Posts Tagged ‘zenon Analyzer’

Energy Data Management: Insecure cloud? Disadvantages and concerns

Friday, January 15th, 2016

LockAs tempting as the implementation of an EDMS solution in the cloud appears, there is some cause for concern. After last weeks’ blog articles describing EDMS solutions in the cloud, I’d briefly like to discuss these concerns.

Internet access is absolutely necessary because the service is only available online. The connection should ideally be stable, quick and synchronous.

In addition, the data is outside your own area of responsibility and some companies fear that they can no longer fully monitor it. The access to data also appears to be a weak point if it is transferred using the internet. In addition, data could get into the hands of others or be tampered with through hacker attacks.

However, if we assess these perceived weak points in detail, we understand that data in the cloud is subject to the same risk of attack as data that is stored locally in your own infrastructure. Successful hacker attacks usually are focussed on data that is in local IT infrastructure and not in the cloud. However, as a result of the centralization in datacenters, the danger of an attack is however increased.

Major cloud providers such as Microsoft are aware of this and know that their business model can only work if customers have trust in their products. For this reason, data security is of the utmost importance in Microsoft Azure. A range of integrated security measures ensure data security in the cloud. The exchange of data to the cloud is in encrypted form. Customers can select the datacenter where they want the data to be stored – there are two in Europe, for example. Microsoft provides more detailed information on the security measures for Azure at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us.

Outlook: A short conclusion on the previous blog articles about EDMS in the cloud

The cloud model has passed the start-up phase and established itself worldwide. Most of all, it is small and medium-size companies that can benefit from innovative solutions with the help of the cloud because the cloud removes the need to heavily invest in the setup of a comprehensive infrastructure and staff. The zenon Energy Data Management System is optimally tailored to meet such demands and it is being continually developed. The next version of zenon Analyzer, 3.0, will offer a number of updates such as efficiency class analysis, dynamic normalization of measured data, weather adjustment and much more. Let yourself be amazed!

 

The Possibilities of zenon and zenon Analyzer in the Cloud

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The cloud offers some interesting benefits that make moving an energy data management system to the cloud interesting for companies of any size. You can implement the cloud solution flexibly, because both zenon and zenon Analyzer offer secure connections to Microsoft Azure. The following scenarios are possible:

Scenario 1: Data in the Cloud

With this variant, the software components, zenon Operator, zenon Supervisor and zenon Analyzer, are installed locally. The data is stored in the cloud. Energy data is recorded free from error in the LAN and does not depend on the internet connection. Only in the next step is the data stored in the cloud. If the internet connection fails, the data is cached locally until the connection is re-established again. The data that is stored decentrally can be called up from the cloud regardless of location. If the energy manager is not at the same site or if a company has several production sites, this is a decisive organizational advantage. Another plus is that upfront investment costs and running costs are low.

EDMS_Scenario_1_without_text_EN

Scenario 2: zenon Analyzer in the Cloud

In this process, zenon Analyzer is installed in the cloud in full. The data is stored locally on the respective zenon Operator or zenon Supervisor. For reports, zenon Analyzer gets this local data and creates the respective reports. This solution is primarily interesting if there are several production sites that record data independent of one another. The investment costs and running costs are low; the solution can be easily scaled up if required.

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Scenario 3: Both Data and zenon Analyzer in the Cloud

With this scenario, the infrastructure is almost completely moved to the cloud. The data is stored in the cloud and zenon Analyzer is also installed in the cloud. You thus no longer need to worry about data storage and the server infrastructure. The internet connection is no longer a limiting factor, because the data connection within the cloud is extremely fast. Here too, there is a decisive advantage in location independence: regardless of whether you have several production sites, regardless of where the energy manager is, the data can always be evaluated and analyzed anywhere. With this solution too, the costs are low and the storage capacity and computing power can be adapted individually and expanded quickly.

