ISA Expo 2004: Wonderware offers enterprise application integration

Houston, TX—Wonderware released its new enterprise application integration capabilities using the ISA S95 XML standard at last week's ISA Expo 2004.


Houston, TX— Wonderware released its new enterprise application integration capabilities using the ISA S95 XML standard at last week's ISA Expo 2004 . This solution for advanced manufacturing applications combines ISA S95 XML with Invensys' open ArchestrA plant automation and information software architecture. Wonderware is a division of Invensys

In fact, Wonderware is already providing its solution to Nutramax Laboratories Inc., a Maryland-based maker of nutritional products.

Wonderware's enterprise application integration offering was developed to meet growing demand for greatly simplified approaches to linking diverse sets of manufacturing systems and business applications to achieve greater productivity. Wonderware has been working with customers on projects that use these latest approaches in combination with SAP R3, Microsoft Business Solutions—Navision, and other enterprise applications. The goal of this Wonderware offering is to simplify integration of installed plant or business systems; reduce implementation and support costs; and enable faster manufacturing agility as customer business needs evolve.

'Historically, factory floor-to-business systems integration has been solved by customized integration addressing business needs as they occur,” says Kevin Tock, Invensys' advanced applications and alliances VP. “As business needs change, these interfaces have been very difficult to change or maintain due to their custom nature. The basis for this new advanced applications capability is the new S95.01/02 standard, which provides standard terminology and a consistent set of concepts and models for enterprise integration, along with Wonderware's FactorySuite A2 software, which uses open ArchestrA software technology to rapidly integrate and model disparate plant information. For users, this open standards approach can provide better identification of needs, reduced costs of automating manufacturing processes, and reduced re-engineering efforts across the business lifecycle.”

This means that Wonderware can now provide an advanced manufacturing-to-business integration offering that takes the complexity out of creating and maintaining these integrations. Wonderware’s S95 XML Enterprise Application Integration offering capabilities include:

  • Enterprise application integration between a wide range of existing manufacturing/plant systems;

  • Multi-site integration;

  • Transactional integration between manufacturing/plant systems and other supply chain applications; and

  • Integration with existing messaging and middleware investments.

Several implementations are currently underway at various North American and European food and pharmaceutical companies, including Nutramax. This firm is striving for a completely paperless manufacturing operation to support anticipated growth. Nutramax is presently using manual documentation and tracking methods. To modernize and improve business operations, Nutramax intends to automate its processes, maintain compliance with current FDA regulations (21 CFR Part 11), and improve its compliance with good manufacturing practices. The operational benefits expected in the automation of the manufacturing and business processes include:

  • Quantifying and reducing raw material waste;

  • Improved inventory use;

  • Inventory control of production materials;

  • Forecasting inventory requirements;

  • Cost reductions in manufacturing processes;

  • Improved efficiencies in the in-line manufacturing and packaging stages of product production; and

  • Improved quality by enforcing procedural compliance.

To accomplish these goals, Nutramax required a completely integrated solution for its overall manufacturing operations, including planning and scheduling, purchasing, receiving, warehousing, inventory management, quality assurance, as well as automation of the sifting, weighing and blending operation. The company also required the solution to be implemented and operational by the end of 2004. To deliver this integrated supply chain solution in the required four-month period, Wonderware is teaming with Aston Business Solutions, a Microsoft business solutions partner, to deliver a solution combining Wonderware’s InBatch software, Industrial Application Server, S95 XML Enterprise Application Integration offering, and Microsoft Business Solutions—Navision ERP solution. The combination of Wonderware and Microsoft products in this solution demonstrates the power of the Invensys/Microsoft alliance to deliver comprehensive real-time enterprise solutions that span across manufacturing to business systems.

'We considered other solutions, but the combined Wonderware and Microsoft solution appeared to be the lowest risk and best option to fit our needs,” says Pete Patras, Nutramax's manufacturing VP. “In addition, Nutramax was very impressed with the collaboration and teamwork between the Wonderware and Aston organizations during the sales process. This experience gave us the confidence that this team and their respective products would deliver a quality solution in the timeframe required.”

The design philosophy of Wonderware’s Enterprise Application Integration offering leverages several technologies: the standards defined by ISA 95 Part 1,2 for manufacturing to enterprise integration; World Batch Forum's (WBF) B2MML standards for document and messaging exchange; Invensys’ ArchestrA software architecture for integrating virtually any plant system; Microsoft’s .NET XML platform and BizTalk2004 technology; OPC for real-time data connectivity; and SQL/OLE DB support for open database integration. Using this powerful framework, Wonderware’s new advanced applications integration offering removes complexity by providing:

  • Powerful multiple application workflow orchestration and transformation mapping;

  • Built-in event handling and integration of events to real-time manufacturing systems;

  • Scalability from small pilot phases to multi-site implementations;

  • Ability to configure workflows in a non-programmatic environment;

  • Security between non-trusted environments;

  • Robustness, consisting of guaranteed message delivery through high-availability architectural options;

  • Ability to build standards and reusable “rules,” “transformations” and “workflows,” which can be deployed across multiple sites in organizations;

  • Based on the S95 standard, but fully extendable;

  • Library of pre-built integration templates including production schedule downloads from ERP systems, production performance uploads to ERP systems from manufacturing systems and plant/equipment condition-based monitoring integration with maintenance system applications.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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