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UK launch tackles 'single brand automation'

02 June 2009

Automation specialist, Products4Automation has launched in the UK following its creation by Paul Hurst, formally the UK managing director of Citect. The new venture aims to supply systems integrators and end users with flexible, multi-brand hardware and software solutions, claiming its approach will tackle the ‘inflexible singe brand approach of large automation companies’.

Paul Hurst, managing director of Products4Automation
Paul Hurst, managing director of Products4Automation

‘Too many companies are having their production put into inefficient straight-jackets by the “one-brand-suits-all” approach of large automation suppliers,’ said Paul Hurst. ‘This is particularly true of MES systems where, in many instances, users have to adapt their production to suit the rigid structure of the MES modules supplied. This is an untenable situation, and one that we aim to change with our Production Intelligence system, which we will be launching in the near future. However, our initial objective is to ensure that our customers get the best mix of hardware and software products to optimise their applications, with the best in application and technical support from experienced automation engineers.’

P4A’s product range includes Proface touch-screen HMI's and flat panel PCs, Win-911 alarm notification SCADA software plug-ins, TOPCCC intelligent I/O plug-in interface modules and Monitran high resolution displays and a range of Production Intelligence software solutions from the Felten Group.

‘We see our Production Intelligence solution as a feed -through mechanism for our range of accessory products,’ said Paul Hurst. ‘However, until its launch we will be using our extensive contacts with users of PLCs and SCADA systems to provide a single source supply for system components that are often neglected but instrumental to the optimised operation of the latter systems.

‘Our longer term goal with regard to Production Intelligence is to provide a totally new dimension of productivity for UK industry. We will be able to achieve this because Production Intelligence is superior to classic technical MES approaches to productivity, which only have limited effect as they rely too much on automation.

‘The Production Intelligence philosophy is different. Its technical approach is to define all process elements of production sequences – from orders to operating instructions or quality definitions – as objects. These objects take attributes, thus creating a content level in which completely free linking is possible. That way, content becomes an integrating element. This makes possible an intelligent design of workflows because the production managers can decide flexibly how each single process is built from automated and manual components: – it’s definitely the way forward.’


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