Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Real-Time Tag Updates with KEPServerEX V5.18

Posted by Aron Semle

On-the-fly, real-time, dynamic—these are all words we use to describe how we want our software to work. Change is happening all the time in plants, and we need software that can keep pace with it without requiring that systems be shut down and rebooted. That’s why I’m excited to share a new feature we’ve added to KEPServerEX version 5.18 that will make your life easier.

Let’s start with an example. You have a lot of assets. On a single KEPServerEX server, you’re running thousands of devices and millions of tags, and dozens of client applications (ranging from HMIs, historians, alarm management systems, ERP, and more) are all accessing your real-time data.

Your system is up and running, and everything is working great. Then one day, you get an email from the IT folks. The ERP system is reporting data that doesn’t quite seem right. The COO was looking over a report and noted the production count read 1125.0; it looked a little odd and IT was asked why. They instantly pointed the finger to you.

You know the production count in the PLC is a DWord, not a Float, so you pull up the KEPServerEX configuration and instantly see the mistake. as-blog-editing-tags-on-the-fly-2015 The System Integrator added the production count tag as a Float. Easy enough. You double-click the tag, go to change the data type to a DWord, and then it hits you: a warning message states you can’t edit the tag while it is in use by the ERP system.

In prior versions of KEPServerEX, we either didn’t allow tags with an active reference to be edited or we allowed it but had the change take effect after the client reconnected. In this example, you need to edit the tag now and you can’t ask the IT guys to reconnect the ERP client—or worse, restart KEPServerEX—for such a simple change.

We felt your pain, listened to your feedback, dug in, and created a pretty awesome solution. With KEPServerEX version 5.18, you can now edit tag data types on-the-fly, and changes propagate to the ERP client immediately. So the Float changes to a DWord, the COO reads 1125, and you move on to the other (more important) things you need to do today.

Beyond editing tags, we also support deleting tags on-the-fly. In this case, clients referencing the tag receive a bad quality update indicating that the tag has been deleted. We also support performing automatic tag generation and CSV tag import on-the-fly on devices being referenced by clients. These features are geared towards making your data collection as dynamic and flexible as your environment.

Now that’s real-time; that’s on-the-fly; and that’s all for you!

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