Jul 13, 2012
Software enables integration of plant and peopleBack
Africa|Invensys Operations Management Southern Africa|System|Africa|Automation Software|Enterprisewide Network|Product|Real Time|Deon Van Aardt|Ernst Van Wyk
© Reuse this
This single system, which is designed to enable companies and plants to create process-specific, system-specific or user-specific performance indicators, also automatically generates schedules for events logged by staff, such as maintenance or auditing schedules. It also provides long-term reports for analytical and managerial oversight in the company, adds Van Aardt.
“Time is the greatest determining factor in operations. This is why we focus on letting each plant or company set up its own workflows that automatically notify operators, maintenance staff and managers when triggered, either by a schedule or a user. “It also enables companies to manage delays by triggering secondary workflows or notifications if a workpiece takes longer than specified.”
Experts and employees can effectively collaborate using this workflow system, which enables each user to know exactly what functions must be performed, reducing the impact of the movement of skills in the company, he says.
Effective collaboration can increase plants’ quality of production and operational efficiencies, and can enable them to be in lockstep with corporate strategy and productivity initiatives, notes Van Aardt.
Each plant can also function and continue to process analytic functions independently if disconnected from the enterprisewide network. It can then synchronise with the network once it reconnects, says Invensys Wonderware product portfolio manager Ernst van Wyk.
“The key is to provide relevant information for users to enable effective decision-making. The resolution of the information, which refers to its relation over time to other key indicators of a business, must be correct for the user. This entails process- and plant-control users usually focusing on shorter timeframe indicators, such as processes or production, and administrative managers usually analysing indicators within a daily or weekly timeframe.
“However, often a plant manager may want to see how his production has impacted on the efficiency of the company and can then use the functionality of the Archestra System Platform to create reports, graphs and flowcharts of production with regard to profitability, cost effectiveness, or any other metric. The plant manager may also want to inter- rogate the processes in his plant and can draw on real-time process data to support his decisions.
“Similarly, a business manager may want to see what the production of one plant is, compared with another, and he can create graphs that remove cost variances to determine plant efficiency, independent of different costs, for example,” explains Van Wyk.
“To achieve operational excellence, one needs a platform that can improve operational effectiveness by synchronising operations with business goals in real time,” concludes Van Aardt.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other ICT News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...