GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc., a unit of GE Industrial, will adopt Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications as its extensibility language for the company's Proficy suite of production management software applications in future releases.
The decision will provide current and future users with powerful extensions to Proficy's capabilities, while also helping them to automate the configuration and operation of Proficy-based systems.
Proficy allows customers to continuously improve plant performance and agility with a suite of software solutions that provide real-time production management, an open and layered approach based on standards that preserves existing investments and unique role-based views into operations that enable accurate and timely decision making.
Adopting the next generation Microsoft scripting engine with Proficy allows GE Fanuc to provide customers with leading-edge technologies that further leverage the strength of its product solutions.
"Customers are asking for more sophisticated tools to extend their core product capabilities and it is always GE Fanuc's goal to leverage new complementary technologies as they become available so we can pass those benefits on to our customers," said GE Fanuc Vice President of Software Technology, Bernie Anger.
"Visual Studio Tools for Applications promises to deliver the full power of .NET Framework-based programming to applications, leapfrogging the capabilities that we have been able to deliver through VBA and VB Script in existing products, and we are pleased to take the lead in delivering this ability to the manufacturing and processing marketplace," he said.
"Microsoft is pleased that GE Fanuc will adopt Visual Studio Tools for Applications and provide its customers with a secure and managed application customization environment," said General Manager of Visual Studio Tools for Applications at Microsoft Corp, KD Hallman.
"GE Fanuc's Proficy suite, together with Visual Studio Tools for Applications, will enable end users of all skill levels to customise and extend applications for their specific needs."
The first product to take advantage of Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications will be the Proficy Platform, which is scheduled for release in 2006.
In addition to its core analytic (EMI) and execution (MES) capabilities, the Proficy Platform will include packaged integration with enterprise systems and HMI/SCADA applications as well as provide an extended library of tools and published APIs for third-party development of applications.