Enterprise control system unifies plant floor, business operations


Foxboro, MAInFusion enterprise control system from Invensys is said to integrate existing plant floor and enterprise systems cost-effectively into a single environment that allows real-data to support decision-making.

Information control, Software, Embedded

InFusion enterprise control system from Invensys includes a collaboration wall that presents data from multiple sources in context for better decisions.

InFusion unifies Foxboro's process control capabilities with Wonderware's HMI, plant intelligence, and device integration capabilities into a new ArchestrA-based system. ArchestrA is Invensys' software architecture built on .Net and other Microsoft technologies. InFusion incorporates additional Invensys and third-party capabilities as needed, including SAP NetWeaver, and uses a managed approach to wireless technology that reportedly makes it easy to incorporate new wireless measurements into the system.

Commented John Snodgrass, advanced process control leader at Chemtura Corp., a global specialty chemical company, "Finally, a system that will connect all my control systems and all my business systems without requiring the prohibitive investment to build a bridge."

Invensys said it worked with its technology partners to "dramatically reduce the time and effort previously required to integrate real-time plant systems with transactional enterprise systems. This is accomplished using a modern, platform-independent, Web Services-based enterprise architecture approach."

InFusion boasts more than 60 issued and pending patents/patent applications and delivers "a unique set of capabilities not previously available from any single automation or information system," said the company. Features include:

  • Integration across virtually all existing plant floor systems (DCS, PLC, etc), subsystems, and intelligent field devices, regardless of vendor or protocol;

  • Low-cost, standards-based information interoperability between plant floor, manufacturing execution, and enterprise systems;

  • Unified engineering and support environment across plant floor and MES systems that includes application object models; and

  • Real-time visibility into plant and business through a unified view across operations and maintenance.

InFusion uses Microsoft .Net and BizTalk Server 2004, SAP NetWeaver and xMII, ISA-S95 (for manufacturing-to-enterprise integration), MIMOSA (for maintenance-to-enterprise integration), and OPC (for real-time connectivity).It reportedly represents the first major implementation of Open O&M (operations & maintenance), the industry-standard convergence of OPC, ISA S95, and MIMOSA. This approach is said to eliminate "the need to use conventional point-to-point solutions that are costly to implement, costly to maintain, and inherently inflexible in nature, and help to ensure that the right information is delivered to the right people, at the right time, and in a meaningful context."

The InFusion engineering environment combines a system-wide integrated development environment with object models. These "nested" application objects for equipment-, unit-, and plant-level applications can be configured, instantiated, cloned, and re-used with minimum time and effort. Objects can also be bundled and reused within and across multiple plant sites, allowing for the capture of knowledge and consistent use of best practices.

InFusion Field Device Manager uses FDT and Enhanced EDDL technologies to allow other graphically rich applications to be plugged in easily. Plant maintenance staffs use these applications to analyze the health and performance of a specific field device or run comprehensive diagnostic tests.

In conjunction with InFusion, Invensys also announced a suite of performance services to help manufacturers align plant operations and maintenance departments with business operations to optimize overall asset performance management. Consulting activities range from pre-packaged, base asset-level services such as loop monitoring, alarm management, and equipment condition monitoring to plant-level business optimization consulting.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Renee Robbins , editorial director

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