ORLANDO, FLA. — February 5, 2018 — GE Digital (NYSE: GE) today announced a powerful new version of iFIX, its award-winning HMI/SCADA software, used by nearly 20,000 industrial organizations around the world for plant-wide connectivity, visibility and control. Part of the Predix portfolio, the new iFIX 6.0 improves operational productivity by providing plant operators with high performance to give users the most informed view of the problem or task and secure visualization from anywhere at any time. GE Digital unveiled this new development at the 23rd Annual ARC Industry Forum in Orlando.
“We are excited to announce a number of powerful improvements to our iFIX offering,” said Matt Wells, Vice President of Product Management for GE Digital. “Building on our heritage as an industrial company, we are intimately familiar with the challenges our customers face every day. Industrial companies are looking for better ways to quickly build new SCADA applications, improve user performance and respond to changing needs while maintaining the security of the application. By leveraging standards such as OPCUA, integrated support for ISA alarm shelving, and enabling new web development tools, iFIX 6.0 allows organizations to rapidly build new applications while ensuring the stability and security of their operations and empowering operators to respond better to changing conditions in real time.”
“Manufacturers must continuously balance their investment in rapidly advancing process technologies against razor thin margins. In particular, users of HMI/SCADA solutions must adopt future-proof products that maximize situational awareness, can be deployed remotely on any leading handheld or wearable device, utilize advanced standards to accelerate IT/OT convergence, and securely leverage asset connectivity and services,” said Craig Resnick, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group. “GE Digital’s iFIX 6.0 meets these critical user requirements, leveraging the power of the Predix portfolio to deliver a full array of asset connectivity and services that help companies maximize their operational productivity and decision support.”
Advancing Productivity and Security
iFIX 6.0 includes integrated support for ISA 18.2 standards for consistent alarm shelving and interface presentation, which enables operators to easily prioritize critical alarms to avoid spending unnecessary resources on less-pressing needs – helping plants to increase productivity by up to 70 percent. A new alarm summary grid allows operators to filter and focus on the critical alarms that matter, making it easier for immediate responders to review information and deal with the priority situation at hand.
Additionally, iFIX 6.0 now offers secure-by-design client connections with its new OPC Unified Architecture (UA) server – a machine-to-machine communications protocol for industrial automation. Incorporating the latest industrial interoperability standards ensures platform independence, meaning that iFIX 6.0 runs across a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. Industrial organizations can now easily share data, alarms and events across supply chains with user authentication and encryption on iFIX 6.0.
“With iFIX, our operators are able to monitor system activity and respond immediately to any issues with full insights into what raised the alarm, helping us save time, reduce unnecessary downtime and meet compliance standards,” said Haley Lehman, Control Systems Technician, City of San Luis Obispo, Calif. “iFIX also allows us to get into the system from wherever we are, whether at home or out in the field. iFIX provides more reliable and readable information on demand, empowering plant operators to spend more time applying their expertise to the problem at hand and reducing the time spent navigating the system.”
Rapid Application Development and High-Performance HMI
iFIX 6.0 also provides new rapid application development features for HMI/SCADA, such as long tag names and descriptions – helping industrial users capture any hierarchy from their Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Rapid application development significantly speeds the configuration and deployment of HMI/SCADA, reducing costs and saving time for automation systems integrators and in-house engineering teams.
The iFIX 6.0 high performance HMI is based on ISA 101 standards, further improving safety and performance with more effective operator graphics. Users can access their iFIX high performance HMI screens in a native HTML5 format, supporting operators from any location and on any device. This also provides a more intuitive user experience which can help reduce operator errors and improve response time to events and incidents.
Interoperability and Transformation
Like all products in the Predix portfolio, iFIX 6.0 provides immediate value on its own, or can be deployed alongside other Predix products to drive additional outcomes across a customer’s entire asset or system lifecycle. From data ingestion and processing at the edge to process and throughput improvements to broad fleet-wide optimization, the ecosystem of GE Digital solutions provides simple, accessible options for businesses at all phases of their digital transformation journey, regardless of maturity or vertical.
In December 2018, GE announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software portfolio. The GE-owned company will bring together GE Digital’s core software business – including the iFIX offering – with GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions and will start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue. Based on proven domain expertise and with more than 20,000 customers globally, the new company will provide a complete, end-to-end digital offering that will enable customers to go from generating insights to driving outcomes.