Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday plunged its Unix systems into the industrial automation markets previously served primarily by its proprietary HP 1000 minis with the launch of Real-time Applications Platform/Plus. The new product is described as an integrated, scalable software toolkit for building networked industrial-monitoring and control applications. It is designed to acquire data from end devices such as programmable logic controllers or remote terminal units, and to integrate the data to help automate company operations. RTAP/Plus is based on industry standards for use in a multi-vendor environment: these include the X Window System, HP-UX Unix and ISO Open Systems Interconnection networking. Hewlett says that RTAP/Plus is a flexible toolkit designed to enable software engineers to configure it themselves to build supervisory-control systems for a spread of industrial automation applications. It consists of a real-time database, calculation engine, scan system, process scheduler, event manager and time keeper; a User Interface Platform toolkit based on X Window for the creation on-screen of process schematics and control panels that communicate with the database; Alarm Tools to support the set-up and detection of alarms and log user-defined messages and trigger control actions; Trend Tools to capture and display graphically historical information from the database; and Report Tools to enable the user to lay out, schedule and run the database reports interactively. A fully documented application program interface provides developers with access to and control over all its features. It directly supports All en-Bradley and Modicon programmable controllers, HP 48000 terminal un its and the HP 3852 data-acquisiti on and control device. Scan tasks can be written to interface with other front-end devices, and Hewl ett is pitching it at oil and gas production, pipelines, gas distri bution, telecommunications, network management, transport, electric ut ilities and water management firms.