Pat Kennedy's immediate, characteristically gruff response was to say, "Now we have to make it work." With PI System, OSIsoft made the market for data historians, and Rockwell—especially since ex-GEer Kevin Roach's arrival as...

12/01/2006


Congratulated at Rockwell Automation Fair on a just-inked agreement to put OSIsoft's PI System into Rockwell's FactoryTalk suite, OSIsoft founder and CEO Pat Kennedy's immediate, characteristically gruff response was to say, "Now we have to make it work."

With PI System, OSIsoft made the market for data historians, and Rockwell—especially since ex-GEer Kevin Roach's arrival as VP for Rockwell Software—has taken real steps to develop, acquire, and extend a plant IT infrastructure for production and performance management. So no lack of will really is to be expected.

Rockwell, with revenues of $5.5 billion, also has successfully melded an automation vendor's profile with that of a software provider. It starts with a seemingly simple statement Chairman and CEO Keith Nosbusch made at the event, "We have two product lines: Logix, an open control platform; and FactoryTalk, a plantwide production environment."

All else—and it's a lot—follows from this. Rockwell grew 11 percent in its last fiscal year, and earnings increased 19 percent.

"Rockwell has been our primary controls provider for 15 years," says Neil Stuber, a consultant engineer with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. "We're now confident that Rockwell has a standards-based, stable environment for production management that can help us close the gap between the enterprise and plant operations."

Announcements at Automation Fair for FactoryTalk, Roach says, besides the deal with OSIsoft, include availability of ProductionCentre, which leverages the Datasweep MES acquisition for visibility, traceability, and quality; and availability of FactoryTalk Integrator for enterprise connectivity, and FactoryTalk Portal for a single enterprise portal adapted to manufacturing—both incorporating IBM WebSphere middleware technology.

What's happening is formation of competing plant application suites, each having its own SOA-based infrastructure, giving manufacturers opportunity to manage data comprehensively while rolling out applications incrementally. The approach is well-suited for the multiplant engagements common to an age of globalization.

Note that Invensys Wonderware also is calling the portfolio of applications built around its ArchestrA infrastructure a "production and performance management suite."

The OSIsoft PI System, incorporated into FactoryTalk, will collect control-system data for sophisticated analysis and reporting. A tiered, distributed historian strategy puts an embedded PI server at the device level, tuned for high affinity with Rockwell hardware, to collect data for transmission to PI servers at either the plant or enterprise levels, where it is joined by other data streams, including from third-party devices.

"It's a smart way to get data from the Rockwell devices, and materially contributes to formation of an active manufacturing intelligence layer. It also fits in with our goal to give users as much PI as they need to get the answers they want," says Gregg LeBlanc, OSIsoft director of technical strategy.

OSIsoft's strength is in process industries. Shipping on the Rockwell platform, "opens up a discrete manufacturing market, where Rockwell dominates, that we're not servicing widely today," says LeBlanc.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.