State-Of-The-Art Scalable, Fully Integrated System for Process Automation and Control


GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Industrial, today announced that it has officially launched its breakthrough process control system: Proficy® Process Systems. Based on GE Fanuc’s proven, award-winning process control technologies, Proficy Process Systems is a fully integrated system that will provide customers with improved quality and reliability, increased throughput, performance and efficiency, and reduced total cost of ownership.

“GE Fanuc has been a leading provider of solutions to the process industries for more than 20 years,” said Bill Estep, Vice President of GE Fanuc’s Control Systems Business. “Our expertise in serving these companies has led us to Proficy Process Systems, a state-of-the-art system that will help optimize operational performance, gain operational visibility, and maximize uptime and productivity.”

The foundation of Proficy Process Systems is a contemporary hardware and software infrastructure that offers the benefits of both traditional DCS and PLC/HMI systems, without many of the historic limitations of those approaches. GE Fanuc’s multi-disciplined PACSystems controllers can handle process, discrete, and motion control, applications giving users unparalleled flexibility in their control system. GE Fanuc’s powerful Proficy software technologies empower users with unprecedented visibility, analytics, and connectivity throughout their enterprise. The award-winning HMI/SCADA and Historian technologies, coupled with Batch and a complete Production Management suite allows customers to finally close the gap between automation and information.

“Companies in hybrid and continuous process industries are facing unprecedented pressures to perform amidst the growing challenges of global competition, aging technologies and increased regulatory pressures,” said Steve Ryan, GE Fanuc Director of Process Solutions. “Proficy Process Systems is designed to provide the power of DCS control with the freedom and flexibility of a PLC-based system. The system’s contemporary architecture allows customers to implement a system that meets their needs today, and grow and expand to meet their needs tomorrow.”


Highly Scalable Architecture

The architecture of Proficy Process Systems is highly scalable both in system size and functionality allowing users to cost-effectively implement applications of any scope. The system’s Engineering Workstation provides an integrated development environment that centralizes project-engineering including:

  • Control strategies, alarm and I/O configuration

  • Process graphics development

  • Historian configuration

  • System change management

The Operator Console provides a user-friendly environment for process operations and information access. In addition to state-of-the-art graphical components for process monitoring and control, the Operator Console also includes alarm monitoring and management tools for process and system diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Proficy Process Systems features a common global namespace that provides simplified configuration and maintenance for the user. Based on technology co-developed with the GE Turbines business, tags in the system are defined once and then referenced and used commonly throughout the system. This global namespace capability can reduce system configuration time by 30%.

The broadcasting technology used by the global namespace between the controllers and the Operator Consoles provides for inherent system redundancy. By leveraging advanced reflective memory technologies from the GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Business, Proficy Process Systems provides a controller redundancy solution with data synchronization rates of 2 gigabits per second.

The system is also packed with powerful control features including a comprehensive set of function blocks for advanced regulatory control. In addition, user defined function blocks can be created for the freedom and flexibility to define control algorithms as necessary, and system integrators can lock these blocks to protect their intellectual property.

“One of the key ways we are providing freedom to our customers is to allow them to choose the fieldbus technologies they need for their applications,” said Ryan. “Proficy Process Systems provides an open fieldbus approach by supporting Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus DP and PA, HART, Ethernet, and ASI. To do this, GE Fanuc is partnering with industry-leading companies with recognized technologies that enhance the effectiveness of Proficy Process Systems.“

  • Softing is a recognized industry expert in Foundation Fieldbus communications. Proficy Process Systems will use the Softing technologies for customers who chose Foundation Fieldbus for their system.

  • Pepperl & Fuchs provides interface components that create connections in industrial automation systems including Profibus-based analog signal transfer and digital fieldbus communication. Proficy Process Systems will use Pepperl & Fuchs for Profibus connectivity.

  • Allied-Telesis offers powerful Ethernet switch technology and products that deliver high performance, cost-effective solutions. Proficy Process Systems utilizes these switches for optimizing system communications.

To help customers optimize the operations of their Proficy Process System, GE Fanuc has teamed with ControlSoft to provide their INTUNE product for tuning and optimizing their process control loops.

For advanced process control within Proficy Process Systems, GE Energy’s KN3 product can be applied for model predictive control.

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