This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by ctonge. This post has been viewed 632 timesemerson 9 years, 2 months ago. This post has been viewed 632 times
Hi, first off, I love your product. I’m a SCADA systems developer in Ontario, Canada in both the Water and Wastewater industries and Natural Gas measurement. We are interested in using your application as a convenient tool for our customers to view historical data, but also to control and configure systems real time. A couple features that would be really nice to see are:
1. Enable the application to plot a trend from a range of addresses using a pre-configured time period. Our applications don’t typically require real time trending, it’s mostly an operator wanting to pull up a trend from yesterday or last month etc. So as nice as your graph object is, it doesn’t really do us any good.
2. Exporting data from the device, maybe a range of registers, into a .csv file to send via the Mail app. I understand that Apple limits your ability to interface with some of their apps and services, but if you could pull this off it would be excellent. Or at the very least make the collected data .csv available in the application’s file server for download later when the operator gets to a PC.
That’s all for now, i’m testing your app as I type this….so I may have more later….
Thanks and keep up the good work.
The app as it is now is a real time tool, so it does not provide historical data right now. Your question for historical trending and data collection is not only a common request but a logic step towards the future development of the app.
Doing it properly, requires a server next to the PLC storing and providing data to mobile clients. This is definitely a path that we will eventually follow, and we are looking at what options we have. Many users have already PC based systems such as desktop Scadas continuously logging data into a database, so an option would be to implement a driver and a server to bridge between both systems, maybe using OPC facilities on the PC side.
However, there are users too that do not have or do not want to add a new fledged PC next to their PLCs, these are most of our current customers, so we are also evaluating other ways to provide historical data that can be developed. If I understand it well what you describe is a way to serve historical data without a server, but it requires some additional work on the PLC program that may not fit all users. Contrary to the first option, this one will be limited to what you keep stored on your PLC, and user configuration will need to be really careful to prevent misled data. If you have already a particular idea on how to do it I would appreciate that you share it with us, for example how would you manage to have say daily, weekly or monthly data in your PLC?. I imagine that at the ScadaMobile side we could just present graphical data in a similar way as the Stocks app do, in the sense that you would be able to look at data from several time periods or to chose a range within a particular period, but this data needs to be arranged in a known and reproducible way in PLC registers so that this feature can be generalized.
For the csv part this would not be a major problem once we solve the previous one.
I appreciate your feedback.
Hi John, thanks for your prompt response.
The OPC idea is a fantastic one, can’t wait to see where you go with that.
We deal with customers who have sites, mostly natural gas wells that are extremely remote and don’t have reliable means of communicating back to a central SCADA for historical data archiving. By law they have to collect the flow data at set intervals, and if SCADA comms is down or not possible an operator must drive, fly, or snowmobile out to the site to collect the data. This could be in -40C with mittens on, trying to pull out his laptop, start up all the softare for data collection etc….. Our RTUs can sample data and store it in local archive files in the flash memory of the RTU, so even when power is down the historical data is retained. Programmatically we could pull data from those archives and store them in runtime memory, like in this example a range of modbus registers. So for a simple example, if we are totalizing flow from a well daily and storing it in the RTU flash memory I could then make it available in a range of modbus registers that would always provide me with the last 30 days of flow totals. So then with your application I could configure it to read back all those registers, which could be plotted on a graph. Part of the configuration of that graph would be to assign it a period, like 30 days over which to plot the data.
The graphing is more of a luxury, a handy tool for quickly assessing a site’s performance, but not essential. The ability to extract the data in something like a .csv to be saved/emailed would be much more useful. So you could use the same example where we read back 30 holding registers with daily flow totals, and then dump them into a .csv. I guess your tool would allow me (as part of the configuration) to set the range of input/holding register adresses to read back, what to name the .csv file etc. Then the operator only has to run Scadamobile, select the configuration file, go to some page with a button that says something like “Collect Daily Archives” and then saves it locally on the iphone or ipod…….
Hope that helps clarify my suggestion…..clearly this may not be something that every user would find useful, and therefore might not be worth your time in development. But if you ever get it done I know many users that would make good use of it. I’m just in the process of developing/testing two new applications for distribution in Canada, where we will be selling thousands of units in the next 3-5 years. There will be hundreds of personell (integrators and end users) working with the units and a good percentage of them carry iphones and ipod touch devices. If I had a really comprehensive solution ready for those devices I could see a good number of people buying your application. I also train nearly every integrator and end user in Canada that uses our brand of gas flow computers, so I can greatly influence how they go about interfacing with our devices for things like configuration and data collection as I described.
If you would like to chat more about this you can email me directly or we could chat on the phone or skype….I believe you have my email address as part of my registration.
I am emailing you.
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