ISA 2002: Entivity partners with Phoenix Contact; Posco touts $6.25-million savings


Chicago, IL - Entivity announced nearby that Phoenix Contact will bundle PC-based solutions with Entivity Software; Entivity customer Posco (Pohang, South Korea) detailed $6.25-million in savings resulting from upgrades to its steel operations that included Entivity software. Company representatives gave the information Oct. 22 at during the ISA show in a press conference in the adjacent Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Phoenix Contact (Harrisburg, PA) and Entivity (Ann Arbor, MI) agreed to a ''major partnership involving joint product development, marketing, and sales for PC-based control solutions,'' combining Entivity VLC and Entivity Studio with Phoenix Contact PCs, Microsoft Windows CE-based computers, embedded controllers, and I/O.

David Skelton, director of automation systems, Phoenix Contact USA, said the agreement answers customer calls for a more complete solution and a more rapid launch when an upgrade or new automation is installed. ''This allows us to offer bundled packages of industrial PCs, tested and delivered as a package. Selecting a single source reduces risk for the customer.'' The related hardware will say: ''Powered by Entivity.''

Han Ku Park is Electrical Controls Maintenance Department, Rolling Mill Process Control Team Project Manager for Posco steel works, called the largest steelmaker, producing 27-million tons of steel a year in five hot strip mills, one mini mill, six cold rolling mills, three plate mills, and three rod mills, ''enough for 100,000 compact cars a day,'' he says. Stated reasons for the retrofit, covering more than 6,000 devices, was need to move away from a proprietary solution, toward standard networks, ease of flowchart programming compared to PLC programming, wiring savings, greater visibility via 93 screens, reduced wiring, and faster performance, from 20 m sec to under 2 m sec.

Savings, Mr. Park explains, included 33% through use of open standards and easy flowchart programming, 38% savings in hardware, 30% construction savings. These upgrades covered Posco Pohang Iron Mill's rolling mill control system, process controls on a blast furnace, instrument controllers for a continuous annealing furnace, and replacing PLCs with PC-based control on wire rod correction and coil shearing line.

''No training was needed; everyone knows how to operate Microsoft Windows software,'' Mr. Park says. Pete Durand, Entivity vp of business development, introduced Mr. Park and him for coming to Chicago to make the presentation.

In related news, Entivity on Oct. 20 announced releases of Entivity Studio software, version 7.1, a Microsoft Visio-based product for flowchart development of control and human-machine interface applications. The upgrade includes a new Interbus driver with AutoDiscover, reusable libraries and Project Sync features, especially helpful for material handling OEMs, says Ken Spenser, Entivity ceo. The software is available from Entivity and from Phoenix Contact.

Entivity also offers VLC 6.1, Think&Do Live, and Automation ProjectNet, a secure, web-based collaboration tool to host, manage, and use all document control and human-machine interface files related to large automation projects. Entivity, formed in 2001 from merger of Think & Do and Steeplechase, counts Schneider Electric and among its strategic investors.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief

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