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Manufacturers can remotely monitor the plant-floor operation status using Factorytalk Viewpoint software from Rockwell Automation.

The initial release extends visualisation and real-time decision capabilities beyond Factorytalk View clients to browser-based remote users.

Factorytalk Viewpoint software supports scalable and animated web displays of existing Factorytalk View Site Edition (SE) visualisation software and Allen-Bradley Panelview Plus applications.

While the initial release is Internet Explorer (IE) compatible, additional browser and device support is planned.

IE’s active hyperlinks and the navigational functionality deliver an interactive experience in addition to typical browser functionality such as favourites and forward/back navigation buttons.

‘Mobility is increasingly important to manufacturers, creating a demand for access to Factorytalk View applications from different devices,’ said Mark Hobbs, product manager, Rockwell Automation.

‘Factorytalk Viewpoint software allows managers, OEMs and system integrators to view and manage production operations using a web browser from many compatible platforms.’ Initially offered as an add-on for existing Factorytalk View customers, Factorytalk Viewpoint software was developed using Microsoft Silverlight technology.

‘Our work with the Beijing Olympics and NBC proved that Silverlight technologies can stream sharp, clear graphics in real time over the internet,’ said Chris Colyer, global director of manufacturing operations strategies at Microsoft Corporation.

‘Rockwell Automation takes Silverlight’s user experience to users on the plant floor, while providing crisp, live visual information on operations to enterprise users.’ Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in delivering interactive applications on multiple web browsers and mobile devices.

The plug-in loads and updates automatically.

Lacking the ‘big-server’ needs of Terminal Services, Factorytalk Viewpoint software does not require client software to install or maintain the functionality.

As the user clicks through the Factorytalk View application, graphic objects display current values or operational states in real time.

With navigational functionality mirroring popular browsers, users have the ability to establish favourites and progress through screens with forward and back buttons.

‘Manufacturers want to access and aggregate real-time production process information to drive factory visibility and intelligence,’ said Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group.

‘HMI software that utilises flexible, multifunctional, interoperable platforms and provides thin-client interfaces with other platforms is driving factory visibility and intelligence, as well as playing a major role in providing critical information for key performance indicators and plant-wide metrics.

‘Factorytalk Viewpoint software appears to fulfill that requirement, as well as complement the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, tapping into a significant installed base of Factorytalk View Site Edition visualisation software and providing users with another tool for accessing critical plant-floor data.’ Factorytalk Viewpoint software adds to a number of existing performance and visibility applications already available with the Factorytalk Integrated Production and Performance Suite.

Rockwell Automation

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