GE Digital announced a new version of iFIX, its HMI/SCADA software, at the 23rd Annual ARC Industry Forum in Orlando. Part of the Predix portfolio, the new iFIX 6.0 helps to improve operational productivity by providing plant operators with higher performance to give users a more informed view of the problem or task and a more secure visualization from any location at any time.
Advancing Productivity and Security
iFIX 6.0 includes integrated support for ISA 18.2 standards for more consistent alarm shelving and interface presentation, which enables operators to more easily prioritize critical alarms to help avoid spending resources on less-pressing needs, which can help plants to increase productivity by up to 70 percent, according to GE Digital. A new alarm summary grid allows operators to filter and focus on the critical alarms that matter the most, making it easier for immediate responders to review information and deal with the priority situation at hand.
Additionally, iFIX 6.0 now offers secure-by-design client connections with its new OPC Unified Architecture (UA) server, which is a machine-to-machine communications protocol for industrial automation. Incorporating the latest current industrial interoperability standards helps to ensure platform independence, meaning that iFIX 6.0 runs across a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. Industrial organizations can now share data, alarms and events across supply chains with user authentication and encryption on iFIX 6.0.
Rapid Application Development and High-Performance HMI
iFIX 6.0 also provides new application development features for HMI/SCADA, such as long tag names and descriptions, which helps industrial users to better capture hierarchy from their Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs). More rapid application development helps to speed the configuration and deployment of HMI/SCADA, which helps to reduce costs and save time for automation systems integrators and in-house engineering teams.
The iFIX 6.0 HMI is based on ISA 101 standards, further improving safety and performance with more effective operator graphics. Users can access their iFIX high performance HMI screens in a native HTML5 format, supporting operators from any location and device. This also provides a more intuitive user experience, which can help to reduce operator errors and improve response time to events and incidents.
Craig Resnick, ARC Advisory Group, commented, “Manufacturers must continuously balance their investment in rapidly advancing process technologies against razor thin margins. In particular, users of HMI/SCADA solutions must adopt future-proof products that maximize situational awareness, can be deployed remotely on any leading handheld or wearable device, utilize advanced standards to accelerate IT/OT convergence, and securely leverage asset connectivity and services. GE Digital’s iFIX 6.0 meets these critical user requirements, leveraging the power of the Predix portfolio to deliver a full array of asset connectivity and services that help companies maximize their operational productivity and decision support.”