Schneider Electric releases Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition

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Schneider Electric is releasing a new HMI software product as part of its Wonderware InTouch portfolio. Designed to run with modest hardware requirements and operable on embedded versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems, InTouch Machine Edition software is tailored to meet the needs of end users, OEMs and machine and system builders while giving them scalability and tight integration with Wonderware Historian and Wonderware System Platform. Because it can directly connect to industrial data sources, the new software enables users to access the information they need to improve plant operations and lower total cost of ownership in real time.

Ravi Gopinath, executive vice president, software, Global Solutions Business, Schneider Electric, says: “Schneider Electric has always invested in new technology and product development, and Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition software continues that approach. The Wonderware brand has long been associated with easy-to-use software solutions that can be integrated with any controller and run on any computer. The new Machine Edition HMI software maintains that tradition and represents ongoing investment and commitment to one of our core offerings. At Schneider Electric we look forward to developing and delivering innovative software solutions that bring greater value to our customers more quickly.”

InTouch Machine Edition software has comprehensive features that make it easier for customers to integrate their information and automation systems. For example, it can directly replace a traditional panel-computer HMI while providing the functionality normally found in larger PC-based HMI systems; it offers more than 240 native communication drivers with connectivity to almost any control hardware; and its rich visualisation, scripting, security, alarming, trending and recipe management functionality empowers plant operators to make better business decisions using real-time data. In addition, customers in regulated industries will benefit from features that are powerful enough to be used as part of a 21 CFR part-11 compliant system.

Craig Resnick, vice president, consulting, ARC Advisory Group, says: “Many machines are delivered from the machine builder with a minimally functional HMI or an HMI that is tightly tied to a single PLC brand. The problem with this approach is that, due to cost restrictions, these embedded HMIs do not always have the features operators need to leverage and maximise the full potential of the machine as an integral part of the whole production system.

“Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition software reverses this trend, first because users do not have to standardise on a single hardware offering. And secondly, by enabling users to quickly create intuitive and highly maintainable HMI applications, it makes machine information more accessible to operators and managers. Furthermore, the software can feed information to a larger supervisory system and provide a common control room environment for high-level operations management. Providing this level of information in a compact footprint gives users greater control, faster response times, higher operating efficiencies and lower total cost of ownership, as well as a broader understanding of the health of the entire business.”

Store-and-forward capabilities

Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition strengthens and broadens Schneider Electric’s software portfolio for a broad range of end users and OEM customers in the embedded HMI segment. The product provides integration with Wonderware Historian software so that data can be securely and reliably saved, retrieved, analysed and interpreted for greater insight into the business. This includes store-and-forward capabilities that will save the information locally if the connection to the historian is interrupted and then subsequently forward that data to the historian when the connection is reestablished. Live data can be communicated to desktop versions of Wonderware InTouch, Wonderware System Platform and Wonderware InBatch software. Data can be used in scripts, alarms, history, recipes and graphics to enable monitoring of machine status and performance information such as OMAC PackML data and overall equipment effectiveness. This level of integration with the Wonderware software portfolio makes it easier than ever before to integrate machine-level information in production-line and plant-level systems.

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