Easy to Build Reports from Automation Data

Easy to Build Reports from Automation Data

Data are worthless without the ability to put it into a context and present it in a simple way to decision makers—no matter where in the company they reside. Enter Ocean Data Systems (ODS) and its product Dream Report.

Note: Dream Report obviously is an advertiser on this blog. However, I’m not a trade magazine, so writing about advertisers isn’t mandatory. I’ve known the Marketing VP for almost 20 years, and he has always represented quality products. I pass this along not as a reviewer but because I think it’s useful.

Ocean Data Systems (ODS) announced that Dream Report version 4.82 is posted and available for download. Along with a broad array of Customer Software Change Requests (SCRs), this release delivers on a theme of Partner Connectivity. Dream Report is now the official solution for the Aveva – ClearSCADA solution and version 4.82 includes drivers to access historical values, historical messages and real-time values. This release also includes new connectivity for the OSIsoft – PI Historian and Asset Framework. Enhanced connectivity is also delivered for the Aveva – Wonderware Online InSight product and the Dream Report – Advanced ODBC Driver for time series data in SQL Databases.

General features and benefits improvements include an enhanced Automatic Statistic Table to add flexibility for ad-hoc analysis, new access to Table Footer data delivering the ability to enhance report calculations using table footer results and support for .xlsm (Excel File Format) to support macros.

“Each new ‘Purpose Built’ Driver added to Dream Report enables Dream Report to ideally support a new market segment and lets those customers benefit from Dream Report – Compliance Reports, Performance Dashboards and Ad-hoc Analysis,” explained Roy Kok, VP Sales and Marketing for Ocean Data Systems. “We always include enhancements that benefit our entire installed base and this release is no different. The Dream Report release notes, in the documentation directory, will detail all changes.”

Founded in 2004, Ocean Data Systems develops software solutions for industrial compliance and performance; reports, dashboards, and ad-hoc analysis and troubleshooting. Dream Report delivers both local and Internet connectivity to all major HMI/SCADA, Historian and business data sources through either proprietary or industry standard drivers. Dream Report’s markets include process, hybrid and discrete; with special functionality for Life Sciences (Pharmaceutical and Biotech), Water, Wastewater, Heat Treat, Building Automation, Energy Management and Manufacturing Operations.

These are the main features of Dream Report:

1- DATA COLLECTION
Dream Report integrates a robust communication kernel to collect data and alarms from multiple real time and historian sources. It uses OPC, OLE, and ODBC standards to connect and collect Data from different suppliers. Moreover, ODS develops custom drivers to leverage native history from SCADA systems, DCS, RTU and more….

2- DATA LOGGING
Dream Report integrates a powerful historian module to log clean and accurate data in any standard database such as SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Access…
This unique feature position Dream Report not only as a reporting tool, but also as the ideal solution of field Data integration for enterprise applications.

3- DATA EXTRACTION & ANALYSIS
Dream Report integrates a user friendly object library to extract Data statistics and analysis to be displayed in multiple views like tables, Bars, Pies, Charts and more…

4- REPORT DESIGN
Dream Report’s studio integrates an intuitive graphical editor to create and save state of the art reports as templates.

5- REPORT GENERATION & DISTRIBUTION
Dream Report enables to generate reports manually and automatically. The automatic mode enables to execute report on event and on schedule. When ready, reports can be automatically printed, emailed, stored and published over the web.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Makes Mark at Hannover Messe 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Makes Mark at Hannover Messe 2018

Most of my time involves Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) where I am devoting about 2.5 hours a day to interviews. As one person asked, what does HPE have to offer. Briefly described, HPE has a variety of compute devices, services, and partnerships.

One application was a prescriptive maintenance solution where IoT data is analyzed and the CMMS is notified to initiate a work order. We are not in the era of self-healing machines, yet, but we are one step closer where the machine can begin a maintenance workflow with information about what to repair.

The SecureEdge Data Center combines enclosures from Rittal, I/O from ABB, and Edgeline edge computing hardware from HPE into a scalable industrial center to provide IIoT data to the enterprise from ABB robotics and automation.

