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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide


Scada Review 2017: Wonderware
June 2017, System Integration & Control Systems Design

End-user details

Name: Details withheld at reviewer request

SI details

Name: Details withheld at reviewer request

Product details

Product name and version: Wonderware System Platform 2014R2

Vendor: Wonderware Southern Africa

Phone: +27 (0)11 607 8100



Application details

Location: Westonaria, Carletonville

Industry: Mining, Metals and Minerals

Project start date: 2015-05

Project end date: Ongoing

Application: Total Power Control

Server OS: Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Enterprise Datacenter (64 bit)

Client OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Application statistics

Tag count: 50 000

Updates per day: 2000 per second

Disk space for one day’s updates: 1,2 GB

Physical I/O count: Analog – 41 887

Front ends: Not supplied

Licences: Wonderware System Platform

Scada configuration man-hours: 120 hours

End–user responses


Q: Briefly describe the application including information on any pre-existing control system.

The original scada system pre-project comprised of 39 standalone applications, spanning across all operations. It had several issues:

• Management did not have access to all applications and information.

• Multiple energy control projects on the different operations resulted in many proprietary third-party systems being used for scheduling.

• Energy control schedule configuration was isolated and not flexible, causing some contradictory control.

• Production activities do not correspond with Eskom tariff structures.

• No standardisation.

The old system was subsequently replaced by a centrally managed system based on Wonderware System Platform.

Q: What was the primary motivation for the project?

The project was launched to build a total power control module.

Q: What were the main goals established for the project?

1. One application that spanned across all operations.

2. Automated energy control:

• The control module must do Automated Load Shifting.

• The control module must do Automated Load Clipping.

3. Centralised system.

• The energy control system and schedules must be centrally managed.

• Energy control equipment must be controlled from the centralised scada.

4. Energy control system must continue to operate in cases of network outages.

Q: In the procurement decision-making process what were the primary considerations that influenced the product selection?

Wonderware System Platform met all the requirements to achieve the goals.

Licensing, maintenance & support

Q: What upgrade agreements are in place for this application?

Customer FIRST support agreement covers all upgrades.

Q: How is after-sales support handled on this application?

Wonderware Customer FIRST support agreement provides a comprehensive support programme with access to a help desk, knowledge base, consulting services, training and software maintenance upgrades.

Integration, reporting and archiving

Q: Is the scada system integrated onto an intranet or the Internet?

Yes, web-based remote view on office LAN with support for any HTML 5 compliant browser on any device like desktop, tablet, cellphone, laptop.

Q: Does the application include data archiving/historian capabilities with an historical data reporting system?

Wonderware System Platform is embedded with the Wonderware Historian that provides real-time storage of all process values.

Maintenance, reliability and asset optimisation

Q: What maintenance, reliability or asset optimisation criteria relating to this system and the plant were included in the user requirements specification for this project?

Continuous improvement of energy utilisation and effective equipment maintenance.

End-user conclusion

Q: What was the predominant feature (or features) that made you decide to purchase this scada product over all others for this application?

Full set of capabilities that goes beyond standard scada, support from vendor and the extendable platform.

Q: What impresses you most about the architecture?

Scalability, redundancy, software management and flexibility.


Project details

Q: What tools were used to minimise the man-hours taken?

ArchestrA inherited templates objects and graphics, Galaxy Backup/Restore and Galaxy Tag Load.

Q: What human factors were taken into consideration as principles or development standards in the HMI design process?

Followed Wonderware Situational Awareness design principles.

Q: For the graphics development process did you use standard library images, or did you have to draw images from scratch?

Library of Standards.

Q: How would you describe the library of graphic images?

Very comprehensive.

Q: What alarm management standards or best practices were adopted in configuring the scada system alarms?

EEMUA 191 – Alarm Systems a guide to design, ISA 18.02 – Management of alarm systems for the process industry, IEC 62682 – Alarm Management Standards.

Q: What are the key physical communication layers and communication protocols employed in the system?

Fibre and Ethernet TCP/IPv4. Modbus, OPC.

Q: What is the network speed and communications medium of the slowest link in this project’s scada network?

100 Mbit/s over CAT5e, fibre.

Q: What is the network speed and communications medium of the fastest link in this project’s scada network?

1 Gbit/s over fibre.

Q: What levels of redundancy are incorporated in this scada application?

Redundant InTouch RDS Server, Network Redundancy.

Project management

Q: What project management principles and/or methodologies did you as SI employ to mitigate risk and to ensure the project came out on time and within budget?

Project management – allowed us to focus on adaptability to changing situations and constant, regular feedback sessions.

Security and data protection

Q: How have authentication, authorisation and role management been configured?

System Platform was configured to use Active Directory Integration. This allowed us to add any users from the AD Environment to the System Platform Environment, very easily and efficiently.

Q: Does the design make provision for DMZ and firewall segregation of process (scada) network and business networks?

