Automation Software provides real DCS capability.

Press Release Summary:

Foxboro® A²(TM) Distributed Control System features Architecture by ArchestrA. It includes Wonderware® InTouch® HMI software, which provides integrated view of all plant control and information resources utilizing intuitive, dynamic graphical displays. Specific supervisory capabilities available on as-needed basis include historian, trending, alarming, production tracking, S88-compliant batch management, and Web portal. Software supports .NET capabilities.

Original Press Release:

New Foxboro A² Automation System from Invensys Provides Real DCS Capability at a PLC Price

Easy-to-use control system, featuring Architecture by ArchestrA(TM), provides cost-competitive alternative to PLCs in many process plants

FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - JANUARY 27, 2003 - Invensys, a world leader in industrial process control, has introduced a new economical, easy-to-use, and expandable Distributed Control System (DCS) featuring Architecture by ArchestrA. The Foxboro® A²(TM) automation system integrates technology, expertise, and services from across Invensys to provide end-users in general process plants with an automation solution that fits their applications better than programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and costs less than traditional DCSs.

"The new Foxboro A² system is by far the simplest and most cost-effective control system we have encountered," said Jim Seslar, vice president of projects at Cali-Tech, Inc, a full-service systems integrator located in Harvey, Louisiana. "It combines the best of the DCS and PLC worlds in one package. We've been searching for something like this for quite awhile." Cali-Tech is already implementing its first Foxboro A² system for a controls project for a high-profile customer in New Mexico.

"Initial customer response to this product has been excellent," said Sasan Goodarzi, president of Invensys Manufacturing and Process Solutions. "The Foxboro A² automation system clearly sets a new standard in the industry for low cost, ease-of-use, and scalability."

"The new system complements our well-established I/A Series® system by specifically targeting the needs of smaller municipal, mineral processing, industrial power, and general process and batch plants, where both very low cost and 'out of the box' ease-of-use are prerequisites," said Steve Young, vice president of Foxboro Automation Systems at Invensys. "We also offer outstanding capabilities for food and pharmaceutical plants, including many features designed to simplify compliance to US FDA validation requirements."

"Our flexible, 'building block' approach for both hardware and software makes it simple to obtain the needed functionality at the lowest possible cost," Young said. "Very small, unit-level systems with low I/O counts begin at well under $10,000 and can scale up easily to meet the needs of a complete plant control network. "

Low-cost/high-quality remote I/O
Based on Invensys' well-proven Eurotherm(TM) technology, the system I/O combines flexibility, high capability and ruggedness at a low price point. A wide variety of different analog and digital process inputs and outputs come in high-density configurations that minimize space requirements.

To reduce field wiring costs, the system I/O can be remote-mounted on DIN rails close to the process and communicate with the system controllers via Profibus(TM), Modbus(TM), or DeviceNet(TM) digital communications. Built-in PID and logic functionality can eliminate the need for separate controllers in some applications. Depending on specific availability requirements, single- and group-channel isolation is available.

Flexible and cost-effective controller options
Several different controller options are available in the new Foxboro A² automation system. Controllers can be mixed and matched as needed to meet specific control requirements at the lowest possible cost.

Full PID and advanced regulatory control functions are supported. Excellent support is also provided for IEC 1131 sequential control and phase logic, plus ISA S88 batch control.

Redundant processors with automatic and seamless switchover; redundant power supplies; and redundant network connections are available. These options can be specified on a controller-by-controller basis, ensuring appropriate levels of availability for most applications, without having to pay for unneeded redundancy.

Best-in-class HMI
To maximize user acceptance and productivity, the Foxboro A² automation system incorporates the latest version of Invensys' best-in-class Wonderware® InTouch® human machine interface (HMI) software. The InTouch HMI provides a single integrated view of all plant control and information resources utilizing intuitive, easy-to-engineer, dynamic graphical displays.

Built-in operator interface capabilities are also available at the controller level, providing a low-cost local operator station, wherever one is needed.

