Wonderware, the plant floor SCADA and MES arm of controls and automation giant Invensys’ Software Systems Division (ISS), has launched what it’s calling ‘Collaborative Asset Optimisation (cAO) – new software and services that bring factory equipment condition and production capacity information in real time to internal departments and external supply chains. It’s based on the old Marcam Avantis suite acquired by Invensys a couple of years ago, but now significantly further developed, and is being sold in the UK through Wonderware’s FactorySuite SCADA and maintenance suite software representative Pantek. cAO has three key components. First is Real Time Asset Optimisation, which provides plant floor health information using not just conventional condition monitoring techniques but also now ‘asset health analysis’. SmartSignal technology monitors standard plant signals and deduces maintenance requirements automatically, representing a significant up front cost saving and bringing automated maintenance management to a much wider market. Both systems are aimed at decreasing unplanned downtime by enabling management to predict probability of asset failure, time to failure and failure mode – and have maintenance and production act upon it. Second is Enterprise Integration Suite, which uses XML to integrate plant and enterprise systems using web technology to ensure information flows to where it’s needed. And third is Rapid Implementation Methodology (RIM), which reputedly speeds installation and helps companies to get the most out of their asset management systems through pre-defined templates. cAO links asset health information with the Avantis asset management system and FactorySuite’s InTouch human-machine interface (HMI) software, allowing work to be based on actual asset condition so that action is taken in advance of failure. The same real time asset health information is available to both operations and maintenance, so services can be better scheduled to minimise production downtime and/or production re-routed before the need arises. Pantek managing director John Bailey, says there are some 30 reference sites for Avantis in the UK, but none yet with the new technology. “It will be excellent new business for us, whether we implement it with Wonderware’s Factory suite or direct as a straight asset management installation. “We’re working with Wonderware Europe on this to give bigger European coverage. We’re well resourced to serve both discrete manufacturing and the process industries.” “Asset management systems can play a key role in supporting the supply chain because enterprises today need to integrate every facet of their operations to facilitate business decision-making,” says Carl Henning, senior vice president and general manager of Wonderware’s Avantis Operations. “Knowledge of what’s happening on the plant floor is crucial to this process and cAO is the means by which the plant floor data is transformed into actionable business information that can be disseminated to anywhere it’s required.” “Wonderware’s leadership in the asset management market is evident with its cAO initiative,” says Houghton Leroy, director of consulting services in the US at analyst ARC Advisory Group. “Enterprises are striving to reduce costs and get the most out of their assets. With the advent of cAO, enterprises are now in a position to lower their costs of operations and maintenance, improve up-time and optimise asset efficiency.”