Internet, Ethernet, Connectivity, Open Solutions etc. are the sizzling buzzwords for todays automation industry. These concepts provide the solutions to turn manufacturing data into valuable information that can be shared with other users, other departments and indeed other companies. Instant access to information has not become a norm but an expectation in todays business environment. Today, you can attach multiple systems and give users instant access to timely, exact information for fast decisions. And, prompt decisions can make all the difference in meeting quotas and filling in big orders. This will ultimately determine the ability of the business to remain competitive. Increasingly, many companies are turning to industrial Ethernet to improve productivity, quality and flexibility in a manufacturing environment. With the establishment of industrial IT in the workplace, links can be made throughout the whole manufacturing process, leading to the feedback of data for management reporting. There is no sole strategy for implementing web-enabled automation in your factory enterprise. The web can impact your factory, supply chain and your entire enterprise.
Powerful web technology provides bi-directional data exchange between your devices and enterprise applications. Using this you can share real-time operational data from machines and devices with :
- Browser-based devices and HMIs
· Pagers and email systems
- MRP, ERP, CRM, and quality systems
Web-enabled automation is a leading edge trend in the industrial sector that will inspire significant changes in the way companies implement communication systems on the factory floor. The increasing use of Ethernet in control systems is providing the long-term impetus for web-based functionality. However, solutions such as intelligent gateways, which serve-up web connectivity to almost any existing automation product, provide immediate access to web-based automation and its associated benefits.
Using a publish-subscribe method of information sharing, the FactoryWeb model greatly simplifies the flow of information in all directions of your enterprise. The GE Fanuc FactoryWeb consists of a series of devices that integrate machine and process control, operator interface, communications and information publishing. Using a standard web browser, FactoryWeb products allow users to view operational data, customised reports, and graphical panels from anywhere in the world. Data can even be transferred throughout a company over the Internet by connecting to a central, open architecture database. With its ability to provide personalised, real-time data to decision makers at all levels, FactoryWeb empowers each employee to impact the success of your organisation.
A complete solution
The basis of the Factory Web solution is CIMPLICITY automation software from GE Fanuc. This is the bedrock of an integrated set of packages that has the power to extend into all areas of an enterprise. CIMPLICITY is a powerful, easy-to-use software system that is cost effective to implement and run. As a Microsoft solution provider and a member of the Microsoft Developers Network, GE Fanuc takes full advantage of the latest Microsoft technologies, such as OLE, COM, DCOM, ODBC, OPC and DNA. By keeping current with these new technologies, CIMPLICITY provides an excellent client/server architecture that is scaleable and extendable as the system grows. It provides a strong foundation for future technology.
Monitoring and control
CIMPLICITY HMI is a powerful, easy-to-use supervisory monitoring and control software operating on a Windows NT platform. It consolidates the collection of data from devices, including sensors and PLCs, then transforms the data into dynamic text, alarm and graphic displays. It provides the user with real time information. Various features offer ease of development with drag-and-drop, an object-oriented graphics editor and a vast object library. The Database Logger function uses the standard ODBC interface.
With the CIMPLICITY FactoryWeb product options, WebView and WebGateway, users can view CIMPLICITY HMI screens remotely, employing standard Web browsers on a standard PC connected via the Internet. WebView addresses the need to securely share and access production data remotely and efficiently with security. WebView is ideal for a group of casual CIMPLICITY users. Shared licensing allows a user to connect to the server and view data. When they are finished, the WebView license is freed up for the next person. This especially benefits users in plant management, finance, or engineering who must access process data to make their decisions. With this cost efficient method there is no need to create HTML documents, the graphics of your existing CimView screens are sent to the web browser. Any changes made to your CimView screens are automatically reflected out to WebView uses - no duplicate configuration to maintain. WebGateway allows multiple users to create their own Web pages, and it is an ideal way for a large group of users to share information such as production counts or process data.
Some of the benefits of WebView are; easy expandability of user base, independent location, lower administration costs and password protection with set-point capabilities.
Resource for service and support
With a presence in most industrial countries throughout the world, GE Fanuc is able to build a complete solution in conjunction with its clients. From engineering services to support services, from product training to complete application consultations, the company is able to bring its expertise to help its customers increase productivity. CIMPLICITY has become a corporate standard for GE worldwide, and is used extensively to monitor for Six Sigma quality. GE Fanuc Automation is the leading global supplier of industrial control systems and is a joint venture between GE and Fanuc of Japan. Their products and services include CIMPLICITY industrial automation software, nano to high-end PLCs, a wide range of CNCs, motion control systems, operator interfaces, industrial computers, CO2 and YAG lasers, and a wide range of integration and customer support services.
(CIMPLICITY is a registered trademark of GE Fanuc Automation North America, Inc All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.)