Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced groov version 2.1, an update to its groov web-based mobile operator interface system for building and using effective, scalable operator interfaces on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. groov 2.1 improvements include faster tag handling with OPC-UA servers, and improved data exchange with mobile devices for faster response times and lower mobile network costs.

groov lets industrial automation end-users, system integrators, machine OEMs, technicians, or any authorized person quickly and securely monitor and control PLCs and PACs like Allen-Bradley ControlLogix and CompactLogix, Siemens SIMATIC S7, Schneider Electric Modicon, GE PACSystems, and other controllers, all from a mobile device. groov gets important data out of processes, OEM machines, and manufacturing systems and into operators’ hands.

A major improvement in groov 2.1 is faster operator interface development due to new real-time OPC tag browsing. An OPC-UA server can have potentially tens of thousands of tags to choose from for an operator interface, and real-time browsing makes it faster to select tags and link them to on-screen indicators and controls.

groov 2.1 exchanges up to 75% less data with smartphones, tablets, and other devices running an operator interface than earlier groov versions, thanks to improved data handling and compression. Mobile devices operating over a cellular or other network with slower connections benefit with faster updates, faster interface responses, and lower mobile network costs.

groov 2.1 includes other improvements and new features:

  • Webpage links can be added to interface screens, making it possible, for example, to incorporate an internal company webpage showing production targets and KPIs.
  • Update/refresh rates can be individually set for IP camera widgets, so an IP camera monitoring a production machine, for example, can update twice a second, while a camera watching a loading area might update once every ten seconds.
  • Slider controls and range/level indicators can be oriented horizontally or vertically. Orienting these items vertically saves screen space and is particularly useful for compact mobile devices.
  • Using IP camera widgets on an interface screen no longer requires router configuration changes or opening firewall ports for each camera’s IP address. Instead, IP camera widgets can optionally use a reverse proxy server to communicate through the groov’s IP address.

What’s groov?

groov is a zero-programming, web-based way to build, deploy, and view effective, scalable operator interfaces to monitor and control systems and equipment using mobile devices and other computer-based systems. These operator interfaces can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer regardless of its manufacturer, operating system, or screen size, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and even smart high-definition televisions.

groov can augment existing human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems by making important information available at any time and in any location. groov is available as either the standalone groov Box hardware appliance or the PC-based groov Server for Windows software.

groov uses a standard method of securely communicating with devices on the plant floor, including PLCs, DCSs, PACs, databases, and OPC-DA servers called OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA). A fully functional version of groov Server for Windows is available to download and try so you can see your own system’s data on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. groov operates for two hours without a license and can be restarted if more time is required.

groov works with Kepware Technologies’ KEPServerEX communications platform. Kepware has developed hundreds of device drivers for communicating with diverse automation systems, databases, building automation systems, and more.

groov 2.1 will be available on Mar. 3, 2014. Choose either the groov Box hardware appliance (GROOV-AT1) at a list price of $2895.00 USD, or groov Server for Windows software (GROOV-SVR-WIN) at a list price of $2695.00 USD.

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