GE Fanuc: Proficy applications; Quick Panel View; software deal

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms made announcements on version 4.4 of Proficy Plant Applications, KEPServerEX, Proficy Machine Edition View software, and Catapult Software iPower and Proficy HMI/SCADA - iFIX.

By Control Engineering Staff April 28, 2008

Charlottesville, VA and Portland, ME

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms

, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has announced version 4.4 of Proficy Plant Applications, a cornerstone of its Production Management Software suite. Separate and related announcements include adding

Kepware Technologies

KEPServerEX and drivers into Proficy Machine Edition View software and an agreement with

Catapult Software

Limited to globally resell its iPower product as a Proficy HMI/SCADA – iFIX option.

“Plant Applications v4.4 has new features , but it still delivers all the powerful reporting and analytical capabilities companies have relied on for years to track product and process genealogies and quality, order and performance metrics on the line or across the plant,” said Barry Lynch, global manager, maintenance & plant applications, GE Fanuc Production Management Software. “This release also supports VMware virtualization, Citrix remote desktop architectures and Microsoft Server Clustering for improved reliability and system dependability.”

According to Erik Udstuen, GE Fanuc general manager, Software and Services, “Closing the loop between enterprise and plant systems is an essential requirement in today’s competitive environment. Our newest version of Plant Applications allows companies to leverage our experience of connecting Proficy to the enterprise while creating an environment to improve plant operations on a real-time basis. This is what enables true plant to enterprise transformation.”

New model configuration tools extend the power of the software’s event detection and modeling sub-system. Along with improved deployment tools, they make configuration faster and more repeatable. By connecting Proficy Enterprise Connector or the new Proficy Maintenance Gateway products into Plant Applications, plant and enterprise systems become stronger together than either could be working independently. The architecture of Plant Applications 4.4 is non-intrusive to plant floor controls and operations and supports a range of production environments. Modular and scalable applications stand alone or work together to support installations of differing scope and size.

In related news, the company has announced that its QuickPanel View products have been enhanced to allow greater integrated communications with a wide array of products through collaboration with Kepware Technologies’



"By using Kepware Technologies’ software, we added 39 new third-party protocols to the QuickPanel View platform and will add 97 protocols for View Runtime on the PC platform," said Paul Daugherty, operator interface product manager for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. "We can now easily connect the benefits of our QuickPanels to virtually any device in the world. This helps manufacturing run better. Because our system is open and connected, users can configure it to act as the bridge between the enterprise and the plant floor providing useful data in managing the business. As information needs grow, the hardware easily grows as well with the ability to connect to any device with more than 100 built in drivers and a wide range of communications options. We are very excited about the possibilities for our customers."

A joint development team from Kepware Technologies and GE Fanuc worked to integrate KEPServerEX and drivers into Proficy Machine Edition View software to permit users to add drivers, devices, and tags just as they did before. Tag variables are created only once. Integration provides consistency in configuration from driver to driver and access to in-depth diagnostics for troubleshooting.

"GE Fanuc is a leading vendor in the HMI/SCADA and HMI Panel marketplaces and we are excited to have been selected as a supplier of communications technology," said Roy Kok, vice president of marketing and sales for Kepware Technologies. "GE Fanuc has always been a supplier of open technology and this relationship will significantly enhance their ability to serve customers with third-party controller solutions."

An agreement also was reached with Catapult Software Limited to globally resell their iPower product as a standard Proficy HMI/SCADA – iFIX option. iPower delivers a specific value proposition for electrical transmission and distribution SCADA applications, combining the strength of Proficy HMI/SCADA – iFIX, with additional functionality, including built-in object security, enhanced graphic capability, standard operator interfaces, alarm and event reporting, and standard drag and drop electrical utility objects.

“Using the combination of a standard off-the-shelf HMI package in combination with Catapult’s iPower allows utility operations to implement a true SCADA solution at lower cost point than the traditional SCADA suppliers,” said Marcel van Helten, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platform’s global industry director for infrastructure. “It clearly delivers better scalability and integration with additional functions.”

Tony Haresnape, CEO of Catapult Software, added. “We have been delivering iPower for eight years to the electrical transmission and distribution industry. This agreement allows our combined customers to get a complete solution from a global supplier like GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. As a part of the arrangement, we have ensured that our development efforts are coordinated and focused on delivering integrated value.”

–  Control Engineering News Desk
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .