OVERVIEW | MODULES | FEATURES

FactoryStudio® from Tatsoft® provides an integrated suite of built-in modules, components and functionality to enable the secure and efficient deployment of Data Acquisition, Real-time Data Monitoring and Supervisory Control, Event and Alarm Notifications, Reporting, and Advanced Visualization (SCADA).

The built-in FactoryStudio® functionality includes:

Real-Time Database Points

FactoryStudio® supports the following as built-in real-time data point types: Digital (Boolean), Analog (Integer, Double and Decimals), Text Message, Data Table, Counter, Timer and Date Time variables. Further, the user can define their own types with multiple levels of inherence, reference tags and tri-dimensional arrays.

The real-time database guarantees, without requiring any additional programming, the synchronization of data among multiple server processes and multiple client stations. A large set of built-in properties, such as data quality, time-stamp, lock state and locked value, simplifies and empowers the creation of the applications.

Alarms and Security

Multiple alarm levels for each point/tag can be defined and a whole range of behaviors, such as logging, acknowledgement, displaying, etc. is pre-packaged to simplify the configuration. The Security system can define access levels up to each display object. Both Alarm and Security online conditions are automatically replicated on redundant applications. The Alarm, Event and Security Tools provides one all the tools necessary to create FDA-CFR Part 21 compliant applications.

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.NET languages

FactoryStudio®, to our knowledge, is the first SCADA system to fully support the Microsoft .NET languages in complete integration within the Microsoft .NET Framework. The project scripts and business logic can be written in C# or VB.NET, and a built-in language converter allows you to dynamically switch the created code between the languages.

Inside the FactoryStudio® framework/architecture you can compile, cross-reference the objects, and access directly (using the Intellisense) the .NET classes and your project objects, including Alarms, Reports and Communication Nodes.

.NET languages provide a more powerful environment when compared with VBA or VBScript, that is as it is an interpreted language, not compiled, many errors can only be found when running your project VBA or VBScript in real-time production often times with undesirable results and consequences. The managed environment of the Microsoft.Net Framework gives one the support for finding and recovering from exceptions, thus providing a highly reliable environment for the runtime system/applications.

Trend and Historian

Create historian files on external databases, like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle, or use the built-in Tatsoft® SQL Database to historize your data. FactoryStudio® allows you to save the data based on data change or group triggers and has an exclusive time-span option that prevents logging data with a timestamp smaller than a defined preset, allowing the creation of more compact databases. Access to OSIsoft’s PI Server is also an option.

The timestamp can reach one millisecond resolution; when available FactoryStudio® will use the timestamp from the remote IO, instead of from the computer, providing increased event accuracy. The organization of the samples allows you to include or remove tags for logging without losing compatibility with your past data. A complete Trend Chart object is also supplied for the visualization of both online and historical data.

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Devices

OPC DA is supplied to get information from remote devices. Besides OPC, FactoryStudio® also supports custom communication drivers to directly access PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers), Remote IO, Fieldbus standards, single and multi-loops, scanners, bar-codes, RFID devices and digital displays. If you need to interface with a device that has a published protocol, Tatsoft® can deliver, free of charge, a built-in communication driver for your device. A Protocol Driver Toolkit is also available so you can create your own add-on driver.

The Device Configuration Tool can import databases from OPC servers, CSV or text files. If the device is compatible, it automatically implements multi-threading on TCP/IP networks or multi-serial scenarios. The addressing syntax follows the naming convention of the remote device, making configuration and maintenance much easier; a complete set of performance and diagnostics tools is included.

Datasets

The Dataset Module, included in FactoryStudio provides an easy-to-use interface to exchange data in real-time with external Databases, XML, CSV or text files and access SQL queries and tables.

For the most used databases and data sources (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, CSV files, Microsoft Access, PI, Firebird, Informix, Excel), FactoryStudio® supplies pre-defined configurations that reduce the settings management to a mouse-click. Any database that supports ODBC, ADO.NET or OLE-DB can also be accessed. A built-in Tatsoft® DB SQL Database Engine is also supplied as a local database for your application(s).