Modular, "buy only what you need" supervisory software
Even smaller process plants often require supervisory software applications to meet regulatory requirements and help improve business performance. The modular Wonderware FactorySuite A²(TM) software family provides users with a full suite of powerful, yet easy-to-engineer supervisory applications to draw upon to meet specific plant information requirements. The Wonderware Industrial Application Server, a core element of the FactorySuite A² family, is the first software product to be built on an ArchestrA foundation to minimize engineering cost and effort, maximize integration, and provide an enduring application architecture.

Specific supervisory capabilities available on an as-needed basis include: historian, trending, alarming, production tracking, S88-compliant batch management, and a Web portal to simplify information flow across a global enterprise.

Integrated configuration tools with graphical user interface
Every effort has been made to reduce the engineering effort required to configure the Foxboro A² automation system. The result is an essentially "out of the box" automation system that can be fully configured in hours, rather than days or weeks.

Control strategies are configured graphically via easy-to-use IEC 1131 tools such as Function Block, Sequential Function Charts (SFC), and Structured Text. A single tag database for all devices and applications allows users to manage the control strategy and the data for the strategy in a simple and error-free manner. A large library of pre-constructed function blocks helps users bring their systems on-line quickly. Control strategies can be easily re-used to further reduce the engineering effort. Third-party devices and systems are easily integrated into the control strategies via an OPC Server.

Operator displays and supervisory applications are configured via Wonderware's easy-to-use Microsoft-based engineering tools, which are fully integrated into the Foxboro A² automation system engineering environment and control database. Third-party supervisory applications can be seamless integrated into the system via the Wonderware Industrial Application Server (IAS).
The control system and applications are designed to be validated for the full gamut of US FDA requirements, including electronic records and signatures.

Sold and supported globally by Invensys
The Foxboro A² automation system is manufactured, sold, and supported globally by Invensys. As a result, users can take advantage of the unmatched process control domain expertise and global customer support network available for all Foxboro products and systems. This includes 24/7 remote support from Invensys Foxboro centers-of-excellence in North America, Europe, and Asia; plus local, on-site technical support in major industrial regions around the world.

ArchestrA architecture provides clear roadmap to the future
The Foxboro A² automation system provides users with a clear roadmap to the future based on Architecture by ArchestrA. Today, all workstation-based applications for the hybrid system are based on the ArchestrA architecture. In the near future, system controllers and the Integrated Development Environment will also be based on ArchestrA architecture, yet will work seamlessly with today's controllers and engineering tools. Ultimately, all Foxboro automation systems will be rolled into a common ArchestrA architecture, providing users with unprecedented scalability and application flexibility within a common, Microsoft®-based automation infrastructure. Specific benefits include:

o Common engineering tools across all devices and applications
o Language independence (English, French, Japanese, etc.)
o Collaborative global engineering
o Hardware independence
o Full support of .NET capabilities
o Native support of industry standards such as OPC and HSE
o Intellectual property encapsulation and reuse
o Full support and integration of legacy systems

For more information, readers should contact their local Invensys Foxboro representative, call 1-866-747-6477 (508-549-2424 outside the US and Canada), or visit

Invensys plc is a global leader in production technology and energy management. The group helps customers improve their performance and profitability using innovative services and technologies and a deep understanding of their industries and applications.

Invensys' Production Management works closely with customers in order to drive up performance of their production assets, maximize their return on investments in production technologies and remove cost and cash from their whole supply chain. The division includes APV, Avantis, Baan, Eurotherm, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. These businesses address process and batch industries -- including the oil, gas and chemicals, food, beverage and personal health care -- and the discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

Invensys' Energy Management works with clients involved in the supply, measurement and consumption of energy and water, to reduce costs and waste and improve the efficiency, reliability and security of power supply. The division includes Energy Management Solutions, Appliance Controls, Climate Controls, Global Services, Metering Systems, Powerware and Home Control Systems. These businesses focus on markets connected with power and energy infrastructure for industrial, commercial and residential buildings.

The company also serves the specialized rail, wind-power and electronic manufacturing (power components) markets through Invensys Rail Systems, Hansen Transmissions and Lambda, respectively, in its development division.

Invensys operates in more than 80 countries, with its headquarters in London.

For more information, visit

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