Process visualisation, manufacturing execution systems and reporting software solutions provider Adroit Technologies will launch a world first when it introduces its Adroit supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) Intelligence (Asi) product, in July.
Asi is unique in that it uses business intelligence (BI) technically defined by software developer Microsoft, as well as Microsoft’s standard technologies, to deliver a multi- dimensional data interface.
The product enables plant reporting systems to provide greater detail than before, explains Adroit MD Dave Wibberley.
Using only plant historian software, which is time dimensional, can create confusion about the performance of a piece of equipment unless context, concerning information about the process, such as density of concentrate, is also provided.
The BI platform is built completely on Microsoft BI technologies, namely Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2 enterprise level. It provides the capability to consume historical data from existing historian software, transform it, incorporate an information model and build a multidimensional view of the data to understand various aspects of an operation.
Asi has been in development for more than two years and is currently running successfully at about 15 operations in various industries.
This year, Adroit supplied the product to State-owned entity Umgeni Water and the Ugu district municipality’s Water Services Provision Department, in KwaZulu-Natal; utility Johannesburg Water and Johannesburg-based power solutions provider Megatron Federal; and gold miner AngloGold Ashanti’s Moab Khutsong mine, on the Free State and North West provincial border.
“So far, this product has solved 90% of the reporting challenges experienced by these clients. Currently, when you create a reporting solution, a customised database is built, which is never static and requires constant developing. This may create report formats that not everyone agrees with. Adroit provides a standard back-end that is configurable and enables standard reporting tools, such as Reporting Services and Excel, to be used to analyse and report data,” explains Wibberley.
Further, he says the company expects to launch version 8 of its core Adroit Scada product by the fourth quarter of this year.
Version 8 enables customers to migrate Adroit’s legacy user interface into the modern .Net technologies and to take advantage of Internet connectivity services.
The new user interface also provides inter- connectivity between Adroit’s smart client technologies.
This has enabled Adroit to migrate from being compatible with legacy architectures to being fully compliant with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system software.
Wibberley explains that, for security reasons, Windows 7 does not enable a programme to interfere with a machine’s under- lying architectures and requires it to be installed in a specific folder structure as an example.
Version 8 also amalgamates the information model behind the supervisory system to enable Scada and other products, such as Adroit’s alarm management and analysis and Asi products, to use the same information to generate more detailed reports for use by various departments.
This prevents the repetition of the common hierarchies, as a universal model will be used.
The software also enables the user to compare the operational efficiency of competing technologies.
A further development is the introduction of the Mitsubishi Adroit Process Suite (Maps), an integrated process control system Adroit built in conjunction with electric and electronic equipment manufacturer and supplier Mitsubishi Electric.
The product integrates Mitsubishi’s Q-series programmable logic controller (PLC) and Adroit’s Scada to provide distributed control system-type functionality for the cost of Scada.
Wibberley says Maps enables PLC and Scada databases and graphics to be built automatically, saving customers time and reducing engineering costs by between 30% and 50%. “However, more importantly, it also yields value for customers long after the initial project has been handed over.”
Maps is key to Mitsubishi growing its process business and meeting its growth targets in Europe.
Adroit announced its relationship with Mitsubishi at the SPS Industrial Automation fair, in Germany, in November last year, which led to Mitsubishi acquiring 14,9% of Adroit Technologies earlier this year.
Maps, which was developed in conjunction with South African Mitsubishi distributor Circuit Breaker Industries, has provided Adroit with advantages in terms of securing local projects.
Currently, the company is supplying Maps for electrical and mechanical products manu- facturer Deebar’s Rail-Veyor system, which is used to move waste ore around mines.
“Adroit also has access to the Mitsubishi distribution network in Europe, whereas, before, the company was working with smaller distribution companies. This should have a significant effect on the amount of business coming in,” concludes Wibberley.