FPMI as an RSViewSE Replacement

I’d like to get some feedback from users who have used FactoryPMI as a replacement for RSViewSE or some of the other MMI packages out there.

We have some great opportunities to offer FactoryPMI as an alternative package to some of our customers who are either currently looking at RSViewSE or are already using it.

We have an enormous amount of training and experience in developing RSView projects as well as using VBA, and C to provide some additional functionality to that product, and others.

Obviously pricing is very attractive but this also involves some thought on our end in terms of engineering costs and training to come up to speed with FactoryPMI. Also, we know the limitations and many of the gotcha’s on the Rockwell products as well as it’s track record in stability and performance, which for us, has been very good.

Most of our applications are fairly simple. They are stand alone systems. Lots of graphics and trends, PID tuning, etc. as an average, there may be 20-30 screens in each application with 2000-3000 tags, some derived tags, some simple VBA, etc…

Some of our larger systems are distributed applications and may have up to 100 screens, 10,000 tags, animated graphics, some pre-canned faceplates for PID loop tuning and maybe a good amount of VBA for doing some more complicated recipe handling, etc…

What I’m looking for is some information on the following:

  1. Experience with FPMI as a direct replacement for RSView SE.

  2. Gotcha’s or things that can be done in RSView but not in FPMI.

  3. Development differences… As I said, we have LOTS of experience with RSView but none yet with FPMI.

  4. Is there any re-usability of existing RSView graphical elements? Contrologix faceplates, etc

  5. Any utilities that would help me convert my RSView tag database over to SQLTags?

  6. Performance issues or comparisons?

Anything I can learn ahead of time would be very helpful…

Thanks,

Chris

Chris, I wanted to share some information with you. I am by no mean an integrator and I do not have any fancy EE degree or anything like that. What I do have is an associated in Electronics. But what I mainly want to do is tell you what I know about IA and their product.

The very first thing I would do if I was in your shoes would be to ask IA for their GOTOMEETING demo. Where they get you on the phone and go thru a lot of information about their product. Very informative.

Next I would also go to the video section of their site and watch the superb videos that have been made concerning configuration and layout designing of their product. Also very informative.

Now as i stated I am not an integrator and this is my first attempt at doing a SCADA system but what I can tell you is that based on all the other products that I got quotes on when first starting out and asked for help, IA is the one that helped out the most and provided and still provides the best technical support around. At least in my opinion. Most of the other companys that I got quotes from was like, well once you purchase it, then we will sell you a contract and will assist you. where my question was how do I know it will work as planned, and they were like, trust us it will work. Where here at IA they used the goto meeting and showed me how well it would work.

Now do they have utilities to convert, I dont know that would be a question to ask them when you call in for your demo and while you have them on the phone.

If you read thru the forum postings on here you will see just how heavy duty this product is. There is one poster in here that says he is collecting something like 8000 tags per sec and is doing so quite well and if I am not mistaken he is in the chemical/refinery type of business.

One of the things that you need to read up on is the terminology of the IA product. Here is what I can tell you and again I am sure there is more but I will leave that to the experts at IA

Kepserver - This is an OPC client to connect to PLC devices

Factory SQL - This is the first part this connects KepServer to a Database such as SQL, Oracle or other. It allows scripting and some advanced features. Again I think there is a video covering this.

Factory PMI - As they claim on here stands for Plant Management Interface. This connects up to Factory SQL and also your database to gather information and present it in a nice graphical format.

SQL tags - These are tags that go directly from OPC thru Factory SQL and then into PMI. More immediate than going thru the database.

Now can it use VB scripts and C scripts, I think so but since I have not used them I will leave the absolute answer to the experts.

Again I will say I am by no means an expert in fact like I said I am very much a beginer but based on what I have seen, their tech support, their training, the videos, the forum groups, I would say they are top notch in their field. And if you have a problem they are always around to help. Again I refer to the posting where one poster was pleasantly surprised he posted and received a responce on a sunday.

I hope this answer some of your questions. again it is my 2 cents but I do hope it helps.

Have a great day.

[quote=“cbabb”]I’d like to get some feedback from users who have used FactoryPMI as a replacement for RSViewSE or some of the other MMI packages out there.

We have some great opportunities to offer FactoryPMI as an alternative package to some of our customers who are either currently looking at RSViewSE or are already using it.

We have an enormous amount of training and experience in developing RSView projects as well as using VBA, and C to provide some additional functionality to that product, and others.

Obviously pricing is very attractive but this also involves some thought on our end in terms of engineering costs and training to come up to speed with FactoryPMI. Also, we know the limitations and many of the gotcha’s on the Rockwell products as well as it’s track record in stability and performance, which for us, has been very good.