As a former machine vision integrator, I loved the video analytics demo application showing Relimetrics software to analyze servers in manufacturing. In this case, the application read a 2D barcode to determine the build, discovered the bill of materials, and then checked that all the proper components were in the assembly, that everything was properly installed, and there were no other defects.

One application of Edgeline edge compute devices, for example, is in partnership with National Instruments to accomplish complex testing at the edge with communication to the cloud as necessary. Edge compute is also important in autonomous vehicles where decisions must be quickly executed locally, but large amounts of data must also be communicated to the cloud for further analysis.

Speaking of partnerships, HPE has forged significant partnerships in the industrial world with ABB, GE Digital, OSIsoft, PTC (Kepware and ThingWorx), Rittal, and Schneider Electric. Most of these involve a significant IT infrastructure including power at the Edge from HPE along with data and connectivity plus solutions targeted to various industrial applications.

IIoT It’s All About Data—Machine-Learning Data Discovery

IIoT It’s All About Data—Machine-Learning Data Discovery

Manufacturing technology professionals have been working with data of many types for years. Our sensors, instrumentation, and control systems yield terabytes of data. Then we bury them in historians or other databases on servers we know not where.

Companies are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain with a variety of approaches for handling, using, analyzing, and finding all this data. Try on this one.

Io-Tahoe LLC, a pioneer in machine learning-driven smart data discovery products that span a wide range of heterogeneous technology platforms, from traditional databases and data warehouses to data lakes and other modern repositories, announced the General Availability (GA) launch of the Io-Tahoe smart data discovery platform.

The GA version includes the addition of Data Catalog, a new feature that allows data owners and data stewards to utilize a machine learning-based smart catalog to create, maintain and search business rules; define policies and provide governance workflow functionality. Io-Tahoe’s data discovery capability provides complete business rule management and enrichment. It enables a business user to govern the rules and define policies for critical data elements. It allows data-driven enterprises to enhance information about data automatically, regardless of the underlying technology and build a data catalog.

“Today’s digital business is driving new requirements for data discovery,” said Stewart Bond, Director Data Integration and Integrity Software Research, IDC. “Now more than ever enterprises are demanding effective, and comprehensive, access to their data – regardless of where it is retained – with a clear view into more than its metadata, but its contents as well. Io-Tahoe is delivering a robust platform for data discovery to empower governance and compliance with a deeper view and understanding into data and its relationships.”

“Io-Tahoe is unique as it allows the organization to conduct data discovery across heterogeneous enterprise landscapes, ranging from databases, data warehouses and data lakes, bringing disparate data worlds together into a common view which will lead to a universal metadata store,” said Oksana Sokolovsky, CEO, Io-Tahoe. “This enables organizations to have full insight into their data, in order to better achieve their business goals, drive data analytics, enhance data governance and meet regulatory demands required in advance of regulations such as GDPR.”

Increasing governance and compliance demands have created a dramatic opportunity for data discovery. According to MarketsandMarkets, the data discovery market is estimated to grow from $4.33 billion USD in 2016 to $10.66 billion USD in 2021. This is driven by the increasing importance of data-driven decision making and self-service business intelligence (BI) tools. However, the challenge of integrating the growing number of disparate platforms, databases, data lakes and other silos of data has prevented the comprehensive governance, and use, of enterprise data.

Io-Tahoe’s smart data discovery platform features a unique algorithmic approach to auto-discover rich information about data and data relationships. Its machine learning technology looks beyond metadata, at the data itself for greater insight and visibility into complex data sets, across the enterprise. Built to scale for even the largest of enterprises, Io-Tahoe makes data available to everyone in the organization, untangling the complex maze of data relationships and enabling applications such as data science, data analytics, data governance and data management.

The technology-agnostic platform spans silos of data and creates a centralized repository of discovered data upon which users can enable Io-Tahoe’s Data Catalog to search and govern. Through convenient self-service features, users can bolster team engagement through the simplified and accurate sharing of data knowledge, business rules and reports. Here users have a greater ability to analyze, visualize and leverage business intelligence and other tools, all of which have become the foundation to power data processes.

