ABB announces Automation Sentinel for software management |

ABB announces Automation Sentinel for software management

Innovative program helps customers predict and manage automation lifecycle costs

Wickliffe,OH, March 15, 2007 – ABB announced today the release of its Automation Sentinel program for ABB control system software management. Designed to help customers actively manage their lifecycle costs, Automation Sentinel extends support for, and the value of, existing ABB control software investments. With this program, ABB customers can keep their installed software products up to date and maintain a flexible and affordable path forward to evolve to the latest system software technology at the their desired pace.

ABB also announced that it has extended its software lifecycle support policy to offer expanded coverage for System 800xA installations. Automation Sentinel program subscribers automatically receive all available updates and enhancements to their current System 800xA software. In addition they have the option to stay on that version for an extended period of time—up to seven years—until they are ready to upgrade to the latest version of the software. This level and length of support is unprecedented in the automation industry.

Feedback from customers has indicated that while software lifecycle-support is important to them, many of them are not able to upgrade their software every time a new release is available. "In response to our Customers' requests for more flexible and focused software lifecycle support, ABB has introduced new programs for software management and extended our software lifecycle support policy," said Mark Taft, Group Vice President, Control Systems Business, ABB Inc. "Our goal is to help our Customers improve their operational performance, and at the same time get as much value out of their existing investment as possible. These programs are designed to help them achieve these improvements by allowing them to choose the level of support and the upgrade schedule that works best with their immediate business needs and long-term production targets."

Automation Sentinel combines comprehensive technical and online support with a planned evolution path to latest generation functionality for earlier control system software versions. This provides customers with a cost-effective evolution path forward to fit their capital budget and long-term growth plans. When evolving to System 800xA, program subscribers do not incur additional license fees for upgrades to functional equivalent System 800xA software, making the program an extremely affordable way to upgrade their installed software.

"The Automation Sentinel Program is the latest step in our ongoing commitment to help our customers get the most value out of their current ABB control system investment; as it protects their past, present, and future automation investments," said John Marbry, Vice President, Process Industry Products Americas Sales, ABB Inc. "We have a twenty-five year track record of providing our customers with maximum protection for their existing control system investment, while adding new capabilities and functions with minimum risk to their operations. Automation Sentinel is the most affordable way for ABB customers to evolve current software to enjoy the productivity benefits of the latest System 800xA operating environment."

Complementing its robust portfolio of evolution planning products and services, Automation Sentinel is the latest step in ABB's ongoing commitment to help its customers get the most value out of their current ABB control system investment. ABB introduces new technology in a way that allows step-wise incorporation into previous generation systems, allowing customers to get the best performance and value out of their automation investment. In stark contrast to other 'rip and replace' migration strategies being promoted by others , ABB delivers true system evolution, providing a deliberate path forward for its customers, so they can incrementally add new functionality that builds upon the foundation of system products and applications already in place.

"As more and more customers are striving to better understand and predict their automation lifecycle costs, Automation Sentinel offers them a simple way to manage these costs with one program," said Marbry. "Automation Sentinel provides an option that balances the need for continued ROI from the current automation system investment with the added productivity benefits from the incorporation of new technology."

System 800xA Extended Automation is the next generation offering for all ABB control systems; ABB's evolution path allows customers to incrementally add selected 800xA functionality to expand their existing system. System 800xA extends the scope of traditional control systems to include all automation functions in a single operations and engineering environment so that plants/mills can run smarter and better at substantial cost savings. Its reach extends well beyond the realm of essential process control to production management, safety, smart instrumentation, smart drives and motor control, information management, asset optimization, simulation, and documentation. System 800xA's unique engineering environment manages one set of consistent data, for single-point entry, single-point change, and re-use across the plant. Control Engineering magazine selected System 800xA Extended Automation to receive an Editors' Choice Award as one of the best products introduced in 2004.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 108,000 people.