Deployment of Ethernet on the plant floor has created challenges for both automation and information technology personnel. Traditional network management software used for large IT departments is often too complex and costly for the basic level-one support functions required to keep the plant-floor network operational. A new software tool from Newburyport, Mass.-based Network Vision (www.intravue.net), called IntraVue, supports plant floor and IT needs with a simple graphical user interface.
Company founder Mark Fondl states, “When PLCs were first used for control, the programmers were called every time the machine stopped. Graphical software tools enabled plant technicians to handle these events. This reduced downtime and costs.” Fondl continues, “The same thing is happening with industrial networking. IntraVue was developed to provide local support and reduce the need for highly skilled IT resources to solve basic network problems.”
IntraVue creates a live connection view of the network on a personal computer that dynamically changes with events. Information about connected Ethernet devices and network equipment are all displayed on a single screen.