Get the Skinny
on all things Vertech

Breaking news, fresh ideas, industry insights,
weekend escapades, it's all right here.

RSS header - this is hidden

Using MQTT with Ignition SCADA

The MQTT protocol is rapidly being adopted as a reliable, efficient protocol in modern industrial data collection applications. MQTT uses a variety of techniques to provide highly efficient use of bandwidth to collect data from a wide range of sources and then make that data available to interested subscribers. Cirrus Link Solutions provides various modules for Inductive Automation Ignition enabling applications to take advantage of this protocol for building IIoT and SCADA applications.

Read More

Web Development in Ignition SCADA

There are two independent web development type modules in Ignition that allow one to host a custom API or web page on a web server directly from Ignition – the WebDev module by Inductive Automation and the Web Services module by Sepasoft. Both of these modules allow external systems (ERP, SAP, DBs, etc.) to interact with Ignition, which can be used as a central hub for bidirectional data processing for these systems. The two main classes of web services are REST (Representational State Transfer) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). REST is available through both modules and can utilize JSON and XML data formats, while SOAP is available only through the Web Services module and only utilizes XML data formats.

Read More

Applying Big Data Analytics on the Plant Floor

Back in 1834, Samuel Taylor wrote a poem titled “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that is still famous in part for its line “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” Much like those ill-fated mariners, our manufacturing enterprises accumulate ever larger oceans of data, but we struggle to squeeze a drop of information from them. Data analytics to the rescue! From looking at what happened in the past to predicting what might occur in the future, knowing how to effectively apply big data analytics techniques on your plant floor can provide numerous time, cost, and resource saving benefits.

 

Read More

SCADA Software or Industrial Data Platform?

For decades now, SCADA software has been an indispensable monitoring, control, and diagnostic tool for plant operators. SCADA software has almost entirely replaced mimic panels, push-button stations, circular chart recorders, and the like, and most plants would not operate for long without it. As the evolution continues, modern SCADA platforms are uniquely positioned to transition beyond the plant floor to center stage as the Industrial Data Platform for digital manufacturing enterprises.

Read More

Tips for Using Python in Ignition SCADA Software

Python is a popular high-level programming language known for its readability and performance. Typically, when you code in Python, you’re using the standard Python implementation – CPython – which is simply Python written in C. When scripting in the Ignition SCADA software by Inductive Automation however, you’re actually using Jython – a flavor of Python that runs in the Java Virtual Machine. With Jython come a few tips that you should know. 

Read More

Integrating Slack with WinCC OA SCADA Software

In a previous post, I shared a method to send data from the Siemens WinCC OA SCADA software package to the Slack messaging service. I then thought about how cool it would be to do the same thing but to send messages from Slack to WinCC OA.  Using a bi-directional connection, WinCC OA can push things like event notifications, periodic production information, or maintenance requests to Slack, and then recipients can acknowledge receipt and take action. This could even be used for alarm acknowledgement, and that's the use case I'll focus on in this post.

Read More

SCADA System Telemetry Network Transformation

Like any SCADA system component, radio telemetry networks age and eventually need an upgrade. The Town of Queen Creek in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area was faced with this eventuality when their rapid growth exceeded the capability of their existing 900MHz radio telemetry network. They needed new radio infrastructure that could provide reliable, high-speed connections to their existing sites, provide expansion capacity, and allow integration of video at remote sites.

Read More

Building a SCADA System for Georgia Power’s 416 Acre Solar Field

When it comes to a power-plant-scale solar field, there are a lot of pieces that need to be integrated and communicate with each other, including inverters, trackers, soil monitoring stations, meteorological stations, substation power meters, and relays. The challenge is doing all of this with a single supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that is user-friendly so that maintenance and operations groups can easily use it and provide long-term operational support.

Read More

5 Tips to Improve Ignition SCADA Performance

In addition to a great software platform, a SCADA system requires a solid hardware and network architecture to be high performing in a particular application. Without proper application, you might open up Task Manager to find that the 16 GB of RAM on your new computer suddenly feels like 16 MB. When developing a system using Ignition SCADA software from Inductive Automation, you may encounter performance issues depending on the type of hardware you're using and how your system is set up. Here are a few configuration tips to transform a sluggish SCADA into a fast and responsive system.

Read More

A Unique Approach to SCADA System Alarm Management

Alarm management is an old topic that has probably been addressed thousands of times over the years. The holy grail of SCADA system alarm management is a system that pinpoints the exact cause of a problem no matter how much hell has broken loose on the plant floor. The problem is that when one thing goes wrong, lots of other things tend to go wrong, and the operator is left looking for a needle in a flaming haystack. There has to be a better way!

Read More