Craig Resnick covers the PLC, PAC, HMI, OIT and Industrial PC markets as well as the Packaging, Plastics and Rubber Industries for ARC. He is the primary analyst for many of ARC’s Automation Supplier and Financial Service clients. Craig’s focus areas also include Production Management, OEE, HMI Software, Automation Platforms, and Embedded Systems. Craig has 30 years’ experience in sales, marketing, product development, and project management in the industrial market, gained with major suppliers of PLCs, process control systems, power transmission equipment, and field devices. Craig is a graduate of Northeastern University with an MBA and BS in Electrical Engineering.
Besides Hurricane Matthew, some new product introductions provided much excitement at Schneider Electric’s recent Wonderware Live 2016 Users Group held in Orlando.
Wonderware Online InStudio
The company introduced Wonderware Online InStudio, a cloud subscription Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering, part of the evolution of Wonderware Online cloud platform. InStudio joins Wonderware Online InSight, which is built on Microsoft Azure. This is the latest addition to its portfolio of Wonderware Online cloud-first, mobile-first technologies – a collection of functionalities for aggregating, storing, and visualizing industrial data.
Wonderware Recipe Manager Plus
The company also introduced Wonderware Recipe Manager Plus for formula and recipe management applications. This provides stronger governance functionality, including configurable role-based security, automatic item versioning, and electronic signatures with an electronic change and execution history. Recipe Manager is targeted at life sciences manufacturers, who are typically challenged to go paperless while adhering to regulatory compliance requirements, such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11 or GMP (Eudralex volume 4 Annex 11). Features include configurable “Done By/Check By” signature requirements and comment enforcement for actions related to recipe management and execution. Its role-based security system includes new permissions for signing actions; reporting templates provide access to new electronic change and execution history records.
Serialization Suite for Life Sciences
Also introduced was the Serialization Suite for the Life Sciences industry, with a common data repository and model-driven framework. This common framework helps provide a “single source of the truth” with more consistent data, more unified reporting and analysis, and standardized best practices to help enforce collaboration, compliance, and data consistency across multi-site implementations.
Serialization compliance can be daunting for pharma and life sciences companies. When operating with disparate, non-interoperable systems, these companies often lack accurate visibility into all production processes and the extended supply chain. Several countries have set new regulations for traceability of prescription drug and biologic products, adding further complexity to this process. To facilitate these requirements, a serialization process should be put in place to enable materials to be tracked and traced electronically when passing through the supply chain. The Serialization Suite helps to ensure pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can better identify and stop the distribution of counterfeit drugs, contain and track the source of contaminated drugs back to the source, and handle product recalls more efficiently and effectively.
Prometheus Universal Configuration Tool for Control Components
As important as these new product introductions were, what grabbed much of the fire at Wonderware Live was the introduction of Prometheus, a configuration tool for defining, programming and documenting multiple components in an industrial control system, from the manufacturing execution system (MES) to the I/O – regardless of supplier. Prometheus introduces a high-level open programming environment that helps automate complex configuration tasks and enable the configuration of control components of multiple types and/or brands. By removing some of the complexity and burden of updating multiple disparate applications, Prometheus helps improve agility across multiple automation systems so plants run more up-to-date processes.
Prometheus templates help ensure that standards are best leveraged. Code development independent of the target platform, optional functionality and intelligent plug and socket connections help deliver more flexible templates to enable greater reuse of code. Integrated version management means standards can evolve as requirements change. A multi user framework provides multiple engineering disciplines with visibility into a project, providing earlier identification of issues and supporting more-timely decision-making. Workflows are more flexible because each control asset is built as a modular component; work can start at the top with the process definition or at the bottom with the I/O, helping eliminate loose ends. Prometheus highlights the incomplete work. Built-in low fidelity simulation simplifies testing and validation.
For operations, Prometheus increases transparency with an online view of executing logic and control, with simulation to override faults to keep the process running. This helps eliminate the need for jumper wires in the cabinet or forcing values in the controller. And with real-time process monitoring during change deployment, it is possible to implement process improvements and safely deploy these to the controller with minimal disruption. Platform-independent code libraries with intelligent plug-and-socket assembly help ensure projects are delivered faster, enabling SIs to deliver projects to their customers in less time. Reduced dependence on code authors helps improve resource mobility and responsiveness to customers. With vendor neutrality, OEMs have access to a broader customer base and embedded control. Prometheus code can even be compiled by GCC for execution on Linux, OS9, OSX, or Windows.
Prometheus certainly caught the attention of the end users and system integrators at Wonderware Live 2016, and we look forward to seeing it released and deployed. Its ability to configure PLCs, PACs, and HMIs from multiple vendors certainly has the potential to make this a disruptive technology. Prometheus is derived from the Greek word for ‘forethought’, of which much was given to creating this product. If Prometheus the Greek god is most noted for stealing fire from Zeus to return it for the benefit of all of mankind, this product is also appropriately named for providing a common programming and configuration tool to the benefit of many automation end users and OEMs.
Learn more about Wonderware Prometheus