Friday, May 24, 2013

Invensys and Callisto Integration Form Alliance

Invensys announced yesterday an alliance with Callisto Integration to provide services and implementation resources for complex operations management projects within the food and beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods industries.

The net of this relationship is to offer customers with a solution, not discrete products that must then be integrated, developed and implemented.  Callisto has many years of experience with the Wonderware "advanced applications" including MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems), EMI (Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence) and Workflow.  For more details, please follow this link:

Early Findings in LNS’s Industrial Energy Management Research[Early%20Findings%20in%20LN]

Energy Management has shown to be a powerful method of not only controlling and managing your costs, but in maintaining your sustainability initiatives for reducing energy consumption and pinpointing areas of waste.  This was Invensys' primary driver for developing its Corporate Energy Management application, using System Platform as its foundation, and directly connecting to meters to capture real-time consumption of resources, be it water, steam, power, etc.

This referenced study by LNS provides an independent, third party view of why companies should concentrate on energy management.

Repost: How to Make Better Decisions Every Day
An interesting article on how to make better decisions.  Certainly, we are faced every day with small and large decisions, and you can't bat at 100% all the time.  But a good overview of what to consider, and how to improve, your decision making.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ArchestrA Workflow Training Now Available from Wonderware Midwest!

Have you been curious on what workflow can do for your operations?  How you might enable standardization in processes, activities, responses to alarm conditions?  We have the answer for you--ArchestrA Workflow Software. 

ArchestrA Workflow Software is "industrialized" Business Process Management software--meaning that it takes the foundations of BPM--business logic-driven processes--and applies them to industrial automation environments.  So interaction with plant process equipment, applications such as Wonderware MES, InTouch HMI, Avantis EAM, and Wonderware Intelligence EMI connectors are already in place.

Wonderware Midwest is hosting two training classes.  Check their website for more details, and to register.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The 4 Traits You Need to Be a Great Leader

a very good article on how to become a great leader by ensuring you embody the 4 Cornerstones.  It's good for anyone to understand--not just leaders!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Repost, with comments: What’s New in Green Packaging?

Whether it is apparent or not, we suppliers of industrial automation solutions must pay attention to the "macro" trends that affect our customers and their markets.  Certainly, sustainability, either through reduced consumption of resources (like energy, or materials, or labor) or through a deliberate change in the way customers are doing business, will influence their use and willingness to accept our solutions.  Can we make them better at energy management?  Can we provide them with more uptime, so that they can enjoy longer runs with less stoppages and changeovers?  Can we enable better process visibility, including analytics and reporting, to be better informed on their operations?  All of these elements are in play.

This article gives a good overview from a participant standpoint.  We should use this opportunity to understand, from their perspective, how we can better serve them.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cyber Security Continuous Improvement: Do Something | Automation World

Cyber Security Continuous Improvement: Do Something | Automation World

Invensys' VP of Product Management, Rob McGreevy, participated in an experts panel on industrial ethernet at this week's Automation Conference.  Along with standards, networking tips & tricks, the panel ended on a discussion of cyber security.

Repost: Hold More Meetings–Just Keep Them Short

This article uses the Lean Manufacturing Principles (remove Waste, Overproduction, and Overprocessing) for making meetings more productive by making them shorter, more focused--and unnecessary to gaining consensus.  A good read.

Repost: Processing Equipment: Five New Technologies for Inspection

Processing Equipment: Five New Technologies for Inspection

For the food industry, productivity of lines and quality of products are paramount.  From an automation perspective, we can provide both the software tools to monitor, but oftentimes they are supplemented by distinct purpose inspection equipment either to complement physical inspectors, or on high speed lines, manage the inspection process.  This article provides a good "state of the art" on inspection technologies.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IDC: Tablet shipments up 142% in Q1: What Does That Mean for Automation?
We ran this ad a few months ago to demonstrate the adoption of mobile devices as a viewing agent on the plant floor.  Over the past year, the use for viewing, monitoring, and responding to tasks using mobile devices has surged.  The concern for BYOD (bringing your own device) in the plant has been replaced with an organized approach to procuring applications, from the business systems to the control systems, that can leverage the mobile platform.  Everything from databases to operations management applications are now running on mobile devices.

It's no surprise that the tablet would show greater growth--its ease of viewing and ability to present more information/data on the surface makes it a natural progression from the smaller form factor of the smart phone.  And since the majority of these devices are simply presentation layers, versus process control, the concern for remote access and security is diminished. 

We anticipate a continuing drive toward mobile devices for clients.  Invensys already has mobile support for Wonderware Intelligence, SimSci Esscor's EYESIM Immersive Virtual Reality training software; SmartGlance mobile reporting, Avantis Enterprise Asset Management, Wonderware Workflow...the list goes on.  It's in direct response to our customers that are looking for easier, more cost-effective ways of using our software. 

We'd like to hear from you--are you using innovative ways to integrate mobile technology into your plants?  Email me at

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Smart grid challenges: Annual survey reveals a worried industry

Smart grid challenges: Annual survey reveals a worried industry

An interesting survey by Black & Veach indicates that the utilties industry is concerned about costs, availability, economic stability--ie, status quo.  What can we do, as automation providers, to ease these concerns?  Certainly, providing access to information to help them make better decisions, gain more operational visibility, and fine tune operations, are critical.  Taking advantage of the latest technologies (mobile, cloud, big data) gives them more knowledge and collaboration. It's a start.

