Network Support for Controls Engineers
When PLCs were first used for control, the programmers were called every time the
machine stopped. In most cases the problem was a simple connection or limit switch issue. Without knowing for sure everyone assumed it was the
software! Everyone waited for the programmer to come down and fix the problem. .....
Today this problem still exists - whenever communications stops, users assume - it must
be the driver's fault - get the OPC server provider on the phone!
Eventually graphically enhanced software tools providing logic flow enabled plant
technicians to handle these frequent events. This reduced downtime and costs.
IntraVUE was developed to assist by providing a similar graphical tool for network
issues. By providing the ability of local support, in which 80% of the occurrences are connection or end device related, IntraVUE reduces the
need for highly skilled IT resources to solve basic network problems.
IntraVUE was developed to fill a gap between existing IT networking tools and what is needed
to support Ethernet applications on the plant floor. It has been specifically developed with the goals of simplicity of use. The features and capabilities
centered on the requirement to manage groups of distributed Ethernet nodes. The need for such a package is growing as more devices are being
connected to Ethernet. Ethernet 10 years ago may have existed on the plant floor but usually connecting only PCs and, possibly, very large PLCs or CNCs. The drive to Ethernet,
accelerated by ModbusTCP, EtherNet/IP, Foundation Fieldbus HSE, and PROFInet is dramatically increasing the number of connection points on the plant floor.
Bridges the Gap between Plant Floor and IT
In today's world there is often tension between the shop floor and IT departments. IntraVUE is
designed to help ease those tensions by:
- Giving Controls Engineers the tools to help solve problems in their plant floor
network without having to bother the IT department.
- Helping Control Engineers communicate useful data about problems with the IT team, without
having to turn the Controls Engineer into an IT Expert.
- At the same time, IntraVUE does not take over the job of the IT department in network
management because IntraVUE is for documentation, status, and troubleshooting.