Friday, February 20, 2009

In 30 years...

OK, remember back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when SNL was really funny (debating this is a whole other blog)? They used to have a fake commercial after the opening monolog. The fake commercials were sometimes campy (the circumcision in the back of the Town Car comes to mind) and other times very realistic until the punch line.

They had this one where a guy is shaving with a new, innovative, 3 blade razor. The first one gets most of beard, the second gets what the first one missed, and the third one gets what the second one missed. The final tag line was “…we gave you 3 blades because you’ll buy anything…” But here we are, 30 years later, and a 4 blade razor gives me the best shave ever.

So what’s that got to do with anything? Quad-head monitors, that what. I don’t get it. Dual-head monitors, I get – I think their great, best thing ever. Quad-heads, no way. Way too much real estate for a single keyboard and mouse, especially if you have to react or acknowledge something quickly. Doesn’t matter whether it’s 2 over 2 or 4 in a row. I don’t like them.

And in 30 years, I’ll have a nine head monitor setup without a keyboard or mouse – I’ll just think it and it’ll show up…

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Linkedin Groups Lame?

OK, so in some ways Linkedin is pretty cool – it’s gotten me back in touch with folks I haven’t heard from in decades. And I’ve joined several groups – including the DeltaV Automation group and the MES group.

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but almost all the discussions are headhunters offering up career opportunities. Now my sampling is certainly not statistically valid, but I find it annoying.

I’m sorry, but I really want technical based discussions in these technical groups. Aren’t there enough venues on the web for headhunters?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sync With Syncade

So what’s the first thing we did after getting our full-blown install of Syncade? We developed a utility.

Syncade (Emerson Process Management’s Smart Operations/MES suite) is a great collection of modules for Material Management, Order Management, Equipment Tracking, Training and Development, Document Control and Archiving, etc.

And while it’s tightly integrated with DeltaV’s batch engine, it needed a little help when it comes to tying non-batch processes and events to its suite of modules.

So that’s where Sync With Syncade comes in – it bridges the real-time world with the transactional one. OPC flags are used to trigger events associated with equipment in the ET module. These events can then cause workflow to automatically begin.

The cool thing about Sync With Syncade is that it installs on an OPC server – anyone’s OPC server. The communication to Syncade is handled by a web service call.

This was our first implementation using web services – definitely more to come.

You can check out the product data sheet for Sync With Syncade here.