EDMS_Scenario_3_without_text_EN

Energy data management with a certain something – Reports from the cloud

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

If you have decided to introduce an EDMS, you have several possibilities for implementation. EDMS is generally set up locally and embedded into the existing IT infrastructure. Here there will be one-time investment costs in hardware and software, and the ongoing support must be guaranteed. The advantage of this solution is that you have it all in your hands, although the centralization, the cost of investment and the administrative expenses can be disadvantageous, at least initially. Alternatively, you can move parts of the EDMS to the cloud and thus minimize the investment costs and the ongoing support work.

zenon_cloud_solution_icon

Why use Cloud Services?

The cloud offers some interesting benefits that make moving an energy data management system to the cloud interesting for companies of any size. The advantages are both financial and organizational:

  • Low, one-time investment costs
  • Location-independent EDMS
  • Quick and simple availability

And: it is the ideal solution if you are looking for a system that you can expand flexibly according to your needs. If, for example, production is distributed over several sites, then it does not matter where the energy manager is based. Integration is not significantly different from a local installation. You can implement the cloud solution flexibly, because both zenon and zenon Analyzer offer secure connections to Microsoft Azure. The following scenarios are possible:

  • Data in the cloud; zenon Analyzer local
  • zenon Analyzer in the cloud; data local
  • Both data and zenon Analyzer in the cloud

These three scenarios will be described in more detail in next week’s blog post.

zenon EDMS: Energy Data Management with a System

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

EDMS Energy consumption comparison per bottleCurrently only a few topics are as widely discussed as the directive of the European Union to increase energy efficiency. There are a number of solutions which support companies to achieve their energy goals. However, most are limited to the minimum legal requirements for the monitoring and recording of energy consumption and load profiles. This is an option, of course, but not the best one by a long shot. This is because implementing the legal requirements is, at best, just a scratch on the surface. A meaningful evaluation of energy efficiency is only possible if the energy used is also compared to the actual value created. To do this, it is necessary to include production data. Only then is it possible for companies to see how efficiently they really use energy.

zenon Energy Data Management System

When it is a matter of not just somehow managing energy data, but also increasing efficiency and reducing costs, we recommend our zenon Energy Data Management System (EDMS). First of all: it is not an off-the-shelf EDMS, but instead a customized solution package that can be individually adapted to your requirements. It meets the requirements of the TÜV SÜD “Certified Energy Data Management” standard and was certified accordingly. The zenon EDMS thus provides you with optimum support when implementing your ISO 50001 certification too.

A particular advantage of the zenon EDMS is that you do not need any specific hardware for the recording of consumption data. The zenon EDMS adapts to your infrastructure, not the other way round. Integration with existing systems can even take place during ongoing production. It also supports over 300 communication protocols and interfaces. You can thus include energy data from various sources. Metering points that do not allow automated recording due to their location can be read and recorded manually as offline meters. These meters and the attendant measuring devices are managed and administered in zenon using the specialized Metering Point Administration module.

When setting up the meters and measuring devices, you can set the parameters for recording the data in full. After this, you can flexibly visualize the energy consumption data in the familiar zenon way. Reports and key figures can also be displayed in real time.

High quality evaluation of historical data is another essential function of an effective energy data management system. The reporting software zenon Analyzer, with its enormous variety and flexibility, comes into play here. Reports are not predefined and fixed in zenon Analyzer; they are available as report templates. You can simply amend these with the supplied zenon Analyzer Management Studio. Once you have configured a report template optimally for your requirements, you can derive the report from it. In this way, a number of reports can be created from just one report template, offering many different perspectives on energy consumption: be it for a machine, a production list, the complete operating area or with filtering for batches, shifts and much more.

Even the basic zenon EDMS license includes ten report templates with different subject areas for trend reports, load curves, cost evaluations, annual load duration curves and more. As an option, further analyses such as a Sankey diagram, waterfall diagram or OEE analysis are possible.

With the zenon EDMS and zenon Analyzer, you no longer only measure and report on energy data, you can also assess it in relation to other recorded values and thus measure productivity or review it against your own key performance indicators. You not only record how much energy you have consumed; you can also evaluate how this energy was used. For example, you can receive key figures detailing how much energy you have used per day, per batch or per item.