Software Is Center Stage at Rockwell Automation Event

Software Is Center Stage at Rockwell Automation Event

Data is the new currency.

I heard that somewhere. There is much truth buried in the thought. That makes software and connectivity key technologies. I hear this everywhere. I am thinking through what I learned at the Rockwell Automation event while at an enterprise computing event in Spain. Enterprise IT has discovered Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Silos are collapsing everywhere.

Still, it is surprising that Rockwell Automation, the quintessential hardware company, emphasizes software. This has become the key component of the Connected Enterprise. There must be sales dollars here, also. Theory is nice, but sales are nicer.

By the way, here is proof I was there. A “Robot Selfie” from the Innovation Booth.

The Rockwell software portfolio has been growing a step at a time. This year it looks like it has most of the pieces assembled for a full manufacturing software suite. And this is not only MES. That is a component, for sure. But also there is connectivity, historian, databases. And now what appears to be a robust analytics application.

John Genovesi, Vice President of Information Software, told me during our interview, that the company had made a couple of small acquisitions (in Silicon Valley they call it “aquihiring”) last March and already the new team has written an analytics engine that forms the guts of the new application.

Project Scio (see-oh, from the Latin to know) is the next step. To make decisions when and where they matter most, new capabilities offered through Project Scio reduce hurdles to unleashing information. These capabilities open up access to ad-hoc analytics and performs advanced analysis by pulling structured and unstructured data from virtually any existing source in the enterprise. Project Scio can also intelligently fuse related data, delivering analytics in intuitive dashboards – called storyboards – that users can share and view. Users then have the ability to perform self-serve drill downs to make better decisions, dramatically reducing the time to value.

“Providing analytics at all levels of the enterprise – on the edge, on-premises or in the cloud – helps users have the ability to gain insights not possible before,” said Genovesi. “When users gain the ability to fuse multiple data sources and add machine learning, their systems could become more predictive and intelligent. Scio puts analytics to work for everyone. By its addition to the scalable and open FactoryTalk Analytics Platform, Project Scio gives users secure, persona-based access to all data sources, structured or unstructured. And a configurable, easy-to-use interface means that all users can become self-serving data scientists to solve problems and drive tangible business outcomes.”

Key attributes of Project Scio include the following:

  • Device Auto-Discovery: Manually mapping software to each plant-floor device can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. Project Scio can auto-discover Rockwell Automation devices and tags, as well as third-party device data, to save time and help reduce risk. Additionally, the auto-discovery process gives users access to more detailed information than is typically available through manual mapping, such as device name, line location and plant location.
  • Leave Isolated Analytics Behind: Rather than leave data at its source and take database snapshots, Project Scio brings data into a centralized location and can continually refresh that data. Additionally, connections to data sources only need to be established once. This connection allows users to create custom analytics and refresh them at their preferred rate without the support of a data scientist.
  • Flexible Machine Learning (ML): Use the right ML algorithm for the right use case. Project Scio is configurable to support many industry-leading algorithms, including SparkML, MLLib and Python.
  • Closed-Looped Analytics:Using either ML or predefined settings, Project Scio includes capabilities that can monitor operations and automatically trigger control adjustments if processes start to fall outside allowable parameters. This can help users optimize control, improve product quality and consistency, and reduce scrap and waste.
  • Applications Marketplace: Rockwell Automation will introduce an applications marketplace for applications developed in-house and by third parties. The ability to access any data source and create custom analytics for each user’s application is a central feature. However, users can also take advantage of pre-engineered FactoryTalk Analytics applications from Rockwell Automation. These applications allow users to monitor common KPIs, such as OEE and quality, in a standardized way and without any configuration.
  • Open Architecture: Industrial producers cannot be expected to rip and replace all their legacy control and information systems before gaining value from analytics. These scalable and open-architecture capabilities are designed to be extended to a full ecosystem of IIoT data sources. The quick connection to the full range of systems that feed data into a Connected Enterprise includes controllers, MES software and edge devices.