Just Released: Wonderware Intelligence Software 2012

Enhanced EMI software improves real-time access to operational decision support information

Wonderware Intelligence is Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence (EMI) software with a difference--it not only connects to your plant databases, but ANY database that holds critical information that could be important to the way you monitor and operate your plant.

With the new release of Intelligence 2012, you gain additional mobile functionality, expanded Wonderware application integration, strong support of Wonderware System Platform, and client viewing options. For more information, just click here

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Join Us at the Automation Conference! May 14-15, Chicago IL

Invensys and Microsoft are pleased to be Silver Sponsors of this year's Automation Conference. It promises to be a great networking and informational event on using manufacturing operations management software and solutions for greater productivity.  I'll be there, along with my colleagues, to support our customers General Mills, Campbell Soup, and others.  Won't you join us??

Top-selling new products of 2012: IRI Reveals Annual New Product Pacesetters

Top-selling new products of 2012: IRI Reveals Annual New Product Pacesetters

What's interesting about this study is:
*new products are capturing more sales than product extensions
*the economic downturn continues to be reflected in sales of "luxury" home consumables (frozen drinks, K-cups for coffee makers, and popcorn that makes its own bowl)

but overall, the market is still showing vitality and momentum.
It's an interesting parallel to look at B2B sales (basically, selling to companies, versus to the end users) because we can still use some of the tactics, and understand the strategies, of making new products more successful.

The Ever-Evolving Automation Industry | Automation World

The Ever-Evolving Automation Industry | Automation World
Automation World's editor-in-chief David Greenfield recently sat down with Invensys Operations Management's CEO, Mike Caliel, and  Systems Business President, Gary Freburger, to discuss strategies, growth, and vision.  Invensys has been quite vocal on its plans to expand, extend, and refine its product portfolio. This interview highlights some of the Systems (hardware) and Software plans.  Personally, I was pleased to see the call out on some of "my" advanced applications: Simulation; Workflow; and Mobility.  They are certainly appearing to be the cornerstone of new growth for a changing economy that needs information to match the way they now do business: global, scaled, and distributed.

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Can Sustainable Manufacturing Operations Management Exist without Master Data Management? NO,

Can Sustainable Manufacturing Operations Management Exist without Master Data Management? NO,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Repost: Need to Be Creative? Simple Tips to Spark Your Imagination

Really interesting article about how to creatively approach problems...

Webinar May 7th: The Continuous Improvement Program at Rich Products – Two Years Later

Join us for this follow-on webinar with Rich Products--has CI worked?  What can you learn from their experiences?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT

Repost: Experience Creates More Loyalty Than Price

A new study by Forrester shows that most shoppers (they used Trader Joe's, Amazon and Costco as proof points) value experience over price when selecting and showing loyalty to certain retail outlets.

We as B2B marketers can use this information--it certainly changes the game when you aren't competing solely on price, because that becomes a very one dimensional go to market proposition.  But for B2B, the "experience" does take on a different format.  Most of us do not have an online order entry system; we use a channel, whether it's a distributor, a manufacturer's representative, or a direct sales force.  So the ease of doing business has to come out of:
  • richer website to show better, more focused information presented
  • simpler way of using products--without onerous licensing issues, installs, and reams of documentation
  • positioning of products: clean lines of differentiation, so multiple products do not have overlapping functionality
Certainly, we at Invensys are well aware of the impact the customer experience has on their loyalty, longevity (ie, how long does a customer want to do business with us?) and use of products (since you like InTouch, are you also using Intelligence or SmartGlance)?

So these studies, although not apparent, can help us in the B2B space by understanding customer behavior, and more importantly, help us to better server you as an end user!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Repost: Optimism Brewing in the Industrial Sector Despite Concerns About Economy

Optimism Brewing in the Industrial Sector Despite Concerns About Economy

On January 13, I wrote a blog post on the recovery of manufacturing in North America. Since then, there's been a lot of coverage on the continuing optimism of industry for resurgence.  This article from GlobalSpec adds to the positive outlooks...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

MESA Extends the Depth and Reach of its Global Education Program

Repost: The software licensing gotchas in the cloud

The software licensing gotchas in the cloud

Not every vendor that offers cloud-based software have the licensing issues worked out.  This is an interesting article from a "state of the industry" view.  As an aside, Invensys has worked out these details!

WonderWorld is back!

Wonderworld is back! Partner Wonderware North is offering two locations in PA, June 18 and June 20th.  See new products from InTouch, Wonderware Industrial Computers, and Avantis.  Network with your peers, and gain new insights into where Wonderware is going.

Apps, Cloud Top Mobile Priorities (Yankee Group)

Yankee Group tells us that mobile is becoming an IT platform of choice for both user interface as well as infrastructure.  Certainly, we at Invensys have been taking advantage of this platform for well over two years now.  Starting with our core mobile-workforce enabled product, IntelaTrac, we've developed reporting, training and maintenance applications from SmartGlance, Intelligence, SimSci-Esscor EYESIM and Avantis to have mobile components.  The boost in workforce productivity is evident, but even more so, it's the training, the familiarity in user interface and the intuitiveness of the device that are pushing development of these applications forward.

What about your company?  Are you taking advantage of these new form factors? We'd like to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New EPA App Lets Users Check Health of U.S. Waterways

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. The How’s My Waterway app and website uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies.

Repost: 9 Uses for Enterprise IT and MOM Software in Manufacturing Strategy[9%20Uses%20for%20Enterpris]

this blog post by LNS Research covers the basics of what software exists in a manufacturing enterprise, its expected contribution and what objectives they cover.