You can access these reports at any time using whichever web browser you prefer. You do not need to install a client or a plug-in. You can create the reports required on a cyclical basis automatically and receive them via email.

 

Managing your meters, providing the values – the Metering Point Administration

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

MeteringPointAdministrationDo you want to establish energy data management at your plant? You´re using a mixture of meters with just a display and no I/Os etc. connected to zenon? You want to have an overview of the meters and metering points at your site? zenon´s new Metering Point Administration might be the perfect tool for you.

The Metering Point Administration allows you to maintain a list of metering points and meters, stored in an SQL database. You are provided with all the required properties (type, manufacturer, serial number, equipment model, etc.) to easily group the list as you wish and find what you are looking for. By using the same database structure as the Industrial Maintenance Manager (IMM) you can even define maintenance tasks for your meters.

Every metering point provides values to zenon. Absolute values read from the metering points (automatically or manually) can be converted into relative values and be automatically stored in archives. This conversion considers the exchange of meters which would normally lead to negative relative values and thus to incorrect reports. If, for whatever reason, there are still incorrect values in the archives, the metering point administration offers a convenient way to modify them. The archives filled by the Metering Point Administration work perfectly with the zenon Analyzer to provide all different kinds reports, including OEE and EDMS reports.

Interfacing with SQL Servers with zenon – zenon Analyzer

Monday, September 8th, 2014

zenon AnalyzerThe zenon Analyzer is a standalone product which provides dynamic production reporting.

Use Case

The zenon Analyzer compiles historical data and online data from any desired source, from the automation infrastructure through to IT, into meaningful reports. The interactive report configuration, with drill-down and drill-through competence, as well as the export of reports into Office formats makes it easier to carry out individual adaptations and implement automatic dispatch.

zenon Analyzer supports benchmarking and quality control and allows the analysis of historical data to identify improvement potential. The clear display of key figures and KPIs such as OEE and reports on production efficiency, consumption management, downtime analyses etc. help to optimize production and contribute to a rapid return on investment.

How it Works

The system works with both centralized databases such as Microsoft SQL, as well as retrieving data directly from distributed production equipment, thus collecting online and offline data. In the latter case, no additional database is needed. Manual data input is also possible.

Both data structure and interfaces are well documented, enabling you to more easily integrate your own customer-defined features. The latest encryption technology ensures the highest level of data security.

A wizard to import meta data into zenon Analyzer is included. Meta data can also be automatically updated through the wizard. Integrated connectors collect the necessary data. zenon Analyzer generates reports from many different types of data e.g. Alarm, shift-related, user-related, historical, real-time, batch. The advantage to you: a reduction in complexity, as only one system needs to be installed rather than needing multiple systems to acquire and convert these different types of data.

zenon Analyzer has a web-based interface. This means that no additional maintenance of clients is needed and no revalidation of the existing environment is necessary. This is particularly helpful for heavily regulated industries such as Food & Beverage or Pharmaceutical. The users have flexible access to reports from any workplace in the network.

Licensing

The zenon Analyzer is licensed separately from the zenon Operator and zenon Supervisor. Please contact your local COPA-DATA Sales Representative for additional licensing information.

zenon Analyzer – Viewing reports on mobile devices. Part 4: Windows Phone

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

zenon Analyzer Report on Windows PhoneFrom the SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and upwards, Reporting Services support viewing and basic interactivity with Windows Phone 8 devices.

The Analyzer Manager is supported; you can simply open the report by using the Analyzer Manager; browse the directory in Analyzer Manager, and then tap the report name to open the report.

As UNC paths are not supported by the mobile version of Internet Explorer it is necessary to enter the Analyzer Manager IP-Address of the host (e.g. http://192.168.0.55/Reports_ZA2).

Restrictions

As you have no gesture for mouse-over you cannot enter the sub-menus in the “Tile View” of the Analyzer Manager (in order to rename, move, … a report)

Reports from E-mail

When using an e-mail that is created by a subscription, tap the URL of the report. The report will open in the browser.

Exporting a Report

Exports as an XML, CSV, PDF, MHTML, Excel, TIFF or Word are possible.