In addition to these Information Solutions, Rockwell Automation offers a range of Connected Services which helps provide customers the ability to ensure network integrity, security, infrastructure design and maintenance, and remote monitoring of equipment including predictive maintenance. These services can help customers with every aspect of their Connected Enterprise journey, including developing an IIoT infrastructure and strategy, and providing remote monitoring and analytics.

New OPC UA Support

Rockwell spokespeople made sure that I understood two things with this year’s message. Scalable. And Open. The company is adopting open, interoperable communications. Notice above that the self-discovery is not only Rockwell’s products, but also those from other companies.

Another interoperable standard that Rockwell has not supported much for years is OPC United Architecture (UA).

Interesting quote from the news release, “We actually helped develop the OPC UA specification, and we’re now adding OPC UA support into our portfolio.”

The initial offering on the software side includes OPC UA client/server functionality in the FactoryTalk Linx software, which it will be launching in early 2018. There also are future product-line extensions planned for both software and hardware portfolios. Second, the FactoryTalk Linx Gateway provides an OPC UA server interface to deliver information collected by FactoryTalk Linx from Logix 5000 and other Allen-Bradley controllers to external OPC UA clients. This permits third-party software to coexist with FactoryTalk software.

For example, custom-built MES applications can interact directly with the control layer to better coordinate production. The FactoryTalk Linx Gateway also will include a new FactoryTalk Linx Data Bridge software service that will transfer sets of tag data from one data source to another at a user-defined rate. This permits movement of data between servers and, more importantly, enables Logix 5000 controllers to indirectly interface with OPC UA servers. Among its many uses, this software could allow Logix 5000 controllers to interact and control a robot, weight scale or similar automation device using OPC UA.

Canvass Analytics, OSIsoft to Deliver Predictive Insights

Canvass Analytics, OSIsoft to Deliver Predictive Insights

Whether it is the Industrial Internet of Things or Industry 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing no benefits are garnered at the end without a superb analytics engine. Recently I talked with Humera Malik, CEO of Canvass Analytics, about a new analytics company and product that brings Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to the field.

Early in my management career we called accounting “ancient historians” because reports only came out 10 days following a month end. That is too late to be what we call these days “actionable information.”

Turns out that a similar problem has existed in the predictive analytics field. OSIsoft and others have provided tools to capture huge amounts of industrial and manufacturing data. To get anything out of it you needed to establish a project, bring in a bunch of data scientists, and try to glean some trends or fit some models.

What was needed was a powerful engine that can use this data closer to real time, fit it into a model (selecting one from among several), and give operators, maintenance technicians, engineers, and others information in a useable time frame without bringing in a bunch of data scientists. These data scientists it turns out need to reside in the software. The entire process must be transparent to the user.

Enter Canvass Analytics, a provider of AI-enabled predictive analytics for Industrial IoT, which just announced a partnership with OSIsoft, a global leader in operational intelligence, that will enable Industrial companies to accelerate the return on investment of their IoT initiatives.

Malik commented, “Predictive and automated analytics gives operations teams the insights to answer questions such as, how can I increase yield, how can I reduce downtime and how can I reduce my maintenance costs? Canvass’ AI-enabled analytics platform accelerates the delivery of predictive insights by automating data analysis and leveraging machine learning technologies to adapt to data changes in real-time. For operations teams, this means they have the latest intelligence in order to make critical operational decisions.”

The combination of OSIsoft’s methodology to collect, store and stream data from any Industrial IoT source with Canvass’ AI-enabled automated analytics platform brings a new approach to creating predictive models that continually retrain themselves. With the resulting insight, Industrial companies have the potential to reduce plant maintenance by up to 50 percent and optimize plant operations by 30 percent.

“We are enthusiastic about the value that we see companies like Canvass Analytics extracting from the vast amounts of IIoT and other streaming data that we collect in our role as the single source of the truth,” said J. Patrick Kennedy, founder and CEO of OSIsoft.

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