April 2008
  
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End-to-end solutions for business automation
A new site automation software development platform

Lydia Cobo
Marketing Europe
ELUTIONS

State-of-the-art ControlMaestro site automation software provides an advanced end-to-end solution for business automation by bringing together the most desired applications and benefits including engineering productivity, security, mobility and the possibility to integrate with ELUTIONS’ energy management systems.

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Control Solutions, Inc

Beyond the traditional SCADA supervisory visualization, communication and control functionality, ControlMaestro also provides a link to energy efficiency in Facility Management applications, advanced performance Web-enabled remote access and control, secured enterprise architecture, enhanced engineering development productivity, user mobility, and wireless wide-area control to reduce costs and improve services. This software solution is made future-proof through optimal use of advanced new technologies, the latest operating systems, and 15 years of wireless expertise from ELUTIONS R&D teams and 20 years of SCADA application expertise and Web leadership from Wizcon Systems engineers.

This new site automation platform enables a seamless migration for the large installed base of Wizcon Supervisor applications worldwide.

A field-proven time-tested heritage

This new software suite is a state-of-the-art software platform for site automation that is open, complete and scalable.

The new suite is the fruit of joint development work between two companies, Wizcon Systems, now ELUTIONS (European Headquarter), and ELUTIONS Inc.. The latter acquired the former in 2006, after a one-year business development partnership that resulted in a combined sales force worldwide and joint product Research and Development efforts managed out of three R&D centers, two in the US and one in Europe. Thus this new software platform combines the heritage of each company’s most advanced technologies:

• On one side, it builds upon 20 years of Wizcon Systems automation and Web application expertise with the field-proven, reliable and time-tested Wizcon Supervisor
• On the other side, it benefits from integration with ELUTIONS machine-to-machine (M2M) enterprise asset management technologies, and includes wireless, mobility and security options not previously offered on the market before.

ControlMaestro will leverage customer investments already made in nearly 60,000 deployed Wizcon Supervisor applications through a seamless migration path. The large installed base of Wizcon users will be offered price advantages and an easy-to-use automated tool to automatically convert their running application to the new platform. The inbuilt tool allows to easily import Wizcon applications.

Thus, previous Wizcon users will not be deprived from easily enjoying the new platform’s benefits and functionality:

• It can enhance the engineering development productivity with:

- The object oriented structure
- The tool to import images and objects directly from AutoCAD®
- Project documentation tools

• The new Web platform demonstrates the usability of this new SCADA System with easy-to-deploy Web and Mobile Applications

• It offers a possible integration with enterprise solutions and field equipments such as:

- ELUTIONS WLC hardware
- BACnet
- Secured Enterprise Architecture
- ELUTIONS’ new Maestro enterprise solution (asset tracking and energy performance)

Enhanced engineering development productivity

It addresses several of the main concerns of developers of modern SCADA applications:

Object-oriented structures

The software deals with real-world structures. This is achieved by using an object-oriented approach to building an application – the developer is not required to think in terms of the low-level details of how communication is established.

The developer can define as many types of object templates as required. An object is composed of a set of properties – these can be standard types such as strings, numbers or traditional SCADA entities, tags. An object can contain other user-defined objects – these can be nested to any level – and the user can create objects that are directly related to his applications. Of course, it’s easy to define arrays of any of these types of property.

Once the template has been created, any number of examples of these objects can be added to the application, via standard functionality:

Any object or property can be accessed, modified and displayed from anywhere in the application. This explains that the time to build, deploy and propagate applications is reduced, drastically lowering the Total Cost of Ownership over its entire lifetime.

Example of User Defined Object

Importing images and objects directly from AutoCAD®

Application generators are the key to simplifying development work and this program offers several productivity tools. One of the most powerful of these is the CAD Converter, which helps save hundreds of hours of development time or maintenance time by automatically creating a Building Automation application from an AutoCAD® drawing (or DXF files). The CAD Converter helps answer two headache questions:

1. How to quickly create Building Management System applications from scratch?
2. How to easily maintain and evolve existing BMS applications?

The CAD Converter is useful in Facility Management, either for system integrators who create several applications per year, or for end-users whose applications constantly evolve, like airports or other large sites. The system integrator will save time creating new applications faster. The Facility Manager end-user will enjoy easier application maintenance. The CAD Converter helps increase development productivity, and reduced Total Cost of Ownership over the application’s life cycle, by reducing maintenance costs, reducing labor costs, and avoiding development errors.

The CAD Converter helps increase productivity by automatically generating the BMS images, animations and database, thus saving much labor-intensive development time and avoiding costly human errors.

