No longer can we think automation/ MES system as we did in the 90s and 2000s, they will not satisfy, more importantly we cannot have many systems working in isolation, there is too much data, and speed for decisions is critical. This does not mean replace these systems (they basically work, and execute) we need to UNIFY, extend and align these into one PROACTIVE OPERATIONAL SYSTEM. This could be across one plant or across and “Industrial Enterprise” made up of multiple plants that make up the supply chain, or the operational capacity for the enterprise.
“Products and services can be copied. Our business/ operational processes and our business models are our differentiators.”
CEO – Global Enterprise (2011)
This quote captures a lot, products and services are commodities in this “flat world”, the differentiator will be on business and operational processes. How dynamic the business is relative to how quickly they can adapt these processes from strategy to business and operational practices and rollout across their industrial capacity into executing practices that are consistently executed.
So what is Enterprise Control? No matter if this is the correct name or not (there will be many names in the market), to us it refers to an operational system (over one plant or over the enterprise plants) that aligns business processes / strategies from the business system, to proven operational processes that efficiently execute them in a timely manner by empowering and orchestrating the operational systems(automation controls, MES, Batch, optimization), and operational knowledge workers.
When asked what it provides in a short comment this is what I answer with:
The Enterprise Control Vision is to provide a set of capability that enables customers to achieve "Operational Excellence” through three strategies:
· Empowerment of Operational People
Operational personnel (e.g. operators, process engineers, process experts, maintenance, quality, production management) are empowered in real-time to make decisions through operational awareness, access to experience, collaboration, and best practices in a pro-active system.
· Unification through Federation across assets, applications and systems
Align the different assets and processes across the operational management layer (of the traditional automation levels) so that the industrial operations are more agile. These assets that reside within a plant, process and across multiple sites are aligned to business and operational processes, and require consistent measures and information. So that each of the existing applications/ controls continue to run, but their models are aligned, and communication happens with orchestration execution, in order for the Operational Process to execute in the most timely and effective manner.
· Built on a Sustainable platform of capability so that the system has longevity to evolve.
ECS will be implemented in stages and evolve in scope, breadth and functionality through its lifetime at each customer installation, which could be 20 years. The system has been engineered and architected in a way that enables this evolution to occur in a sustainable way and caters to changing engineering teams and technologies.
Over the next couple of weeks I will expand my thoughts, what I am hearing when talking to industry thought leaders, and what is possible and we investigating, looking at in concepts. What you should be thinking about. As a traditional approach to building a Operational System will not work there are significant differences, but “rip and replace” has no place either. So understanding the concept of Federation is important in this industrial sense stay tuned.
I often get asked this question, mainly from engineers, but when I speak with Operational people in all industries the focus has shifted from controlling the process, (this is assumed as most people are on at least second generation controllers) to controlling the profit and production. This means operational dynamics/ agility so decisions are made in NOW by all operational people no matter the role.Over the next couple of weeks I will expand on the changes I am seeing and we looking at relative to addressing what some people are referring to as the biggest operational evolution since the industrial revolution. The “day in the life” of modern operational worker coming out of this recession is forever changed. As the market is not recovering from GFC, it is fundamentally being RESET to a new operational paradigm in this “flat world” with a transition to a new generation of digital workers.