Process intelligence: GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms Launches Advanced Analytics Software
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, announced Proficy Troubleshooter, Proficy Cause+ and an updated release of Proficy Historian version 3.5 software, which combine to provide companies with unprecedented intelligence they can use to enhance process performance.
"We’ve made a significant step change to provide tools so customers can dig into data as they never had before," said John Leppiaho, product general manager for GE Fanuc’s Operations Management Software. "The enhancements and additions strengthen the foundation of the Proficy operations excellence software platform for plant and enterprise data-driven performance management."
These advanced analytics solutions are designed to maximize the information that already exists in production operations, extract knowledge from that information, and identify the opportunities to solve potential production issues before they impact the process. This powerful combination of solutions enables:
• better understanding of the causes of variation and problems in the process as well as the real-time impact of the process on production assets
• learning the relationships between disconnected data, extracting knowledge and building business cases with benefit estimations
• preventing unnecessary conventional‘alarm bursts’ with more intelligent alarms that work in multivariate space, indicating causes of problems and providing corrective actions
• expert knowledge capture for making modelling and expert system technology available to all users.
"People are typically used to looking at information in a linear perspective, saying‘I want to see the relationship of values and a trend,’" Leppiaho told Control Engineering. With the new software tools, "the technique of using data has changed. It’s using linear and non linear modeling. So you don’t have to have a PhD in statistics to understand the data.You just need to know what you need to control and what parameters contribute to it. Then you can test whether those variables really affect the process.
"Everyone not only needs some method for archiving plant data and a system for supervisory control and data acquisition, but also an effective way of doing rapid process troubleshooting and other continuous improvement initiatives utilizing its real-time plant data," said Leppiaho. "GE Fanuc’s Proficy Historian is already proven in industries all over the world for collecting, storing and retrieving mission-critical data. The addition of Proficy Troubleshooter and Proficy Cause+ gives users advanced analytics and control of their processes to drive operational excellence."
These solutions provide essentially a three-step process for advanced analysis starting with Proficy Historian 3.5. Proficy Historian is built to store, and more importantly, retrieve production/process data in the way companies need it. This capability enables better responsiveness by quickly providing the granularity of data needed to analyze and solve intense process applications.
The second component of the advanced analytics process is Proficy Troubleshooter, an off-line, value-add product to Proficy Historian. It is used to identify causes for production problems and identify the opportunity for preventing these problems in the future. Proficy Troubleshooter acts as a bridge between Proficy Historian and Proficy HMI/SCADA, obtaining relationships between process variables and preparing benefit estimations for real-time deployment. It includes powerful multivariate modeling and data-mining techniques, but does not require a background in advanced statistics or modeling. It also provides a clear path to real-time solutions for the user.
"In the past, we have had reporting tools that gave us an information baseline," continued Leppiaho. "Now we can apply analytics to that data and do‘what-if’ scenarios to model the process."
The next logical step is to put the process into production. Proficy Cause+ wires in the real-time data and introduces alarms based on causal relationships within the process. It extracts more value from real-time data, in the form of likely causes of process or asset-related problems and variation in real-time, with pre-configured corrective actions to the operator if alarm-conditions are triggered.
Proficy Cause+ is a value-added decision-support solution to the Proficy HMI/SCADA iFIX and Cimplicity products that also provides reporting on causes over specified periods of time for production management and process engineers. It enables real-time causes of process problems (e.g. bad batches), real-time corrective actions to address process problems, wizard-based and custom development and simulation of a real-time solution before deploying it within Proficy HMI/SCADA, model- and rules-based cause identification, web-based reporting of causes over user-defined periods, causes-based intelligent alarming, and capturing of expert knowledge for real-time expert system use.
Proficy Cause+ enables production engineers, and process specialists, to generate real-time causes for production process deviations. During such real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) deviation, in-depth process knowledge is delivered to an operator to provide specific actionable message guidance for correction. It is a real-time application by which production process variation is identified, and whereby root causes for such variation is visualized. Proficy Cause+ is a value-add component, which is deployed directly in existing HMI SCADA/DCS systems. Proficy Cause+ is therefore mostly used by plant operators.
"Progressive companies are achieving even greater benefits by extracting and applying knowledge from historical and real-time data with advanced analytics," said Tom Fiske, Senior Analyst ARC Advisory Group. "Traditionally, the use of advanced analytics required high domain expertise to apply effectively. This is no longer the case."
"The tool turns what-if analysis in actionable steps. It lets you put in a significant change and monitor that change," adds Leppiaho. "Engineers there for years understand their process through brute force. With this, you’ve just given a junior engineer a tool to become a pretty large expert in the process. He can analyze the data and understand the process much more quickly."
The core Troubleshooter and Cause+ software were developed by CSense Systems, headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa, and are sold and supported globally by GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. According to Derick Moolman, President of CSense Systems, "GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has collaborated with CSense Systems to address current market requirements. Our solution is achieved through providing a new more intelligent Historian and HMI/SCADA, aimed at the general broad user base, providing off-line and real-time analytics with the option to scale to Advanced Process Control for ready clients, all on an integrated technology platform."
– Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk