Get Your Head in the Clouds

Most municipal water/wastewater treatments utilities, regardless of their size, rely on sophisticated control and monitoring systems.

Contemporary science and regulatory compliance compel utilities to install systems that can control and record process events and provide reports to regulatory agencies in a timely and accurate manner.

Even the smallest of utilities faces complex process control and reporting challenges.

Long gone are the days of “sticks and clipboards”.

For many years now, the solution to these challenges has involved the deployment of local Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) of varying complexity.

It has been the responsibility of the utility, often with the aid of a consulting engineer, to design, source, and maintain these systems.

This has meant the utility needs to have well trained technical staff on hand or strong relationships with control systems integrators that can manage and maintain these systems.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Water utilities want to treat water, plain and simple.

But along the way, they find themselves fiddling around with databases, networks, graphics engines, alarming systems, reporting mechanisms, and the list goes on and on.[/su_pullquote]It is not uncommon for a utility to deploy a SCADA, only to watch it degrade over time due to a lack of maintenance, or an aversion to swallowing the somewhat expensive pill of remaining current and abreast of evolving technologies.

It seems that this is a long walk from the core mission of the utility, which is to professionally and reliably treat water/wastewater for the public and/or industrial customers.

These utilities find themselves having to be experts — or at least knowledgeable —  about software, networks, cyber security, and a host of other disciplines that are essential to their process, but are not their core competency.

Water utilities want to treat water, plain and simple.

They have undergone intense training and certification in order to operate their plants and treat water.

But along the way, they find themselves fiddling around with databases, networks, graphics engines, alarming systems, reporting mechanisms, and the list goes on and on.

And then, to make matters worse, a popular operating system is made obsolete out-of-the-blue and becomes unsupported. It happens more often than not and the cycle begins anew.

Anyone with an online bank account can tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Most of us are already relying on cloud technology to handle our most sensitive and confidential information, access to our entire life really.

When our financial institutions do an upgrade to their system, the user isn’t involved in the slightest.  Databases are backed up, patches are installed, new versions of software platforms are deployed, browser and mobile device support is kept current, and our account access remains unaffected while our account balances remain accurate to the 100th of a penny.

So why can’t your SCADA system function like your online banking?

Why can’t you just “subscribe” to a service that provides SCADA, data logging, report generation, work process management, predictive maintenance, and even real-time interfaces to GIS, CMMS, LIMS, and any database driven backend systems?

The answer is, you can!

Application hosting services of all kinds are emerging in every area of commercial and industrial computing.  It is now possible, and practical for utilities to consider unburdening themselves from being IT organizations, and move to service based computing models that offer many technical and commercial advantages.

Some of the technical and operational advantages are obvious – you won’t have to continue to maintain a complex system and can focus on your main objective of treating water.

Other technical advantages include the easy mobilization of your workforce via browser and device support for application interfaces.

Software platform upgrades, operating system upgrades, and application migrations are the responsibility of the hosting service and will always remain current.

Among the many commercial advantages, SCADA and associated systems would no longer require capital funding, they could be funded out of operating budgets instead, like many of the services you already employ there would be a periodic service fee.

Your maintenance budget for these kinds of systems would fall to zero, allowing you to invest more in the maintenance of your process equipment.

Furthermore, these cloud-based systems could further reduce your maintenance outlay if predictive/condition based maintenance applications and principles were applied to your hosted account.

There are many ways to skin this particular cat, but it does appear to be the current trend and future of municipal utility management.

The path to evolving to these kinds of hosted solutions will depend greatly on the underlying deployed infrastructure in the form of PLC’s, RTU’s, and network architecture, but it is possible, practical, affordable, and perpetually current.

Want to carry on the conversation? Interested in how we can help?

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6 Reasons You Need to Get Serious About Industrial Mobility Now

The use of mobile devices at work isn’t exactly new — people have been thumbing through lists of emails on mobile devices since RIM released the first email-ready BlackBerry in 2003.

What’s changing is the kind of data that workers, specifically operators, are getting on their smart devices.

Automation professionals in water and wastewater facilities, manufacturing plants, oil and gas companies, and many other sectors have the ability to pull detailed, real-time data from their control systems.

Today, information packed with key performance indicators is streaming in real-time to worker’s smartphones. Water and wastewater treatment administrators across the country are analyzing pump station data on their iPhones. Operators on the plant floor can hear their machines talking to them by analyzing KPIs on their iPads. The “Garden Hose of Information” of the past that sent endless streams of data has been replaced by personalized, finely-tuned dashboards that display usable, accurate, data anytime and anywhere.

And it doesn’t stop there. Modern industrial mobility packages allow considerable control of operations on the fly. Plugging directly into your SCADA on your iPad and making changes is a reality.

While the jury is still out as to the extent to which this will help operators become more efficient, most agree that at the very least, it has its benefits. To enable an empowered, data-driven workforce through use of mobile technology is to create the next generation of operator.

“Automation companies that adopt consumer electronics technologies early will have an edge,” Erik Nieves, technology director at the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America told AutomationWorld.com. “The robotics industry isn’t large enough to drive technology, we have to use advances made in other areas.”

Industrial mobility isn’t without it’s challenges, key among them being security. Workers are walking around with — and taking home — electronic devices that display sensitive company data. Some companies, according to research, are lagging behind their “plugged-in” workforce and don’t have solutions in place to head off security issues.

This document is designed to offer a few reasons why you should get serious about mobility in your operations, how mobile devices can help operators, and why security isn’t a part of the mobility conversation you can avoid just because it’s difficult.

The use of mobile devices at work isn’t exactly new — people have been thumbing through lists of emails on mobile devices since RIM released the first email-ready BlackBerry in 2003.

What’s changing is the kind of data that workers, specifically operators, are getting on their smart devices.

Automation professionals in water and wastewater facilities, manufacturing plants, oil and gas companies, and many other sectors have the ability to pull detailed, real-time data from their control systems.

Today, information packed with key performance indicators is streaming in real-time to worker’s smartphones. Water and wastewater treatment administrators across the country are analyzing pump station data on their iPhones. Operators on the plant floor can hear their machines talking to them by analyzing KPIs on their iPads. The “Garden Hose of Information” of the past that sent endless streams of data has been replaced by personalized, finely-tuned dashboards that display usable, accurate, data anytime and anywhere.

And it doesn’t stop there. Modern industrial mobility packages allow considerable control of operations on the fly. Plugging directly into your SCADA on your iPad and making changes is a reality.

While the jury is still out as to the extent to which this will help operators become more efficient, most agree that at the very least, it has its benefits. To enable an empowered, data-driven workforce through use of mobile technology is to create the next generation of operator.

“Automation companies that adopt consumer electronics technologies early will have an edge,” Erik Nieves, technology director at the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America told AutomationWorld.com. “The robotics industry isn’t large enough to drive technology, we have to use advances made in other areas.”

Industrial mobility isn’t without it’s challenges, key among them being security. Workers are walking around with — and taking home — electronic devices that display sensitive company data. Some companies, according to research, are lagging behind their “plugged-in” workforce and don’t have solutions in place to head off security issues.

This document is designed to offer a few reasons why you should get serious about mobility in your operations, how mobile devices can help operators, and why security isn’t a part of the mobility conversation you can avoid just because it’s difficult.

1. If Your Operators Don’t Have a Smartphone Now, They Will Soon.

According to Nielsen, 54.9% of mobile users in the U.S. owned smartphones as of June 2012. This was an increase Nielsen’s February numbers which counted smartphone users in for nearly half of the mobile plans.

Nielson reported that the growth was attributed to a spike in smartphone purchases. In the second quarter of 2012, 2 out of 3 Americans who picked up a new mobile device opted for a smartphone over the standard cell phone. If growth continues at this rate, smartphones could account for 70 percent of all U.S. mobile devices by 2013.

Famed Internet analyst Mary Meeker predicted by the third quarter of 2013, global smartphone plus tablet install base will surpass the install base of the PC. Meeker suggested also in 2013 that mobile Internet usage would surpass fixed Internet usage.

Translation: Smartphones are replacing standard phones and if your operators don’t have them now, they soon will and they’ll be using them.

And it’s not just looking cool with company data on your iPad – industry experts say the use of mobile devices will soon be integral to productivity.

According to Information Week’s Nov. 2012 Mobile Device Management and Security Survey, 9 out of 10 tech professionals surveyed say smartphones and tablets will play a key role in the business productivity in the coming years.

2. The Operator is Evolving Too – And Mobility Will Take It To The Next Level

In the past, operators needed to have deep knowledge of both the process and machine operations, as well as of the systems that enable the process. Knowledge was handed down from previous operators and, for better or for worse, the new operator would function based on that training. The operator learned a role and completed his or her daily tasks based on that training.

But that’s not the case anymore.

Technology came on the scene and gave operators the chance to present data, collaborate on ideas. Software tools provided operators with the ability to make effective decisions quickly and easily when it came to understanding and troubleshooting routine and upset conditions.

The streamlined team-based approach to operations found operators being cycled through many jobs to enable knowledge sharing and continued professional growth.

Suddenly, the modern worker is a multi-faceted, data-empowered, critical facet of the process that is able to leverage data from many sources, make objective decisions based on complex, real-time information, and understand the system to solve problems quickly and effectively.

The next step is mobilizing the data that drives the next generation of operator. Equipping this operator with a mobile device takes it to the next level.

Today’s mobile technology can send actionable, real-time data to operator based on their role that is also pinpointed to their location based on geo-technology. Operators responding to an alarm no longer have to make independent decisions based solely on training – they can review electronic standard operating procedures on their smartphones.

And while nothing can replace training and knowledge passed on from veteran staff, today’s operator can, at the very least, be better armed to face the challenges of the day with solid information.

3. Mobility Let’s You Get Away From Your Desk and Get Moving

If you’re like most plant superintendents, managers, and supervisors, you don’t spend every minute of your day behind the desk. You’re constantly on the move, walking the plant floor, spending time in the field and working shoulder-to-shoulder with your team. So how useful is data if it’s locked up in your computer when you’re on the move? Moreover, how useful are you if you’re stuck behind your desk?

Mobility changes all of that. By linking your system to your mobile device (which you are probably carrying in your pocket right now anyway) you can see what’s happening in your plant while you are going about your busy day.

Modern mobile software dashboard and smart information presentation turns off the garden hose of data from your SCADA and present dashboards with key performance indicators that apply to you and let you drill into historical data for on-the-fly trending.

Getting a call about an alarm in the field is one thing. Heading to the problem area and pulling up the SCADA system on your iPad to see predictive information is quite another.

4. Get Alerts on the Road, Fix Problems in the Field

Imagine you’re traveling down the road and you get a notification on your smartphone. It’s your SCADA system alerting you to a serious problem at one of the off-site locations. Good news is that facility is right up the road.

Now imagine being able to get user-based real-time data based on location, role, and asset location, drill into your SCADA, get real-time data, and respond to – and resolve – the alarm, all from your smart device, all while safely parked on the side of the road. That’s mobility.

Today’s modern mobile technology takes advantage of your smartphone’s inherent GPS capabilities and delivers real-time, actionable data about devices within your proximity. This kind of solution uses situational awareness technology that combines criticality of situation with location and proximity to ensure that the user has the information they need, saving time and cost.

Going mobile gives you the ability to run your plant from anywhere in your plant. By going mobile, you can respond to real-time data made for faster, more focused reactions.

5. Stop Pouring Over Reports – Get Alerted When Something Important Happens.

Unless you are analyzing data for historical trends, spending time each day sifting through report after report of data can be a costly waste of time because no amount of searching is going to change the fact that nothing is actually happening that is worthwhile.

Today’s automation software allows you to define important and let you know when “important” happens. Baked-in analytics let you measure key performance indicators in your operations and pre-defined events trigger alerts so you know the moment something becomes noteworthy.

All of this is set ahead of time so worrying about report data won’t get in the way of your other tasks – like running the factory or managing the plant.

6. The “Mobile Security” Nightmare Conversation is Getting Slightly Less Scary

No discussion about using smart devices is complete without at least mentioning the handwringing and nervous pacing caused making the practice secure.

For the most part, it’s warranted: concerns over industrial mobility range from insecure data storage to weak server side controls and client side injection to broken cryptography.

One study of American adults that use personal devices for some kind of work function admitted found that 33% of them admitted to their organization’s data and/or files not being encrypted. Worse still,

a quarter of those surveyed admitted to being victims of malware or hacking on the personal mobile device they use for work.

Fortunately, the future is getting brighter with respect to security. Today’s modern industrial mobility solutions offer much in the way of security, including digitally signed certificates, 256-bit encryption, soft VPN, and more.

Operator education is becoming better as well. Education ranging from the obvious (don’t install apps that require jail-broken iPhones) to the deeper dives (protection from social engineering attacks) are helping to close the gaps on the employee side.

More education means more operators with work-engaged mobile devices will think twice about letting a friend or family member make a call, or at the very least, enable the auto-lock feature.

Every conversation around industrial mobility needs to set aside ample time for security. To have that discussion and not bring up how the same technology that makes bank transfers and transmittal

of sensitive medical documents via mobile devices successful — and more important secure — is a disservice to mobility.

7. At the Very Least, You Need to Be Ready for BYOD

The industry buzzword coined to refer to operators using their own mobile device to work is BYOD – or Bring Your Own Device.

Given the increased use of mobile devices and the plugged-in nature of today’s workforce, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many operators aren’t waiting for managers to catch on. They’re not waiting for management to get on board — they’re bringing in their mobile devices.

Industry experts predict use of smartphones and tablets by equipment operators and technicians – not managers and plant superintends – will be the factor that makes mobility a key issue in industrial automation operations.

“It’s inevitable that people will bring these devices in so companies need a set of programs and rules so this can happen without creating big problems,” Ben Orchard, systems engineer for Temecula, California’s Opto 22, told AutomationWorld.com.

And although IT teams will more than likely hate to hear it, they need to be ready for it.

Change will inevitably come to networks and corporate policies to accommodate mobile operators. Companies will begin to eye their wireless networks with great scrutiny. Network security, an issue always, will be reexamined with mobility in the conversation. And that’s not even mentioning how malicious apps like RuFraud, Droid Dream Light, and GGTracker come into play. Mobile Device Management solutions – or at the very least, corporate mobile policies – are becoming an essential part of the mobility conversation.

According to IW’s survey, 72% of those surveyed expect to offer some variance of BYOD options to give employees a way to access company data on mobile devices.

5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Plant Floor to SAP Integrations

Plant floor systems come in a wide variety of flavors, and successfully connecting them to your SAP system can be a difficult, intimidating, expensive, and risky prospect that ultimately has the potential to deliver disappointing results.

From years of experience talking  with CIOs and directors of IT supporting  manufacturing, operations, and supply  chain,  a grim picture  of SAP integration project has been painted.

A common criticism is that even though  the overall system is pretty good, the integration was a custom-coding nightmare.  Having to dedicate  key programming resources to month-long projects spent punching single-use code ended  up costing  tens of thousands of dollars and put the company at risk if something happened to the person that developed the custom code.

In other situations, the project team was skilled  with underlying protocols, data formats, and plant floor systems but depending on them to also become experts in the SAP development environment for integration was another story altogether.  Staffing  the integration project with the right skill sets can be a real problem and add higher  project risk and increased the expense to the already  complex implementation.

Sometimes, companies are left in the uncomfortable  position of dependence on the outside consultants they hired to do the integration; not to mention the significant impact on their budget.

The customizations made during  the integration have the potential to cause  uncertainty when a SAP upgrade comes  along,  particularly if the original  project team has either moved on or is dedicated  to other tasks.   The question, “What if the upgrade overwrites my customizations?”, is often heard.

There’s  no doubt about it; the above statements are rooted in truth. Some SAP integrations have significant room for improvement.

The misconception lies in the idea that there are only a few ways to go about it. There are alternatives to hiring costly consultants, piling on valuable resources for months  at a time, or going about it all on your own with a custom-coding venture.  The question is, how can you successfully connect your plant floor systems in a reasonable timeframe, without  hiring expensive SAP consultants, and without  writing  custom code or modifying your SAP system?

Plant floor systems come in a wide variety of flavors and successfully connecting them to your SAP system can be a difficult, intimidating, expensive and risky prospect that ultimately delivers disappointing results.   This document is intended to shine a light on a few myths about SAP integrations and offer alternative approaches to alleviate the pain of the myths.

1. SAP Integration Projects Require Lots of Custom Coding

Although hard to believe, SAP integration can be completely configuration-based through an intuitive visual environment that requires no end-user programming.

Junot Systems’ NLINK Suite of products allows functional business users to perform complex and sophisticated integration tasks and provides a scalable and maintainable integration solution as business processes and systems change  over time.

NLINK’s patented and SAP Certified technology has been designed from the ground-up to provide real-time bi-directional communications between disparate plant floor applications and SAP.

2. SAP Integration Projects Require Lots of Corporate IT Involvement

Traditional integration solutions require IT staff with Hard to Find Skill Sets , skilled  not only in the underlying protocols, data formats and plant floor systems, but also in the development environment of the integration tool itself.