The data collected with the datasets can be dynamically mapped to real-time points/tags and can be used on scripts or reports, or presented on displays using a powerful Data Grid Visual Object. 

Reports

FactoryStudio® supports Web-Services, XML and other data-exchange interfaces to provide data for external reporting tools. In contrast with other packages where the reports are necessarily created in another tool,FactoryStudio has its own built-in Report Editor.

The Report Editor allows the inclusion of dynamic text, dynamic graphical symbol and charts, dataset and query results, in a functionality rich and easy to use editor. The Reports can be saved in HTML, Text or XPS and easily presented in remote clients and web displays.

Client Displays

The Built-in Graphics Editor of FactoryStudio®, using the Microsoft WPF technology, allows for the easy creation of rich user interfaces with real-time mapping to process values and tags; a very rich and powerful complete set of dynamic animations is also included.

The displays are internally saved using XAML, which provides resolution independence, isolation from the code and easy extensibility. A symbol library, where the symbols can also keep a dynamic link with the library, speeds up the synoptic creation process. All client technologies support redundant server scenarios.

Three types of remote clients are supported:

  • Visualizer Clients: Runs as a desktop application, allows the blocking of the Windows task-switch (windows key, ctrl-alt-del and alt-tab). This is ideal for Intranet operators/users with high security requirements.
  • Smart Clients: Uses the Microsoft .NET Smart Client technology and installs on remote clients with a single-click and no administration requirements. The application is automatically updated on the remote clients, when it is updated on the server. FactoryStudio® uses all the power of the remote computer yet retains the advantages of a centralized install.
  • XBAP Partial Trust Clients: The client displays can run directly from the Web-Browser, with no installation of any software required (nor any active-x controls!). The partial-trust security guarantees that the client displays will run in a completely isolated environment. As is the case with the Smart-Clients, when the application is updated on the server, it is automatically updated on the clients.

Runtime Objects (Business-Objects)

More advanced than most systems, where you must create Tags or Variables for all internal properties and custom logic for your projects, FactoryStudio® allows your application(s) to directly access all the business objects that were created in your project.This means that user-created temporary tags are not required to manage the status of PLC network nodes, the total number of alarms in a group, or the number of rows in a dataset. You can now access runtime objects, business objects (representing a network node), an alarm group or dataset, and display required information or take action directly through their built-in properties.

Module Isolation

For enhanced performance, security and reliability, the most CPU-consuming and sensitive modules, such as Scripts, Datasets, Devices (Communication Drivers), Reports and Displays, run in their own process, or Application Domain, in their own thread, independently from the Server Real-time Database.

In addition to the previously described advantages the FactoryStudio® architecture also allows distribution of the data acquisition application, or any cpu intensive application, in different computers in a distributed environment, providing increased flexibility to implement many redundant scenarios and simplification of field maintenance.

Diagnostic Tools

  • The PropertyWatch Tool allows you to inspect and simulate values in all modules and business objects, and start and stop all modules individually.
  • The TraceWindow Tool automatically generates system messages about important runtime events and can be easily extended to issue specific messages connected with script events, data point/tag changes or user actions.
  • The ModuleInformation Tool is an advanced performance and profiling tool that provides internal information for the entire runtime environment.

Test and Deployment

Before executing an application or project, one can use the exclusive FactoryStudio® “Test Mode” that runs the project/application in a safe testing environment. In “Test Mode” no commands are sent to the remote controllers (only the read commands are sent), alarms and historian saves data on temporary files and the external real-time databases are accessed in read-only mode.

After successfully completing testing in this stage, one need only run the StartUp option for full functionality. When your project or application is ready to be deployed in the field, use the “Publish” feature to set up redundancy options (if necessary), and to create a read-only, version controlled, copy of your project for the field installation.

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