Putting Data Into Context

Updates to Wonderware Historian InSight and Wonderware Intelligence bring new capabilities to the Wonderware Information Management Portfolio to make data more actionable by operators and executives.

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Introduced last May, Schneider Electric’s web-based Wonderware Historian allows users to take data from Wonderware’s on-premise Historian, to then make it available via a web browser with no configuration required. This is key in getting critical operations data to a variety of users across the enterprise who do not have (or need) full access to the control system or Wonderware Historian.

Having access to an abundance of data is one thing. The ability to view that data in context is what makes it valuable to a wide enterprise audience of decision makers. New capabilities introduced for Wonderware Online InSight, the re-branded web-based Historian announced at Wonderware Live 2016, will do just that.

Elliott Middleton, Senior Product Manager, Schneider Electric, said, “To understand all the real-time process data you collect, you need to put it into context with everything else that’s happening. You need to take those isolated, current values from a device and put them into a historical and operational context.”

Noting that SQL queries (as a means to extract data from database) are “fine for some people, InSight was created to provide simple, browser-based access to process data,” said Middleton. Furthermore, users don't have to be familiar with tag names to use it. Insight also allows users to display data in many different ways, such as column charts or line charts, and the data can be parsed in daily or hourly segmentations, or in any collection quantity the user prefers.

New scenario guides in Wonderware Online Insight make tasks, such as tracking downtime, easier too. User can “historize downtime tags to create a simple downtime tracker that accurately records micro-stops and provides a pareto chart of downtime,” said Middleton.

Referencing a customer example involving a high-speed filling application that was creating throughput issues, Middleton said that, by using Wonderware Online InSight, the customer was able to identify which aspect of the application to focus on. After determining and fixing the limiting factor that was affecting throughput, this customer achieved its return on investment on the Historian product within two hours.

To use Wonderware Online InSight to bring contextualized data to the enterprise, Middleton said the safest way to do that is to place another historian on the network and use the software’s replication facility to connect data between the two instances. In this way, by not requiring enterprise users to cross the plant floor firewall, the connection meets NERC CIP cybersecurity requirements, as Wonderware Online Insight data communications are single port and outbound only with well-defined endpoints.

Also introduced at Wonderware Live 2016 was a Wonderware Intelligence time slicing capability, which uses Wonderware Historian tags to create intelligence reports rather than requiring the creation of custom queries. According to Christian-Marc Pouyez, Product Manager, Intelligence and Energy Management at Schneider Electric, intelligence time slicing “slices data by batch and computes metrics for each batch produced, such as volume in and out, energy used, and production for each batch.”

The output of the software—which can span multiple types of data sources—is a Gantt chart of each production line that highlights yield (or other objectives) for each line in a graphically, comparable way, and also allows drilling down to the detailed Wonderware Historian data for each batch. Wonderware Intelligence time slicing adds context to time series data for one or more events such as batches, shifts, downtime with point and click configuration.

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