Inductive Automation: disruptive MES
Don Pearson, chief strategy officer at Inductive Automation, and Tom Hechtman, MES product manager, discussed and demonstrated Inductive Automation’s soon-to-be-released Track and Trace Modules, the latest addition to what the company says is a “potentially disruptive HMI/SCADA/MES platform.”
A “potentially disruptive HMI/SCADA/MES platform” is expanding. Don Pearson, chief strategy officer at Inductive Automation, and Tom Hechtman, MES product manager, discussed and demonstrated Inductive Automation’s soon-to-be-released Track and Trace Modules, at the 2014 ARC Forum:
- Inductive Automation’s new Trace and Trace Modules will have a revolutionary effect on how organizations look at information from the plant floor to the top floor, said Don Pearson, chief strategy officer.
- To employ the modules, a new SCADA, such as Inductive Automation’s Ignition software, is needed. The Module Marketplace, which was announced last year, now offers more than 50 MES and HMI/SCADA modules, including those produced by third-party developers, allowing creativity to be shared globally.
- Last year, Inductive Automation held the first Ignition Community Conference to garner and analyze customer input. Old and incompatible machines and software systems, coupled with lacking connectivity, often make it difficult to see and analyze information through the workflow. Data from quality, invoicing, shipments, maintenance, and efficiency often are separated, preventing smart decisions. Devices, systems, and team members should be connected, and software can help, in real time.
- The Inductive Automation’s business model allows unlimited tags and data flow. Current SCADA pricing restricts connectivity because of the expense of many tags. Manufacturing operations management (MOM) or manufacturing execution systems (MES) layers connect enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with plant floor software for machine control, process control, and operator interface. Integration allows actionable data from a variety of disparate sources. Track and Trace technology ensures rapid sourcing of information, enabling better quality control for easier recalls, if needed.
- Track & Trace promotes proactive reasons for product genealogy.
- The FDA has authority over Track and Trace to prevent defective and harmful products. And food regulations now require following source farm and transportation, as well as everything at the food processing plant and logistics. MES modules in this software follow the ISA-95 model for best practices data integration. Software provides a hub for connection and access of data throughout the enterprise. It connects production data with ERP data.
- Configurability allows easy integration with existing systems.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.