Project documentation tools

With the Audit Tool, the cross-reference utility, new developers will find it easier to take over and analyze existing related applications, improving both engineering and project efficiency, and helping fulfill two objectives:

1. Provide comprehensive information on the structure of an application, and
2. Generate personalized reports of the application structure.

Typical uses include migrating, upgrading or maintaining applications. The Audit Tool allows finding all objects used in the application, or to find in which module a particular object is used. Common benefits include: easily upgrade an application that was developed by someone else, simplify maintenance, optimize engineering and project efficiency, accelerate development time, avoid human error, and reduce development costs.

Mobility and Remote Access

Web Platform

Supervision and Control can be performed from anywhere through an internet connection. No specific development is needed to deploy a Web application that includes for example Control Panels, Charts and Event viewers.

Web Event Viewer

The Web Platform is developed using a rich client User Interface based on Java Technology. Thus clients benefit from the advantages of this technology:

• Multi-platform: Microsoft Windows including Vista, Linux, MacOS, Unix…
• Cross-browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox…
• Security: Java Archive is signed, so it certifies that it does not contain any virus. Furthermore there is no possibility to corrupt the system by embedding attack script.
• Cache: Java applets are automatically added into the java cache. Thus the Java applet archive is downloaded only when it has been updated on the server.

The connection between client and server uses a proprietary protocol that is encoded to enhance the security and that is optimized to lower the used bandwidth. This connection supports a firewall and proxy transparent mode where only the port 80 is used. In this mode the secure Internet access through HTTPS/SSL is also supported.

Mobile Applications

Most of the Web features are available on PDAs, Smartphones and Panel PCs with the help of the mobility kit. With the Mobile Application Manager, the customer can select the elements that he wants to see on his PDA and configure each of them, for example setting the element size. Clicking the Launch button enables direct visualization of the application rendering on a PDA.

 

The Mobile Application Manager.

Thus customers can operate their systems from anywhere. It facilitates the validation of their application by on-field verification, standing directly in front of the equipment, even if it is for example a water tank in an isolated mountain area.

Integration with Enterprise Solutions and field equipment

Like some of its competitors, this platform has open connectivity to field equipment and devices thanks to communication standards such as OPC as well as more than 160 specific drivers.

Control Solutions, Inc The User Management system can easily be connected to an enterprise’s active directory, including strong authentication mechanisms like smartcards, so that user management is centralized on an enterprise’s IT server, and users and passwords are managed by the IT department. The Directory Manager avoids redundant User Management systems, allowing for simpler maintenance for the IT Department and more efficient enterprise-wide management of users.

What makes it a unique SCADA system is:

• M2M connectivity, with bundling to utility meters, modems and controllers (such as the Wireless Logic Controller or WLC) to enable wireless services
• Full BACnet integration, enabling quick development of Building Management Systems
• Secured Enterprise Architecture, supporting biometry-based strong authentication and compliance with FDA 21CFR 11 system security rules
• The possibility to integrate with the new Maestro infrastructure, to manage fixed and mobile assets, or to control energy usage and reduce energy bills.

The ELUTIONS WLC is a fully-integrated wireless modem, gateway and PLC in one easy-to-deploy device. It can be configured directly from this new program, remotely “over the air”, using the IEC industry-standard CoDeSys.

BACnet is the new mainstream standard for easy and trouble-free building automation

For Facility Managers, BACnet integration brings the security of an open norm that has been established for over 10 years as the mainstream standard for Building Management Systems.

The product fully conforms to the BACnet Operator WorkStation norm, thus supporting all devices from the more than 180 BACnet interoperable equipment vendors across the world. It quickly and automatically detects devices on the network and manages them as objects. It allows simple object-oriented device management and scheduling. BACnet offers open communication with multi-protocol, single- or multi-building systems. It can also interface and control sub-networks based on other Building Automation protocols, such as LonWorks and EIB/KNX, or industrial automation protocols.

Secured Enterprise Architecture

The PID biometric authentication solution provides enhanced secure login for all users in any circumstance; it is open (several non-proprietary scanners supported), easy to deploy (plug & play, USB or Ethernet), easy to maintain (durable, modular), and scalable (easily add new users, or scanners). We offer our customers the service of a one-stop shop, with the whole solution integrated and supported by a single supplier including the software and the hardware.

With Data Protection, it enables protecting its core databases, User Management and Object and Alarm definitions. The content of the databases is protected using sophisticated encryption algorithms so that it can only be modified from within program. If, at start-up, the software detects that an external program has changed the code, a system alarm is generated. This ensures integrity of the databases, and enables strict compliance with FDA 21CFR 11 system security rules.

For further information, please contact ELUTIONS at info@elutions-europe.com.

 

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