Manufacturing Intelligence & Industrial Information Management Articles

Articles and white papers on manufacturing intelligence and information management in the industrial automation, process control, and instrumentation industry.

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Seventh sense for fault analysis

The gas/steam turbine power plant in Budong, South Korea detects faults up to an hour in advance and provides advice on how they can be avoided. Diagnostic and simulation software from InfoTeam predicts alarms and shutdowns. Click here to read full article...

GE Fanuc's Proficy Becomes Reality for Collaborative Process Automation

By ARC Advisory Group
The ability to provide an open framework for production management or MES applications allows truly transparent access to data from multiple applications. GE Fanuc has combined its long time expertise in real time control applications with its production management and HMI capabilities to produce such as system. Registration required. Read entire article.

Digitize Work Processes with Industrial Workflow Execution

By GE Fanuc
Workflows are a key element to connecting and managing flexible work processes that can be very dynamic. By leveraging a common reference model and workflow engine layered on with transformational innovation specifically to improve production operations, companies can enable workflows to execute across many systems. (Registration required)..

Winning the Battle for Interoperability

By Eric Murphy, Matrikon
A synopsis of what the OPC Foundation offers on its web site and through its various programs. Read entire article.

Creating Secure OPC Architectures

By Adriel Michaud, MatrikonOPC
Technical guide on how to secure typical OPC implementations. It covers OPC DA, HDA, and A&E, securing OPC Servers from unauthorized OPC Client access, and restricting authorized OPC Clients to only the functions necessary. Read entire article.

With or without you?

By Bob Erickson, MatrikonOPC
White paper describes how Matrikon’s OPC server works with Honeywell’s TotalPlant Solution (TPS)/TDC 3000. Read entire article.

Gateway to Industrial Interoperability

By MatrikonOPC and Rockwell Automation
OPC provides standardized data access and Rockwell Automations’s FactoryTalk Gateway opens the door to integrated production and performance. Paper describes how they work. Read entire article.

Simplifying Integration Logic Development

As business operations evolve they require richer and more widespread inter-process integration. Because each case involves a unique combination of technologies and business rules, shrink-wrapped MES packages cannot implement the rich integration that is needed. The requirement goes well beyond communication pipes and protocols, integration requires developing custom software. The problem is that custom software is difficult to develop and maintain. Read full white paper

Measure. Decide. Act. Applying Real-Time Feedback to Deliver Business Results

By George Buckbee, P.E., ExperTune Inc.
To control a business, key measures include sales, profit, productivity, and cash flow. This white paper discusses appropriate measures for control of single loops, unit operations, and entire businesses. The “right things” have a few common characteristics. Read full article

Enterprise HMI Systems: Is the cost too high?

One hears so much about Enterprise HMI and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) that it's easy to suppose these systems are everywhere. A visit to almost any manufacturing facility will show the contrary. There is a promise that tomorrow's systems will have a global view of all processes within the plant via the corporate intranet/portal. Why is this a promise of tomorrow? The technology is there and the need is recognized. So why the disconnection? Read complete article written by Steven A. Hechtman of Calmetrics Company.

The Future of Information in Intelligent Devices

Rather than ever more centralized, large-scale intelligence, technology has evolved towards highly distributed, intelligent networked devices. Benefits of networked, intelligent devices will be many (but not the same for manufacturers and users). The future holds access to more data, highly distributed networks, access to data in real-time, the ability to collect information about customer use, and product differentiation. Data Historians will be key to archiving and retrieving the data generated by intelligent devices. The Internet is evolving to interconnect all network-attached devices, effectively becoming the largest data acquisition and control network. Read full article...

OPC Consideration for Network Security

Cyber security means the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computers, applications, and digital-based assets. In most organizations, this is the responsibility of the corporate IT group. Unfortunately, whenever IT meets real-time control systems, trouble erupts. So when IT implements different Windows Domains and Firewalls, the first casualty is typically DCOM communication and, consequently, OPC traffic. Read full article...

Integrating Production Line Automation Systems with Office Information Systems

With the growing popularity of Ethernet Networks and the abundance of hardware and software solutions available, it is possible to integrate all components of a typical Production Facility into a tightly knit system. Office database & information systems that handle such tasks as production scheduling, data collection, invoicing, bill of ladings, certificates of analysis, order tracking, etc. can all be seamlessly integrated with the production line control system to share real-time data over common Ethernet networks. Read full article by Michael J. Goslak, P.E.

Accessing Databases Using OPC

In any industry, databases are the foundation of many automation applications.  Databases are consistently used as a gateway to interface with the outside world, whether to a process optimization application, Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS), composition analyzer, or a custom, in-house application.  Widespread industry acceptance of OPC has made it necessary for many organizations to convert archived data to real-time data and vice-versa.  OPC can take advantage of real-time values from what once was a relational database by using Generic Database Access (GDA) technology.  Read full article...

Understanding Microsoft's .NET Technology & Its Impact on Automation Application Development

Technology is an evolution, not a revolution. Sometimes we see advancements take place quickly, but when viewed from a high altitude vantage point, it’s often easier to see and understand the thread of technological evolution rather than the discrete events related to specific advancements. This paper will take just such a high altitude look at the development of Microsoft’s .NET technology with the intent of helping industrial automation users understand the context of .NET and what it might be able to do for users in the future. Read full article...

.NET - Putting Software Developers in the Picture

We have heard that .NET is a bold new initiative from Microsoft. We’ve seen Microsoft wield .NET as part of its diversification into enterprise applications markets. We are aware that where current COM/DCOM technologies have faltered, .NET has succeeded in delivering integrated, web-enabled applications. But, what lies beneath all the hype and buzz? What supplies the foundation for this new generation of software products? And, how can developers leverage this initiative to produce software solutions for enterprise wide collaboration and information sharing? Read full article...

Why Industrial Information Management (IIM) and .NET is the Answer

This paper considers how using Microsoft .NET systems can help manufacturers enhance competitive advantages by sharing information in real time to maximize collective resources and deliver superior value to customers. Industrial Information Management, (IIM) leverages the .NET capabilities by enriching data into valuable information through downtime, quality, reporting and other analysis modules, and making it available for decision-makers throughout the enterprise. Read full article...

Data Transport Utility (DTU): An Introduction and Overview

Most control engineers and system analysts are faced with the challenge of ensuring product quality and lowering manufacturing costs. This challenge is complicated by a number of issues. Data Transport Utility (DTU) is an emerging technology that provides a backbone or infrastructure for building solutions in a seamless fashion, integrating best-of-class technologies with existing systems, while at the same time cutting development and support costs dramatically. Read full article...

Institutionalizing Alarm Management

What is alarm management? Most plant personnel equate alarm management with reducing alarms; however, this is only one piece of the puzzle. The whole puzzle involves providing operators with enough information to prevent abnormal situations and to prevent the escalation of those abnormal situations that cannot be prevented. This paper reviews the benefits of alarm management, the causes of alarm problems, and a description of a proven approach that many industry leaders have adopted to realize the benefits of good alarm management practices. Read full article...