The software portion of industrial automation solutions has been increasing steadily for years. However, traditionally, industrial engineering tools have lagged behind office software in terms of integration and usability. Many tools still support only a single function and are not compatible with other tools. But, the landscape is changing as automation suppliers develop standards and introduce new engineering frameworks that provide a common interface and data repository for many tasks.
This ARC Insight presents the results of a workshop on achieving engineering efficiency that took place at the recent ARC European Industry Forum in Amsterdam. Workshop participants represented both machine builders and the process industries. At the workshop, representatives from both Siemens and Honeywell Process Solutions presented their respective approaches. An independent automation expert on the panel also explained how standardization during the lifecycle can significantly improve engineering efficiency for machine builders.
While a wide variety of engineering tools are currently available from both automation suppliers and engineering design tool specialists, in many cases, each tool has its own proprietary data format.