In the competitive world of systems integration and machine building, it’s important to have an added value or service that puts you ahead of the competition. Even if all things are equal, a feature with tangible value can really help you sell your solution over that of a competitor. One popular way we’ve seen InduSoft Web Studio users up their game is to offer a fully integrated mobile solution on a smartphone or tablet device that allows machine operators to view and (optionally) interact with their mobile HMI away from the machine, or allows floor managers access to critical process data from an office, or even from home.
InduSoft offers three different types of mobile solution; a Secure Viewer, which allows the support of all InduSoft Web Studio security features and runs on any Windows based PC, a Web Thin client which uses the Internet Explorer browser, and the Studio Mobile Access (SMA) client which offers process information on any web browser, including the iPad and Android devices. In addition to these solutions, it’s also possible to use a remote desktop application and connect most tablets and smartphones directly to the PC running InduSoft Web Studio. With these three solutions, it’s possible to create a mobile offering for nearly any device.
There are some definite advantages to building a mobile solution as a value-added product. Here is a brief list of some of the ways an addition like this can save you both time and money and offer your customer more value:
Efficiency – Being able to access a machine remotely or view dashboards of trends across a plant floor give machine operators and managers a chance to make adjustments even when they’re not able to be physically at the machine. This may include stopping a machine when certain values are not met, or knowing at a glance whether or not an entire plant is operating at the expected levels. A mobile SCADA solution is particularly valuable to anyone with remote facilities in hard-to-access places. Allowing operators to interact with machines and make decisions while they’re not in the field can be critical.
Preventive Care – A mobile solution can not only make things more efficient, it can also help guard against disaster. If machine operators and managers are notified of problems immediately wherever they are, it’s possible to take action before product is wasted, or the machine is damaged. Regular alerts can also let users know when it is time to perform preventive maintenance on machines such as lubrication or filter replacement.
Acknowledge Alarms and Maintain Traceability – Some regulations, such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11, require that alarms be acknowledged and traced to the user who acknowledged them. A solution such as InduSoft Web Studio’s SMA will allow this to occur on any device, whether it’s an Android phone, an iPad, or a Blackberry device.
A Unified Solution – One benefit to having a solution already in place for a specific mobile device will allow you to ensure that everything works seamlessly for the customer. By integrating a mobile option from the beginning, it’s possible to verify that everything communicates well. This may prevent a situation in which an incorrectly configured mobile connection causes a customer to miss important data.
Because InduSoft Web Studio provides one instance of each thin client solution, it’s possible to incorporate a simple mobile solution to clients without an additional cost burden in licensing. Take advantage of a great built-in capability of your SCADA software to offer more to customers!