Article - November 2000
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Valerie Harding, eMation


PlantPROCORE Covering several square miles between France and Switzerland lies the largest experimental particle physics laboratory in the world: The CERN. Since 1954, the CERN has brought together more than 9,500 people from all over the world to research the infinitely small in its gigantic particle accelerators.

In 1989, responding to a critical need to share the research, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at the CERN, began developing a simple and efficient way to exchange the valuable information among the thousands of CERN computers and scientists.

The result of the work at the CERN was the development of HTML: HyperText Mark-up Language. HTML was developed as a universal language to enable computers to communicate with each other. Thereafter at the CERN, the first Web browsers and Web servers would also emerge.

Hence, the Internet was born.

WizFactory at the CERN: The Internet in action.

Located along the perimeter of every one of the dozens of gigantic accelerators at the CERN are "wells." Wells provide these underground installations with air, water, heating, cooling, and power: All the resources required for the survival of the research teams and for the operation the equipment they need. The question for CERN was how best to monitor and control the wells.

eMation, the leading provider of Internet solutions connecting devices, machines, and facilities to eBusiness systems and the people who use them, provided the answer: WizFactory. WizFactory monitors all of these mission critical installations for the CERN. WizFactory is a family of control software including WizCON for the Internet, WizPLC, WizDCS, WizReport, and WizScheduler.

Throughout these wells, WizFactory seamlessly manages nearly 400,000 critical pieces of information, making them available over the CERN Intranet for use by the hundreds of people charged with managing every aspect of these underground installations. For instance, with WizCON for the Internet, all 80 members of the Cooling and Ventilation Staff at the CERN can access information for monitoring and control of the entire cooling and ventilation operation from any Web browser on any computer, whether a PC, Mac, or workstation. And in March of 2001, another thirteen cooling stations will also be completely controlled by WizFactory.

Yet the WizFactory solutions are not limited to the supervision of operations. In fact, scientists at the CERN also use WizCON daily for actual research, making their results available immediately over the Intranet.

For Didier Blanc, head of Process Engineering for Supervision and Regulation, it was an obvious solution. "It is logical that for our own needs we use a technology which we ourselves developed. With WizFactory, we have been able to use the Internet in a way that virtually no other product on the market has yet mastered."

The CERN enabled the birth of the Internet. WizFactory enables the Internet to provide for the monitoring and control of mission critical systems and information: Simply and Seamlessly. 

The S4 Group
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