The process control network was segregated from the business network by using firewalls, managed antivirus deployment and additional network interfaces with managed switches to direct the traffic.

Q: What intrusion detection has been incorporated on the plant network(s) on which this scada system exists?

Business Security only on control layer.

Q: In what ways is this project’s hardware architecture optimised for patch and antivirus management?

1. N/A.

2. Simantic Endpoint.

Q: What configuration backup and data archive backup methodologies have been adopted?

System Platform – Autosave for System Platform, NAS, Simantec Backup Exec.

SI conclusion

Q: How would you rate the ease of use of the historical reporting system?

Very easy: Out of the box functionality.

Q: What impresses you the most about the engineering/configuration aspects of the product now that it is in operation?

Re-usability of the up-front engineering effort, ease of change and additions to the system, multi-user, integration capabilities.

Q: What impresses you most about the architecture?

Scalability and the flexible client server architecture, change of architecture is easy with a minimum amount of effort.

Vendor responses


Q: Vendor comments on product / modules?

System Platform 2017 is a scalable architecture for scada, HMI and IIoT applications that integrates the process with the Enterprise. System Platform provides a collaborative, standards-based foundation that unifies people, processes and assets across all facilities for continuous operational improvement and real-time decision support.

Operating systems/VMware

Q: Vendor comments on operating systems

Real-time monitoring and control for remote and mobile users using HTML5 enabled web browsers including mobile devices e.g. tablets and smartphones.

Licensing, maintenance & support model

Q: What sort of licensing agreement options are offered?

Licences are based on the functionality or modules that are required for the specific solution.

Q: Are licences sold outright or subject to periodic (e.g. annual) renewal?

Licensing is a once-off purchase for a particular version. Customer FIRST is a comprehensive support network that allows for software technical support as well as version upgrades for purchased modules. The Customer FIRST agreement is subject to annual renewal.

Q: What upgrade agreements are offered?

The annually renewable Customer FIRST Support and Services Program helps clients protect and extend the value of Wonderware products and solutions. The programme also provides access to a wide range of additional, optional services such as application support, onsite resources and value-added consulting.

Q: What after-sales offerings iro support and maintenance are available, and which technologies are used to deliver them?

Wonderware offers advanced remote monitoring technology that enhances its ability to deliver higher availability and reliability of plant assets to the client company. The key benefit is increased production uptime brought about by ensuring higher availability of the Wonderware application.

Q: Do you have a documented process in place to manage and test OS patches and to release scada system software patches?

Wonderware and Microsoft hotfixes are available from the Wonderware support website. Wonderware’s goal is to verify that Microsoft security updates work with Wonderware Software within 15 business days of release. Any exceptions to this will be listed on the Wonderware security central web page.

Technology incorporated

Integration and reporting

Q: What generic and/or product specific interfaces does the product have iro well-known MES packages?

Wonderware Enterprise Integrator offers powerful site to enterprise integration capabilities for linking Wonderware Software or ArchestrA System Platform based applications and additional third-party software applications with enterprise systems including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) or Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). The software facilitates automatic exchange and transformation of production-related information. It helps to manage abnormal situations like interrupted connections or loss of data by automatic store and forward and allows users to resend or adjust transactions, based on a full, detailed message history.

Q: What native historical data reporting options are available?

Wonderware Historian provides high performance, flexibility, scalability, and high reliability. It combines advanced data storage and compression techniques with an industry-standard query interface to ensure open and easy access to stored time-series information, enabling process and production decisions to be evaluated and made by the right people, in real time. Reports and data charts from Wonderware Historian Client can be integrated with information from other Wonderware applications and made available over the Web using Wonderware Online InSight, which enables industrial end users and solution builders to collect and visualise time-series performance data. This secure, historian-as-a-service offer helps improve data visibility and leads to better decisions across the enterprise.

PLC configuration and programming

Q: What capabilities does the scada offer in terms of generation and/or management of PLC configuration files or PLC application code?

Automatic, model-driven navigation eliminates the need for you to build the navigation hierarchy by hand. Generate supervisory structures and tags that automatically mirror the PLC control logic. Link and map HMI/scada tags to physical device I/O automatically in the namespace of the PLCs and other controllers.

Security and data protection

Q: What authentication, authorisation and role management models are available for the runtime environment?

A key component of the Wonderware software set is security. All user interaction with the system can be secured to ensure only authorised personnel to access and perform actions. All proposed modules support Microsoft Active Directory and user/groups are mapped to functional roles. This provides the requested single sign on capability where the same user name and password will be used to log on to all the different modules in the solution.

Unique selling proposition (USP)

Q: List the top five feature/benefit pairs that contribute to this product’s USP.

To view the unabridged version of this scada review, please visit

Supplied By: Wonderware Southern Africa
Tel: +27 11 607 8100
Fax: +27 11 607 8478
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