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SCADA package opens up new Vistas

01 January, 2008

Two years after the American enterprise management supplier Elutions bought the French SCADA specialist Wizcon, they have pooled their expertise to launch an open, scalable SCADA platform for site-wide automation. The ControlMaestro package, which was developed jointly by teams in the US and France, is one of the first SCADA systems to be designed specifically for Microsoftís Vista operating system.

Elutions PDA screen

As well as offering traditional supervisory, visualisation, communication and control functions, the new package also supports wide-area wireless control, and remote access via the Internet. Using a Java-based technology, control panels, charts and events can be viewed on devices such as smartphones and pocket computers (as shown above). A mobility kit makes it easy to specify what elements are shown on the mobile devices.

The software uses an object-oriented approach to create applications, helping to avoid time-consuming and error-prone repetitions of identical tasks. This approach also means that developers donít need to worry about low-level details, such as how communications are established.

Emphasis has been placed on security in ControlMaestro, with support for biometric or smartcard-based user identification. Another feature of the software is an "audit tool" that finds all of the objects used in an application, thus making it easier for new developers to take over and analyse an application that was originally developed by someone else.

The new package builds on 20 years of Wizcon SCADA experience and 15 years of enterprise asset management and wireless technologies developments at Elutions. Wizconís Supervisor SCADA package will continue to be available for users who prefer to stay with the Windows XP operating system, but Elutions will encourage customers to migrate to the new system.

The Supervisor application is now in its ninth generation and more than 60,000 copies have been sold. Emmanual Vitrac, Elutionsí marketing director, expects that 20% of Supervisor customers will migrate immediately to the new platform, rising to 50% within a year. The new software costs about 5% more than Wizcon Supervisor.

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