Updated: 7/1/06; 2:13:50 PM.
Gary Mintchell's Feed Forward
Manufacturing and Leadership.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Just received a memorandum from US Soccer regarding situations in the implementation of the send off for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. There were two recent matches, one in MLS and the other from the UEFA Cup final that highlighted the situation.

For novices to soccer, if a player has an obvious goal scoring opportunity (typically that means one-on-one with the goal keeper or a last defender in an area where a goal can be scored) and is fouled in such a way to deny the opportunity, the defender who commits the foul is to be sent off and shown the red card.

Now, what happens when the referee gives advantage (choosing not to immediately call the foul if that would give advantage to the defending team)?

A. If the attacker, or a teammate of the attacker, is able to maintain momentum and score, then the referee was correct in applying advantage and should allow the goal and caution the defender for unsporting behaviour and show the yellow card.

B. If the referee gives advantage and the attacker, or teammate of the attacker, is not able to maintain the attack and get a shot off, then the referee should blow the whistle, call the foul and send off the defender and show the red card.

The referee need not call out "play on" and raise his arms with the advantage signal to allow advantage. Sometimes play happens so quickly that there is not enough time for the signal. Regardless, if the referee has decided to give advantage, that is enough.
5:41:49 PM    comment []

Transpara, founded by former OSIsoft vice president Michael Saucier, has reached "Gold Certified" level of OSIsoft ISVs. Its product, Visual KPI, is a layered software application that delivers OSIsoft's PI system data to any browser including handheld devices to provide real-time data and scorcards to professionals in the process and utility industries. The Web-based application dynamically calibrates to fit the screen size available to the requesting user.
4:35:57 PM    comment []

Once again there is a convergence of ideas causing me to stop and ponder. First, I haven't had time to link and comment on Sharon Rosner's SCADA 2.0 latest postings. He is taking on OPC and the whole XML movement again. But the postings have also turned into a type of company blog promoting a new software offering. A couple of disclaimers--I know nothing about the company, never had a briefing or heard about the products until I came across the blog and there is a level of programming detail that I cannot get into in this format.

Rosner's points seem to revolve around the supremacy of http over XML as a way to design distributed SCADA. From what little I've been able to see, looks like the company is working on that old panacea of Software as a Service--or what I call the return to the bad old days of computing when everything was controlled by a central administrator and users had no ability to configure their own experience or get what they needed. There have been several movements afoot to find ways to bring back central administration and control and get rid of PCs. I saw a comment referring to Web 2.0. That idea is supposed to mean a next-generation Web that enhances communication (and the ability of companies to make money from advertising in the commercial world).

First the thing about SCADA versus OPC. I think trying to argue the two is kind of like the old apples and oranges thing. SCADA is all about collecting data from various input sources and displaying that data in a way that benefits operators and perhaps gives them some intervention control over the process. So, the question then becomes, how do you collect all the information when it comes from devices manufactured by different vendors with different purposes? OPC enables communication using a standard format such that devices of varying sources and applications can understand each other--and for purposes far beyond SCADA.

Rosner also attacks Microsoft (an easy target). Problem is--Microsoft products are ubiquitous in manufacturing. To ignore them is to put yourself at risk. This leads to conversations I had this week with Bill Estep and John Dyck of GE Fanuc about Windows Vista. Among the powerful features coming with this new OS is the ability to move high performance graphics to a client easily. This means that central servers with remote thin clients becomes more workable. This is much like what Rosner is talking about (I think) but at a deep operating system level that should allow things to happen more quickly.

Although philosophically I'm still with the "roll your own" camp, there are great reasons for moving away from putting full computers, each with their own application software, everywhere in a plant. For one thing, think about licensing costs. For another, how about the costs and challenge of maintaing version updates, security patches and support? Windows Vista looks to make this idea more workable.

At any rate, great debate. Check it out. Look for more coming from OPC in the next couple of months. Executive Director Tom Burke has promised me an update.
8:43:24 AM    comment []

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