The Wokingham, UK branch of AEG AG-owned Modcomp, Modular Computer Systems Inc, announced yesterday that it has signed for an exclusive licence to market Connoisseur, an interactive process control package developed by Manchester University’s Vuman Ltd, and engineering consultants Kenyan Design & Automation. The software, which will run on Modcomp’s Classic series of 16- and 32-bit minicomputers, has two main functional areas – a real-time plant control system, and a plant analysis package – and is claimed to be the first package to offer a practical implementation of expert systems for the plant control market. Connoisseur offers on-line data acqusition, data analysis, plant modelling and control system design and – within the analysis function – plant simulation and model performance assessment, features which, the company claims, will improve product quality and flexibility and optimise throughput. Cost will vary from plant to plant but is expected to range from UKP250,000 for complete control automation and from UKP50,000 upwards for retrofits and refurbishments of existing plants. It will be available in the UK at the end of June, and US, French and German launches will follow later in the year.