Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carolina On My Mind

For those of you hoping to get a clever tidbit of control knowledge, you’ll just have to wait for my next post.

I’ll be changing jobs here in a couple of weeks; changing companies in fact. I’ll be heading to the center of Emerson Process Management universe in Austin, TX. I’ve been in the Carolinas for almost 12 years, and while I’m excited to take on new roles and responsibilities for Emerson, I’m going to miss colleagues and customers alike that I’ve gotten to know really well.

I’ve had the privilege to work on some pretty incredible projects and pursuits in 12 years that have been the inspiration for many of my posts. I’ll continue to draw upon my experiences and share the good and the bad.

On the lighter side, I can tell you flat out I am not gonna miss Carolina BBQ. My fear is I will OD on Rudy’s, Iron Works, and Pokey Joe’s my first week. And while I made this request back in August, I’ll ask again – please cool it down just a little, OK? Was it really 105 in Austin yesterday? It’s September!

If you’re headed to Nashville for EGUE, I’ll see you there. If not, watch this space for future control gems.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cuts Like a Knife

Everyone’s had a Swiss Army knife at some point in their lives (I guess the North American version is the Leatherman Multi-tool - we always have to do things bigger, huh?). A Swiss Army knife with one or two screwdrivers, LED flashlight, a nail file, pliers and a toothpick is commonplace. I’ve seen models that had so many features, you couldn't find the blade.

I’ve known Bob Engel for at least 8 years now. Bob is Vice President of Informetric Systems (http://www.informetric.com/). InfoBatch is Informetric’s batch reporting package, and I’ve been sweet on InfoBatch ever since I first kicked its tires at the Emerson Exchange in Dallas back in 2004.

InfoBatch generates batch reports. And it does it very well. It allows you to connect to a multitude of data sources and aggregate them into a single, unified report. It doesn’t force you to replicate your data into yet another location (the “many versions of the truth” paradox). And if you don’t have another datastore to worry about, you don’t have to worry about all those pliers, toothpicks and nail files to manage it.

InfoBatch inherently understands the S88 model, from phases to recipes. It handles the concept of sub-phase triggers (for example, just show me a plot of a tank's temperature during the relevant portion of a phase). And it has connectors that understand the structure of the views from your data sources. Simple drop-down selections as opposed to flashlights and screwdrivers for managing custom SQL queries from software packages that don’t care if you’re creating batch end reports or your monthly bank statement.

Of course there has to be a shameless plug in one of my posts, so here it is: be sure and attend session 2-3041 at this year’s Emerson Global User Exchange, October 24th to 28th in Nashville. Bob and I will be presenting “Integrating Syncade S95 Orders, DeltaV S88 Batch Recipes and Continuous Data”. Please leave your knives at the door.