Citect is releasing version 3.0 of its Ampla Manufacturing Execution System (MES). A central feature of this latest release has been achieved through working closely with existing customers to ensure that Ampla V3.0 supports historical data processing from most major historian databases.
A large amount of data that could be used to improve plant performance, reduce production costs and eliminate process downtime is often 'locked' in proprietary plant historian databases. Ampla V3.0 allows this data to be utilised, thereby bridging the 'information gap' between plant operations and business management. Historical data processing in Ampla V3.0 provides higher fault tolerance, lower total cost of ownership, and lower system complexity - as well as more accurate, repeatable and traceable information.
"Ampla V3.0 builds on the open and standards-based approach that has always been integral to our vision," says Colette Munro, Global Director for Ampla. "With Ampla V3.0 we can extend our architecture to meet the specific needs of a broader range of process industries, as well as traditional MES users."
Many MES vendors do not understand the specific requirements for MES in some vertical industry sectors. Ampla V3.0 can compensate for this to some extent by connecting to historian data sources when they are available and processing data in the correct historical sequence, no matter when the data is read by Ampla. This provides fault tolerance and data integrity in the event of network outages caused by remoteness or inhospitable conditions that are characteristic of many process operations. It also permits both distributed and centralised system architectures for easy management.
A lot of the development work was carried out in tough Australian mining applications, one of which was BHPBilliton, Western Australia Iron Ore.
"Implementation of historical data processing from our widely distributed and remote sites with Ampla provides the perfect data integrity and an easily managed centralized system architecture," says Paul Spit, e2e Program Director at BHPBilliton. "Ampla provides plant performance information that is utilised for performance and reliability improvement across the Western Australia Iron Ore assets by operators, engineers and managers."
It is also critical that MES systems integrate well with business-level systems such as leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. As an example, SAP has been used to benchmark this aspect of the system. Ampla is certified as Powered by NetWeaver.
"SAP and Citect form a natural partnership," says Geraldine McBride, CEO and Managing Director for SAP Australia and New Zealand. "By using SAP NetWeaver, users can integrate Ampla's information with data from their SAP ERP system and associated applications to create real-time, organisation-wide views of operations."
"Ampla 3.0 is a significant development for Citect in process industry," says John Ross, CEO of Citect. "A top priority is further accelerating our product development efforts to help our users maximise business performance."