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Software guides operators through work processes to reduce errors and increase quality

GE Intelligent Platforms has released Proficy Workflow Version 2.1, a software solution that makes it possible to integrate with existing automation and control systems, speeding response to out-of-spec HMI/SCADA conditions with appropriate action.

Companies can move beyond basic acknowledgement of alarms and instead to guiding operators through the right steps to take for the right results.

“Consistency and repeatability are critical goals in any industry today,” said Mark Bernardo, General Manager, Automation Software for GE Intelligent Platforms.

“Proficy Workflow helps organizations to replicate their best practices within their plant or around the world to increase quality while decreasing costs. As part of a Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) solution, Proficy Workflow helps to enforce the right actions at the right time.”

As an example, one North American manufacturer used Proficy Workflow to enhance its manual batch management with these results: 40% decrease in waste, 70% increase in operator productivity and 20% boost in capacity.

The company addressed quality consistency issues, unpredictable cycle times, and variations in production efficiency across operators due to level of experience.

Proficy Workflow digitises and streamlines production, with one tool, and can integrate business and production processes across systems and departments for reliable, repeatable process execution.

It can drive real-time asset management, bridging operations and maintenance, and linking SCADA and CMMS, therefore improving and impacting uptime.

“Repeatable, consistent operations are the ultimate goals for manufacturers today,” Bernardo continued. “With Proficy, you can achieve the right actions at the right time, every day – from common tasks to critical emergencies and close the loop on industrial operations to minimise errors and risk, reduce waste, and ensure compliance.”

With Proficy Workflow’s task management capabilities, companies can capture the best practices of experienced operators and guide all workers with step-by-step instructions.

Whether operating in an established facility or in a new, low-cost setting, global production teams can easily document processes, transfer knowledge and drive critical consistency, repeatability and predictability into operations. Operators do not have a new system to learn and can immediately improve response to alarms and ensure operations run smoothly.

The latest version provides improved performance and scalability for large-system deployments, allowing companies to replicate production processes across their organization for increased consistency, quality and efficiency.

It offers improved capabilities for enforcing and tracking operator compliance, particularly important in highly-regulated industries. Companies can verify documents and actions through enhanced electronic signatures, allowing them to move faster from critical issue detected to resolution thereby potentially decreasing the size of a recall or even preventing one.

Proficy Workflow also provides significantly greater ease of use for defining and managing tasks, allowing companies to digitise operational processes faster and without IT resources.

Production experts can more easily document processes, leveraging a simple graphical environment and reusable templates. This is especially important as worldwide, organizations face high levels of experienced workers reaching retirement and risk losing their undocumented best practices.

“Manufacturers today must replicate production in off-shore locations and set up new facilities quickly and with high quality, even though they are often faced with inexperienced workers and language barriers,” Bernardo concluded.

“With tight regulations in industries such as water, automotive, pharmaceuticals, and food & beverage, companies must verify work processes and prove compliance. They also need to reduce risk and protect their brand as today’s world moves fast and product issues can drastically change the course of business in just days.”

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