Initial ArchestrA product arrives from Wonderware

Lake Forest, CA - Wonderware, an operating unit of Invensys plc, announced January 20 the launch and availability of the FactorySuite A2 (squared) integrated software product series, which will provide automation and information solutions based on Invensys' ArchestrA software architecture.

By Control Engineering Staff January 22, 2003

Lake Forest, CA – Wonderware , an operating unit of Invensys plc, announced January 20 the launch and availability of the FactorySuite A2 (squared) integrated software product series, which will provide automation and information solutions based on Invensys’ ArchestrA software architecture. The ”A2” signifies the use of the ArchestrA architecture.

FactorySuite Industrial Application Server provides real-time data acquisition, alarm and event management, data manipulation services and collaborative engineering capabilities, which have been designed from the ground up for use across a broad range of industrial applications. Its primary benefits to industry include reduced engineering time, lower cost of application ownership and maintenance, scalability, flexibility, and an extensible framework.

This is the first product from Invensys to completely utilize the ArchestrA architecture, providint an infrastructure for simplifying the development, deployment, maintenance and administration of distributed automation applications. It extends Microsoft.NET application services to provide a new class of application server for the manufacturing and process industries.

Touted originally at the Wonderware Showcase in Las Vegas in June 2001, ArchestrA (a combination of architecture and orchestra) leverages Microsoft’s .NET platform to provide the foundation for all Invensys software under development. When Invensys announced a reorganization in February 2002, the architecture was touted as one of the cornerstones of the new cathedral. See Control Engineering’s February Software Newsletter for more.

Thomas Muth, product marketing manager, explained the architecture to Control Engineering last December, noting that two problems are targeted in particular. First, too much manufacturing is organized around the ”islands of automation” structure. ArchestrA will provide a platform to build communication bridges among these islands giving managers a better handle on plant operations. The second target is total cost of engineering for software over the life of the product. By enabling team collaboration in initial design, object program organization, and scalability and extensibility of the platform, implementers will spend less engineering dollars over the product’s life than previously.

”With the release of the Industrial Application Server, Wonderware enters a new era in engineering productivity for manufacturing information systems,” said Mike Bradley, president of Invensys Wonderware. ”Already, Industrial Application Server beta testers are very excited, with approximately 80 customers in industries such as oil and gas, food and beverage, utilities, and transportation who are gearing up for major expansions or retrofit projects. These customers anticipate significant engineering savings and improved productivity. In addition, the flexibility and scalability that the Industrial Application Server offers will enable lower commissioning and maintenance costs that could not have been accomplished without it.”

”Customers who require distributed HMI or SCADA applications and are challenged with maintenance or expansion associated with large distributed applications can gain significant improvement in efficiency using Industrial Application Server,” adds Mr. Muth. ”With the product’s scalability, centralized security, plant-centric development environment and peer-to-peer distributed, open architecture, we are able to combine previously inefficient plant information architectures into one cohesive, maintainable and expandable structure. In addition, InTouch users can leverage the Industrial Application Server through re-use of existing communications servers, scripts and InTouch visualization.”

Wonderware is an operating unit of the production management division of Invensys plc. Founded in 1987, Wonderware pioneered the use of the Microsoft Windows operating system in human machine-interface (HMI) automation software for manufacturing operation systems.

The Invensys Production Management businesses include APV, Avantis, Baan, Eurotherm, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. These businesses address process and batch industries-including the oil, gas and chemicals, food, beverage and personal healthcare-and the discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

Control Engineering Daily News DeskGary A. Mintchell, senior editor