Ignition Edge Panel - typical use case please

Hi,
I’m looking at Ignition Edge as a possible alternative to installing Allen-Bradley PanelViews in projects where I would install an AB PLC but a full blown PC-based SCADA is not justified.
I understand Ignition Edge Panel is only software. Is the replacement of proprietary small panel HMIs where this product is targeted?. If so, can anybody elaborate on an installed instance, such as what hardware was used? I understand Edge could run on a Raspberry Pi with an attached touchscreen. Perhaps there are more hardened hardware alternatives suitable to industrial installations.
I’d also be interested how Ignition Edge Panel plus suitable hardware stacks up against PanelViews on cost. Perhaps there is a sweet spot where Ignition Edge begins to beat out larger screen PanelViews?
I imagine Ignition Edge affords more functionailty than a PanelView and this may come at a premium. I’m interested to know if it is worth the effort to re-invent the industrial touchpanel or just keep forking out $$$ for tiny touchscreens with AB on the front.

I haven’t spec’d a Panelview in ages. If price is critical, I usually go with Automation Direct’s C-More family, with very good results. (For an HMI. Don’t expect historical trends.)

For Ignition front ends, I rather like the Intel NUC family, with a suitable touchscreen. If you have a Full Ignition install on-site that needs to talk to the process 100% of the time anyways, there’s no additional harm in just running a client from it as the HMI.

If you need continued operation with loss of plant comms, then a fallback to Edge Panel & Sync (possibly with Compute) on that hardware is still competitive with similarly sized PanelViews.

If the Full Ignition install is off-site, then lead with Edge Panel & Sync.

I don’t recommend deploying Edge standalone. The history limit will just p*** off your end-user.

3 Likes

It can be hard to justify using Ignition when directly compared to a single PV+. But, two or more, and you see a benefit. Aside from using Edge, you can purchase full Ignition with a single client or as many clients as you need.

I highly recommend you contact sales and they can show you the numbers. Comparing the software, FTView ME and Ignition is not even a fair contest. So, if you spend more on hardware there is a great chance you save on software development.

3 Likes

I’m in a similar ish dilemma now and I’m currently testing edge. Our machines are mobile, standalone machines and travel all over the world on projects. Typically I use raspberry Pi’s with node red and a amazon fire tablet to load up basic data, Its very basic due to nature of the node red dashboard.

The machines are getting more complex and automated now with laser profile sensors etc so wanted to make the dashboard more graphical, plus the MQTT messages are getting up into the hundreds and it gets to be a very long winded process with Node Red. So I switched to a maple systems gateway, very easy to set up the MQTT, almost drag and drop and will read any info in my siemens PLC, compared to node red needing non optimized blocks unless I set up OPC. But, the maple systems dashboards are basic and didn’t play well with amazon fire tablet using their CMT viewer software, constant drop outs etc, would probably work better using their HDMI connection but I don’t want a HMI fixed to the machine as it is only used for set up and trouble shooting.

So now I’m considering Edge, with transmission for MQTT and using perspective on the tablet. Will be around double the cost all in then any future updates or upgrade packages etc. The I have to consider how its all managed with say 20 machines having edge installed, can you push out updates from a single designer or have a update automatically pulled when it connects to the internet etc. I can program it with one project that shows or hides views depending what PLC its connected it. Machine A or machine B etc.

Decisions Decisions…

Yes, Edge should work for this. A while back, IA added support for “flattening” projects when sending via EAM so you can use inheritance in projects for Edge (which can only run one project).

Edge is only beneficial when you don’t need anything stored. But at that point its less expensive to go with a c-more from automation direct or something similar.

Buying vision for x amount of HMIs will probably beat out panelviews but only in a bulk scenario provided you get affordable hardware.

Long-term stored, true, short-term, not so much. The limit is 7 days or 10 million rows, whichever may come first. If you use MQTT, this 10M row limit is removed.

I built a stand-alone test machine using Edge. The test ran for 4ish days, and after that, they exported the data (did this years ago on 7.9, can’t remember if it was XLS or CSV, but it was built-in and before compute was an option so no scripting).

If the 2 device count limit puts you off, but one of your devices is a PLC, use that PLC as a data concentrator.