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Old January 6th, 2014, 09:41 PM   #1

V0N_hydro is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: lower mainland
Posts: 554
FactoryTalk HMI architecture computers and panelview mix


I am responsible for controls in 1 hydroelectric plant out of 3 plants that are being constructed. This is my first project with Allen Bradley gear and I'm a bit uncertain as to how the HMI from all three plants is going to be integrated at the common control center in a coherent way. The plants are 20-50 miles away from eachother.

I have attached a picture that shows the following components:
Each plant has a PLC and touchscreen HMI at the intake which is a couple miles from the powerhouse.

The powerhouse has a control room containing the control panels consisting of: a common PLC and touchscreen in the plant to co-ordinate the generators, a PLC and touchscreen for each generator. There is also a computer based HMI in the plant control room.

The purpose of the touchscreen HMI at the intake and on the common control panel is to be "an exact replica" of the computer based powerhouse HMI.

The touchscreens specific to each generator are meant to display a few key process values, they are a substitute for analog meters and pushbuttons etc.

At one of the plants there is a manned control room. The other two plants are to be operated remotely most of the time from the common control room.

Also people will want to be able to extract data for reporting etc from the head office.

With citect the HMI project from each plant can be "included" in the HMI project at the common control room and citect will talk to the IO/Data/Alarm/Trend server at each plant. All that needs to be done is to make one overview type screen that shows the whole cluster of plants and allows navigation to each screen from the included projects. Does a similar mechanism exist in Factory Talk? Anything I should be aware of when acquiring licenses or designing PLC program / HMI screens that could bite?

It would appear that all the touchscreens should be PanelView6+, possibly with extended features so they can be accessed via VNC or remote desktop. The PanelView 6+ has a resolution of 1280x768. If the Panelview 6+ touchscreen HMI on the common control panel cell and at the intake is an exact replica of the the FactoryTalk SE HMI they will all have to be 1024x768, which is kind of small for a desktop HMI but workable. Is it possible to download the exact same project to a PanelView 6+ (which runs the machine edition run-time) and a dell-computer which runs the site edition client, or am I going to have to make multiple projects?

Or should the touchscreens be industrial computers running factory talk site edition view clients?

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on how best to approach this with maximum re-use of the same screens which need to be displayed 5 different places (common touchscreen, intake touchscreen, plant hmi computer, common control room hmi computer, head office hmi client).

How is FactoryTalkViewPoint which appears to be an HMI client that is launched through/within a web browser?

I think I need
2711P-T15C4D9 15" PV6+ with extended features no keypads
9701-VWSS025LENE FactoryTalk View Site Edition Server 25 Display with RSLinx Bundle at my plant
9701-VWSCWAENE FactoryTalk View Site Edition Client for head office
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hmi architecture.jpg (46.9 KB, 57 views)

Last edited by V0N_hydro; January 6th, 2014 at 09:56 PM. Reason: resolution is 1024x768
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Old January 7th, 2014, 07:55 AM   #2
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United States

Paullys50 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 2,168
Couple things I'll state first, I've been out of the FTView SE/ME game for a while and am not up-to-speed on the features of a PV6+ terminal. But based on what you are say you need from a management perspective, FTView SE Server/Client seems to be what you want, however your application needs seem pretty basic for FTView SE Server/Clients...

Managing an an SE application and ME application and trying to keep them "exact" will be challenging. They are two different environments, while similar they are different. Then of course, deployment of the two different platforms will be a hassle if/when you make changes. Especially to the PanelViews.

I despise low-resolution displays unless it's a dedicated basic piece of equipment. With large wide-screen monitors and such now, for cheap...why limit yourself? 1024x768 for any type of process equipment is pathetic. So I'm all for a dedicated computer with a 19" or larger touch-screen monitor.

You mention FactoryTalk Viewpoint, which could be a compromise, again I'm out-of-date with it, when I deployed it 3 years ago it was "read only", perfect for the corporate management team, but not usable for operations. You deploy the FTView SE application you created so there isn't much more management too it.

What type of budget do you have? Ultimately I think that will play a larger role in your system design. FTView SE server in your common control room, configured as a Terminal Server (RDP server) then thin clients in your remote locations would centralize everything. But that would incur higher licensing costs, higher hardware costs, but set you up for the long-run. Especially if you get into lots of trending/data collection/reporting.

You should be able to create different "areas" in FTView SE, so connecting to the different plant IO servers and such shouldn't be much of an issue (assuming network connectivity is already sorted out).

I would contact your AB rep, they are pretty good at helping establish what you will need based on the desired architecture. Good to bounce ideas off of them. We have a great contact and I'll call him in, talk for an hour or two to review the needs and we'll bang out a good approach and he proceeds to get all part number and licensing info I need for software.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 11:45 AM   #3

V0N_hydro is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: lower mainland
Posts: 554
Thanks for some great points.

I think there will probably be a FTView SE server at each plant so in the event of a communications failure between the plant and the common control room the plant is still 100% operable.
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