Staffing  today’s integration projects with the right skill sets is a real problem adding  higher  project risk and increasing the expense of already  complex implementation projects.

The NLINK  approach allows business users and IT staff with Easy to Find Skill Sets to design, build and deploy SAP interfaces to the plant floor.

No programming knowledge or in-depth information technology skill set is required to complete a successful SAP integration project, on-time and within  budget. Experience has shown us that new users become productive immediately upon completion of initial NLINK  product training.

3. SAP Integration Projects Require me to Customize my SAP System

In many approaches and tools, this is true.

However, NLINK’s SAP Connector  does not force you to install  anything into your SAP landscape or modify  your SAP system in any way.

You can choose  to call any standard or custom BAPI or RFC, or any standard or customized IDOC.   When all else fails, use a SAP BDC to post data to SAP where  no suitable API exists.

In addition, the NLINK  SAP Query component can retrieve data from any standard  or custom SAP table or view in the data dictionary.

It includes functionality that allows users to quickly build simple queries to extract exactly the data they require from multiple tables or views in a single call. Giving  you the ability to get to every single piece of data in your SAP system with absolutely  no custom ABAP programming.

4. SAP Integration to the Plant Floor Fails when SAP Becomes Unavailable

Not true when you have robust store-and-forward capabilities.

NLINK  provides persistent local data storage that allows transactional information to be temporarily stored during unscheduled systems or network downtime.

Once the SAP system comes  back online and re-establishes communications with the NLINK  Server, the transactional data is processed and forwarded onto the now functional SAP system.

The NLINK  Server ensures that there is no loss of data and that the messages are processed once and only once and sent in the correct  sequence.

NLINK’s small deployed footprint and simple to use Management Console make it easy to deploy and manage at the plant floor level.

Integration architectures that can only be deployed at the corporate level (because they require lots of expert care and feeding) are on the wrong side of the store-and-forward equation.

When plant connectivity goes down, so does your ability to operate. With the integration hub at the plant floor, store- and-forward buffers and then resynchronizes  the data automatically, smoothing out connectivity interruptions.

5. SAP Integration is Expensive

It does not need to be.

Traditional SAP integration solutions have failed to gain widespread acceptance because they are too expensive and complex for all but the largest  of companies and the most critical  of applications.

This makes Enterprise Application Integration an underutilized technology due to the large initial cost and even larger cost of implementation. NLINK is component-based; NLINK  CoNNectors, eXtenders and Modules can be mixed

and matched to create the optimal  integration solution.

NLINK  customers pay only for the components that they actually  use.  Over time, as the integration project evolves, incremental costs are added  only when significant new functionality is required.

9 Misconceptions Around an Upgrade from FIX32 to iFIX

In its time, Intellution’s FIX32 was a powerful automation solution that took full advantage of Windows 95 and Windows NT’s powerful capabilities.

At the time, FIX32 had more 32-bit installations than all other automation software vendors combined. But that time has passed and HMI/SCADA solutions have come a long way since then.

In its current iteration, iFIX 5.8, now a part of GE Intelligent Platform’s Proficy Suite©, offers support for the latest software standards, a robust SCADA engine, rich set of connectivity options, open architecture and highly scalable and distributed networking model.

iFIX is a superior proven real-time information management and SCADA solution, which is open, flexible and scalable.

The product is constantly evolving – version 6.0 is on the horizon. A recently developed iPad app, coupled with iFIX Webspace©, is allowing operators to easily and quickly harness the power of iFIX or CIMPLICITY on the iPad with minimal engineering effort.

Unfortunately, there are a many misconceptions surrounding the upgrade from FIX32 to iFIX. Horror stories of complicated installations abound. Fears of a complete systems re-architecture keep companies from moving forward.

The good news is, if properly pulled off, the move from FIX32 to iFIX can be relatively painless.

The purpose of this document is to dispel some of the myths around moving from FIX32 to iFIX so you can harness the power of this solution and move forward.

Misconception 1: I don’t need to do an upgrade – we have been running our plant without it for years.

If it isn’t broke, don’t FIX it, right? Wrong.

Trust us — your it department wants you to keep up with the latest Microsoft technology. iFIX delivers support for all the latest Microsoft operating systems including Windows 7!

