Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition - A Powerful HMI Solution

Watch this video as Lee Seneker, Director of Technical Services, explains how InTouch Machine Edition delivers sustainable value in three key areas:
  • Lowest total cost of ownership
  • Engineering simplicity
  • Powerful functionality     

Monday, August 18, 2014

Introducing some new features of Wonderware System Platform 2014

John Doll, from Logic Technical Services, explains some of the transformative graphics that will maximize user experience. Watch this video to see the significantly new content.

Make sure to attend our St. Louis Tech Expo on October 10th to discover more about Wonderware's 2014 release. Learn more and register

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 Wonderware Situtational Awareness - the ability to quickly and reliably spot when something is not right

With the new graphics library in the Wonderware 2014 release, operators can utilize situational awareness in order to identify, comprehend, and react to abnormal situations. Watch this brief video of Alex, in tech services, giving an example of how situational awareness can improve operator's responsiveness.

Make sure to attend our St. Louis Tech Expo on October 10th to discover more about Wonderware's 2014 release. Learn more and register

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Top 5 InTouch Development Tips

1. Secondary Source
Each access name can be given a secondary source. This results in redundant paths to a PLC. Select Special, Access Names, and choose an access name of your choosing. 

When enabled, the Failover button becomes active which allows the timing between failures to be manipulated. In intermittent networks, it's best to allow an amount of seconds before switching over to the backup.

 2. Change Default Font Size
Placing text or buttons on your windows can appear with small or unreadable font. Change the default font from Special, Configure, WindowMaker. At the bottom right, select text or button and adjust the settings.

3. True Fullscreen
WindowViewer comes with a titlebar and toolbar constantly showing. This coupled with the Windows Start Menu can make window creation and sizing more difficult. To make the WindowViewer experience truely full screen, go to Special, Configure, WindowViewer, and Window Configuration tab. Uncheck 'Menu Bar', check 'Hide Title Bar', and lastly check 'Always Maximize'.

4. Duplicate with a Pattern 
Creating duplicates or shapes or elements, it's typically important to keep them in line or at least follow a pattern. After first duplicating, move it immediately to the spot you desire and select duplicate again. Observe and breath a huge sigh of relief.

5. Delete Tags 
Has this ever been a problem? 

Wonderware has created a particular work flow for a tag to be deleted. If we deleted tags willy nilly, the animations throughout the application would be left orphaned without parents and all alone. No one wants to be alone. Except creepy people who hang out in basements all day.

First, run Special, Cross Reference, and search for the tag in question. Leave the default settings.

Delete or replace the tag everywhere it's being used. The resulting cross reference can be saved as a file for later digestion.

After the tag has been taken out of use, select Special, Update Use Counts. This will be the final blow against our rogue tag.

 The delete button has now become available.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

And the password is...Security for PLC Access

Don't compromise the functionality of your processes by not implementing security settings on your GE PLCs. Security can be set to four different levels of access on your PLC. If a user types in the password for a particular level, then they have the ability to do different tasks. 

The four levels are shown here:
You can get to this screen by right clicking the online target and choosing Online Commands - Show status and then click the Protection tab.

By default all of the passwords will be blank. You have to click the passwords button and assign them individually as shown here:
Once the passwords are assigned, you then have to enable passwords in the hardware configuration.
Changing this will require a STOP download. Once this is complete you will have different levels of access available.

Monday, April 28, 2014

No I/O server? No DA server? No problem!

OPC Unified Architecture is a technology that enables platform-independent communication. It is not Window-based like standard OPC-DA.  For example, it enables any OPC-UA client HMI to connect directly to field equipment like a PLC with no protocol translation or I/O server.  An additional benefit is that it is much more firewall-friendly than OPC-DA.

We now have a PLC that utilizes OPC UA.  The RXi controller for GE has upgraded their firmware to include an OPC UA server.  This article will explain how to set up that server to a Kepware OPC UA client.  Other client vendors include Wonderware, who recently released its OPC-UA client for System Platform 2014. 
1) The first step is to upgrade your RXi to the latest firmware version 8.11:

2) You will then need to download the program block and instructions to run the server:

3) Import the XML block into Machine Edition. (Make sure passwords are set to disable)

4) Add a call to_MAIN.

5) Assign the imported block to that CALL and assign variables to it.

6) Create a variable called TEST and make sure that it is Published External.

7) Download and start the PLC.
8) Set the UToffset to 300 and toggle the START. You should see the Running turn ON and the SERVER_STATUS got to a value of 2. 
9) Now the OPC UA server is ready. You could later add logic that would start the server if it has issues.
The next step is to add a Kepware OPC UA client. (Use default settings unless otherwise specified below)
10) Add the following Endpoint substituting your IP address.

11) Leave the username and password blank for now. This will create an Anonymous connection. You can also add security by setting the PLC up with a password and entering it here.

12)  Add a device for the PLC. (Use default settings unless otherwise specified below)

13) Click the select import items button.

14) Browse the Application-Variables folder and add the items you want to see.

15) Go into Quick Client and browse to the application folder to see your value.

Additional information about the setup can be found in chapter 13 of the RXICLT000 Manual.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Don't Use Platform Killer

Platform killer is an unsupported tool.  Most people believe the tool is supported because it was so widely used, even recommended (out of necessity) by support people.  The necessity has been eliminated in System Platform 2012. Now, platforms remove much cleaner.  There is a supported reliable method for removing a platform.  It is done though the system management console. Here are the steps.

1.) Open SMC – Navigate to Start | All Programs | Wonderware | System Management Console
      2.) Navigate to Galaxy name – In the left pane, find platform manager and expand it.  Click on the name of your galaxy.
3.) Remove Platform – Right click on the name of your plant then select remove platform from the context menu.  This removes the platform from the local computer and only the local computer, no other platforms will be removed.  Your screen will look like the screenshot below at this step.

Please remember to use this supported method.  Platform Killer shouldn’t be used for System Platform 2012 and above.  Platform Killer can create problems requiring a system to be reformatted on 2012 and above.  Even for versions before 2012 it is better to try the supported method first then try Platform Killer.