Most of our applications are fairly simple. They are stand alone systems. Lots of graphics and trends, PID tuning, etc. as an average, there may be 20-30 screens in each application with 2000-3000 tags, some derived tags, some simple VBA, etc…

Some of our larger systems are distributed applications and may have up to 100 screens, 10,000 tags, animated graphics, some pre-canned faceplates for PID loop tuning and maybe a good amount of VBA for doing some more complicated recipe handling, etc…

What I’m looking for is some information on the following:

  1. Experience with FPMI as a direct replacement for RSView SE.

  2. Gotcha’s or things that can be done in RSView but not in FPMI.

  3. Development differences… As I said, we have LOTS of experience with RSView but none yet with FPMI.

  4. Is there any re-usability of existing RSView graphical elements? Contrologix faceplates, etc

  5. Any utilities that would help me convert my RSView tag database over to SQLTags?

  6. Performance issues or comparisons?

Anything I can learn ahead of time would be very helpful…

Thanks,

Chris[/quote]

FactoryPMI usings Jython as its included programming language. You should be able to do whatever it is you want to do, so long as you can code it.

[quote]Obviously pricing is very attractive but this also involves some thought on our end in terms of engineering costs and training to come up to speed with FactoryPMI. Also, we know the limitations and many of the gotcha’s on the Rockwell products as well as it’s track record in stability and performance, which for us, has been very good.
[/quote]
I have replaced 3 RSView32 systems with the IA stack. There is nothing in RSView32 that I could not do with IA

[quote]Most of our applications are fairly simple. They are stand alone systems. Lots of graphics and trends, PID tuning, etc. as an average, there may be 20-30 screens in each application with 2000-3000 tags, some derived tags, some simple VBA, etc…

Some of our larger systems are distributed applications and may have up to 100 screens, 10,000 tags, animated graphics, some pre-canned faceplates for PID loop tuning and maybe a good amount of VBA for doing some more complicated recipe handling, etc…
[/quote]
I have a project right now with 6000 tags coming in, 50 windows, 700 historical tags saved every second for 30 days, and about 300 tags saved every 5 seconds for 2 years.

We are currently rewriting another plant running RSView right now, and once its all said and done, Itll have about 35000 tags( or more), with probably about 200 windows. 1000 tags will be stored every second for 30 days, and about 2000 tags will be stored every 5 seconds for 2 years. Ill keep you posted, it shoudl be done in a few months

[quote]What I’m looking for is some information on the following:

  1. Experience with FPMI as a direct replacement for RSView SE.
    [/quote]
    It was actually quite easy. Obviously, there is a transition stage between the 2 architectures, but it was pretty simple. Plus, IA provides without a doubt the best technical support of any HMI… any software comapny on the market. They will more then likely help you with the transition, as will myself and probably many others in this forum

Crash…lol. Our RSView 32 systems would lock up under load… by load I mean 4 concurrent users switching screens.

On a serious note, the only thing IA lacks right now is server based scripts. While I guess this can be done in FactorySQL, its nto quite the same. Any scripts wrote in PMI are executed by clients.

Well, the designer is web launched, can be ran on Windows, Linux or Mac. Same goes for the client.

[quote]3) Is there any re-usability of existing RSView graphical elements? Contrologix faceplates, etc
[/quote]
Not really. The faceplates are ActiveX components, so techincally yes, but then your limited to Windows Only clients. If you want some templates that closely resemle the faceplates, I have a PID faceplate, PID faceplate with tuning, PID faceplate with settings, Autotune, and an Analog faceplate.

Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc

Ohhhh boy. Major difference. Using RSView32/RAD/RSlinx, 3 clients, our server was using about 70% of its resources whiel idle. With IA, running IA/Kepware, 6 clients, we hover around 10% under load.

[quote]Anything I can learn ahead of time would be very helpful…

Thanks,

Chris
[/quote]
Honestly, give the demo a look, download the trials, and test it out. You wont be disappointed. IA is a cutting edge HMI is looking at the future.

If you want, I can give you a walk through of my applications, and walk you through some of the designer. Let me know

Kyle Chase

I am in the process of converting my SCADA system (Wonderware) over to the IA product. We are doing the IA SCADA project in house just like we did Wonderware in the past. If you are considering a 3rd party SCADA solution, I believe Wonderware is the leader in legacy 3rd party solutions and would be a good choice. Our SCADA system could upgrade to version 10.2 but that would be the same old solution technology, expensive and not a very good choice. I have been looking for the next generation of SCADA technology for more than three years. The IA product is a good product in a variety of ways. FSQL is an outstanding historian period. I had it up and running in less than an hour. I’m doing the change out as a phased approach. The first step was to use FSQL as the data historian. The second phase is cutting out the water distribution system. There are no tasks that I haven’t been able to do. I have had to call for support a few times because I miss-configured some things. It does take some work to learn a new SCADA product. The tech support was outstanding; they did a go-to meeting and solved my issue quickly. The support staff was highly skilled.
One of the features I really like about FPMI is that the designer is active-- as I’m creating the windows, the data is updating in the back ground and I have the ability to write data to the PLC on the fly. With my existing system, I have to switch from window maker to window viewer-- back and forth. If I’m doing a large window it takes a lot time.
I am an end user and it sounds like you are a system designer and builder. If I was your customer, I would want you to create a system that was powerful, reliable and would last for many years. The software is powerful and is more reliable than my existing SCADA software. I don’t recall the online system ever crashing. The IA design philosophy automatically creates a system that does not quickly become obsolete. The use of well known standards, open source and flexibility in terms of OPC and SQL software, allows you to tailor the system.
I agree with Kyle, “IA is a cutting edge HMI”. If you have any water utility projects in the future, I could show you what we are doing.