There are many things that are enabled by moving to the new platforms such as easy to maintain historical data, centralized maintenance of configuration and pictures, thin clients, mobility (ipads), and web based clients.

Misconception 2: My current strategy — HMI With FIX32 — is adequate.

There are significant advantages in moving to iFIX.

There were over 300 “voice of the customer” recommendations incorporated into just the first version of iFIX. Since then it has undergone many majors releases all the way to version 5.8 and soon 6.0.

Here’s a few improvements to iFIX over the years:

  • Increased reliability
  • Improved trending
  • The iFIX workspace
  • Advanced failover capabilities
  • VisiconX interfacing to relational data
  • A vast IO driver library
  • A VBA based script environment
  • Integrated Windows security

Misconception 3 – An upgrade from FIX32 to iFIX will take too long to implement.

Simply not true.

As with any project, it depends on proper planning and a sound road map for attack. Our 20 years of experience with these kinds of projects tell us that having someone on the team that has been there and done doesn’t hurt either.

The biggest reason we have seen upgrades projects take a long time is the normal project problem of “scope creep.”

Fact: Most items that are done in an upgrade project that push the deadline back further and further are really new pieces of scope.

Misconception 4 – An upgrade is too risky to implement and hard to get started.

There are plenty of experts to help you in this and guide your journey. For example, we have over 15 experts just in our company who can do this task completely or be available as a project team member or coach.

As one of the leading products in the marketplace, there is an entire ecosystem around the world to support iFIX. With the modern environment that is extensible, it is easy for an automated tool to be used to aid the upgrade process as well.

Misconception 5: It will be too expensive and it’s like starting over. Should I just switch out to another brand of HMI?

GE has spent millions of dollars on upward compatibility so that you don’t have to.

The concept of the FIX desktop can even re-use all of your FIX32 graphics complete with script files if you wish. Or the conversion utility can help you migrate the old pictures completely to the native iFIX format.

There are also many wizards and productivity tools that we
can show you to help work within the new environment. Even
though you have driven your old ride for a lot of miles there is an attractive trade in policy that we can walk you through that is commercially viable. Your investment is protected today and tomorrow – 350,000 installations worldwide can attest to that.

Misconception 6: You will need a ton of training and the iFIX system is hard to learn and come up to speed on.

In our experience, if you understand how the FIX32 system works, you will be able to navigate your way around the iFIX with limited trouble.

The database builder concept is fairly similar and is still the backbone of the system. A concept of the “workspace” development and runtime replaces View and Draw.

We find that most engineers that maintained a FIX32 system can maintain an iFIX system. Instead of training, sometimes some assistance in doing the upgrade is prudent since it may be a one-time occurrence for your plant or facility.

However, if you still want to go the training route, we can certainly suggest a place to find the best classes available.

Still not convinced? Consider this: With iFIX 5.5, there is no need to manage multiple drivers in SCU anymore. Instead, you can use one IGS driver – a single interface, communicate with multiple vendor’s controllers (the IGS driver offers more than 100 protocols).

Misconception 7: Doesn’t GE own iFIX now and don’t they also own CIMPLICITY? My competitor sales person told me that GE was getting rid of one or both of them.

There are significant customer bases in both products.

There is also shared technology in IO drivers, encryption, historical archiving, web, advanced analytics, MES and mobility solutions. There is a robust product team, support team, and product roadmap for both iFIX and CIMPLICITY.

Misconception 8: The decisions I need to make about my systems are hard and complicated.

We are not going to sugar coat the situation, there are some good engineering trade offs to think about since there is so many more options with the new computing power and new software power. Here’s a question we get all the time:

“Should I replace my distributed architecture SCADA (which was more common earlier) and go with a redundant pair after the upgrade?”

In this case there are issues like duplicate tag names, picture directory locations, thin clients and the proper failover technique to choose. But this is all good news!

These are things that weren’t even possible when you installed the last system. You can stick with the current architecture and make no changes — no problem. But here’s the upside: the options for improvement are great as well.

Misconception 9: All HMI systems are about the same.

Not true. Some HMI systems deliver unique capability and iFIX does for sure. For example:

  • Mobility (iPad) support
  • True failover for redundancy systems and high uptime
  • Intelligent alarming
  • The ability to integrate workflow and electronic standard operating procedures.
  • In addition the unmatched ecosystem, the investment, and support power of GE make a commitment to iFIX a smart choice.

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