The on-going evolution of the industrial automation space
Aveva plants its flag with operations infrastructure solutions
Held November 14 to 17, Aveva World San Francisco 2022 presented its attendees with a coherent, continuing narrative concerning the last 50 years of industrial automation software.
For most of those years, software applications used for design, operations and enterprise management persisted as entities unto themselves. However, the need for executive management and the engineering ranks to easily understand and manipulate data from these different realms serves as a powerful force guiding the evolution of the industrial automation software space.
Aveva launched in 1967 as CADCentre, a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design. In the years following, it acquired Wonderware, one of the seminal supervisory control (SCADA) software suppliers. It also acquired OSIsoft, which famously made the market for industrial data historians. It includes other acquisitions as well, including simulation software provider, SimSci.
As a result, “We at Aveva must respect that heritage while working toward even more success. We must integrate those solutions without destroying value and must provide access in a singular interface that provides that data within context,” said Caspar Herzberg, COO, Aveva.
That means that besides 1) extending the value of its customers’ existing investments, the company must 2) provide an open, vendor neutral environment and 3) deliver an industrial information platform (even as the relationship between edge and cloud continues to evolve), said Rob McGreevy, chief product officer, Aveva.
Design to optimize industrial automation
This “design — operate – optimize” model begins with the digital twin originating in design engineering and extending to embrace operations. For example, Aveva Unified Engineering in the cloud helped Aker Carbon Capture create efficient and replicable designs for carbon capture units. As a result, Aker Carbon Capture demonstrated reductions in engineering hours and has reduced the cost of its medium-sized offerings of nine years ago by a whopping 90%.
Aveva Unified Engineering uses a single source of data for all disciplines, so all process simulation, line lists, flowsheets, datasheets, 3D models, isometrics, and so forth are updated by the same data bank, configuring the digital twin in real-time. Multi-discipline engineers can work concurrently from this single database where all documents and models are automatically updated as soon as any changes are made.
In another example, Dominion Energy gathered and shared data from across its North American grid network using Aveva Data Hub and Microsoft Azure. Cloud-based data management allowed Dominion’s team to turn power grid data into a new source of revenue. Energy source and performance data let Dominion’s customers track sustainability commitments and prove the company is using energy from low-carbon sources. Dominion customers provide proof of their own net-zero commitments to investors and environmental, social and governance (ESG) auditors.
Aveva Data Hub is a cloud-native industrial data platform leveraging the scale and flexibility of the cloud. The challenge for Dominion and others was to share real-time data securely and cost effectively with users outside the company network, enabling data as a profit center. Aveva Data Hub is a fully managed platform as a service, run by Aveva experts.
A valuable connection
However, the networking solution most mentioned by McGreevy in his remarks was Aveva Connect, an industrial cloud platform that allows users full access to the Aveva portfolio through a single interface for both cloud and on-premises applications. It allows users to create an industrial hybrid architecture that offers the robustness of on-premise industrial applications.
“Aveva Connect allows for unified engineering and asset information management. It does so by elevating the human-machine interface to the unified operations center where you can visualize the entire value chain,” said McGreevy.
For example, Mitsubishi Power designs and manufactures energy systems for power generation and storage. It has been a user of PI System for more than 25 years. “Today PI serves as the foundation of our digital data strategy,” said Marco Sanchez, VP, Intelligent Solutions, Mitsubishi Power. We’re looking beyond PI to Aveva solutions that provide the flexibility and openness needed.”
The motivation for bringing these disparate solutions into a single infrastructure, said Peter Herweck, Aveva CEO, “is that it embodies the opportunity for the digital transformation of our clients. The breadth of that opportunity has only become more clear with developments at the Edge and in the Cloud.”
Aveva World San Francisco 2022 included more than 100 customer presentations for the edification of more than 3,000 attendees from more than 700 companies.