Conclusion

The reports work very well on Windows Phone 8 device. The license is verified.

zenon Analyzer – Viewing reports on mobile devices. Part 3: Galaxy Tab or Smart Phone (from Android version 4.1.2 and upwards)

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The Android OS is NOT officially supported by the reporting services. However it operates with similar restrictions to those of IOS devices.

The Analyzer Manager (http://<computername>/Reports_ZA2) does not function and cannot be used to view reports. Instead, you can contact the Report Server directly by entering the Web Service URL (http://<computername>/ReportServer_ZA2).

The picture you see is like this:

zenonAnalyzer_Android

In this web page you can browse through the folders and open various reports, but again there are some restrictions:

As we have modified the existing filters in the Analyzer Manager (e.g. the Date/Time filter) and developed some new filters (e.g. Equipment model), you can use these filters with full functionality, but with reduced usability and inferior graphical representation. Only the look & feel of the filters provided by the reporting services are still available.

Example:

zenonAnalyzer_Android_2

In this example you can see 2 filters which deviate from our regular standard:

  • The time span filter is only a text-box. You have to enter the filter conditions textually
  • The Equipment group filter is a flat list. You cannot see the structure of the equipment model(s)

Conclusion

The reports function work, but are different to operate. The results shown on the screen are equivalent to the reports shown in Internet Explorer 11, for example.

zenon Analyzer – Viewing reports on mobile devices. Part 2: Microsoft Surface Tablet (with Windows RT)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

zenon Analyzer on Windows SurfaceFrom the SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) onwards, Reporting Services support viewing and basic interactivity of reports on Microsoft Surface devices.

The Analyzer Manager is supported; you can simply open the report by using the Analyzer Manager. Browse the directory in Analyzer Manager, and then tap the report name to open the report.

Restrictions

As you have no gesture for mouseover you cannot enter the sub-menus in the “Tile View” of the Analyzer Manager (for example in order to rename or move a report)

Reports from e-mail

Using an e-mail that is created by a subscription, tap the URL of the report. The report will open in the browser.

Exporting a Report

Exports as an XML, CSV, PDF, MHTML, Excel, TIFF or Word are possible.

Conclusion

The reports work perfectly with a Microsoft Surface device.

 

zenon Analyzer – Viewing reports on mobile devices. Part 1: iPad or iPhone (iOS 6 and newer)

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Mobile devices such as tablets or smart phones are becoming more and more important. They have an integrated web browser, although these browsers sometimes offer restricted functionality. This blog entry series will show you, which mobile devices cooperate with zenon Analyzer and which restrictions exist.

Starting with the SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Reporting Services support viewing and basic interactivity with Apple IOS 6 and Safari browser.

Unfortunately some of the Analyzer Manager functionality (http://<computername>/Reports_ZA2) is not supported, so you cannot use the Analyzer Manager to view reports. Instead, you can directly contact the Report Server by entering the Web Service URL (http://<computername>/ReportServer_ZA2).

The picture you see looks like this:

zenonAnalyzer_MobileDevices

In this web page you can browse the folders and open some reports, but again there are some restrictions:

As we modified the existing filters in the Analyzer Manager (e.g. the Date/Time filter) and developed some new filters (e.g. Equipment model), you can use these filters with full functionality, but only reduced usability and less advanced graphical representation. Only the look & feel of the filters provided by the reporting services is available.

zenonAnalyzer_MobileDevices_Example
In this example you can see 2 filters which are different to our standard:

  • The time span filter is only a text-box. The filter conditions must be entered in text format
  • The Equipment group filter is a flat list. You cannot see the structure of the equipment model(s).

Reports from e-mail:

From an e-mail that is created by a subscription, tap the URL of the report. The report will open in the browser.

Browser settings:

Ensure that the “Private Browsing” property for Safari is turned off.

Exporting a Report:

Exports as a TIFF or PDF file is possible.

Conclusion

The reports work, but are different to operate. The results shown on the screen are equal to the reports shown in Internet Explorer 11 for example. As the Analyzer cannot check for a valid license it must be guaranteed that the user is licensed correctly in the ZAMS.