22 Jul 2024


Half-price SCADA system will `ruffle some feathers`

A UK industrial software specialist is claiming that UK automation users are paying too much for their SCADA systems – and is launching a package that, it claims, will cost about half as much as most other systems, while offering comparable or superior levels of functionality, scaleability and connectivity.

Products4Automation (P4A), based in Sutton Coldfield, is selling the Movicon 11 package from the Italian SCADA developer, Progea. Although this package is used widely across Europe, it has never had a UK distributor before, according to P4A managing director, Paul Hurst. He launched the package at the recent Drives & Controls Show.

“To date, SCADA systems have been more expensive in the UK than anywhere else,” says Hurst, a former managing director of Citect in the UK. “Restricted licences, rising development costs and yearly system integrator fees, all add up to mean that SCADA hasn’t been a great deal for UK buyers.

“We booked the exhibition stand at Drives & Controls with the intent of delivering a bold statement, and to ruffle some feathers,” he adds, “because we know we can back that statement up, and supply a genuine alternative without the premium cost.

Hurst maintains that the Progea software will offer users “all the functionality of their existing systems, but at a price on average 50% less. What’s more, we are offering unlimited free development licences for users and system integrators and asking the question: Are you paying too much for your SCADA?”

Hurst claims that Movicon 11 is the only SCADA/HMI platform based completely on XML and Web services technologies. It runs on Windows XP, Vista or CE and will soon be available for Windows 7.

The Java-based software also provides integrated connectivity at the Web level, and allows server access using Internet browsers on any platform, including Java-based phones. An open database allows users to specify the form of data storage – for example, SQL or mySQL – while a report generator avoids the need for costly add-on historian or reporting packages.

Progea was founded in 1990 and its Movicon product is now in its 11th generation. Unlike many other SCADA products, the software does not rely on older database formats such as DOS. P4A has an exclusive sales, distribution and support deal with Progea for the UK.