Longwatch operator's console recorder captures HMI screens exactly

Video play back of what an operator saw at the time of an event can be a valuable tool for training, problem-solving.

09/24/2009


Longwatch-V5-update-screens.jpg

Longwatch V5 update screen

A software module that automatically records images being shown on multiple HMI or SCADA operator displays is now available from Longwatch. The Operator's Console Recorder module takes signals directly from each HMI screen's video software driver, recording the actual video being sent to the HMI. The software can accommodate video signals from an unlimited number of HMIs to show what operators were watching at the time of an event, alarm or process upset.

Playing back what the operator was seeing at the time of an event can be a valuable tool for training and analysis, and can help mitigate insurance and regulatory issues by eliminating guesswork and conjecture, says Steve Rubin, president of Longwatch. "Before, recording and playback of an operator's HMI was clumsy and limited. One method was to put a camera over the operator's shoulder. This is intrusive and intimidating, and the camera has a limited ability to read what's on the screen."

It is possible to recreate console displays with data from the process historian, says Rubin, but this requires the historian to record all the data values present on every display. Also, "no one knows which screen an operator was actually watching at the time of the event. An operator could have been looking at a trend display, not the alarm summary screen," he says.

Videos used for monitoring plant activities can be combined with the operator console videos and data from a process historian. This enables engineers, analysts or investigators to see what was happening in the plant, what the operator was seeing on the HMI screen at the time, and all relevant real-time data that occurred at the time of an event.

"Used together, the Longwatch Operator's Console Recorder and Video Historian fills the gap between normal plant data acquisition and actual plant management," says Rubin. For example, in the case of a leak at a pumping station, investigators could watch plant video taken at a remote site showing fuel oil creeping across the floor of a pumping station, real-time data being acquired from pumps, valves and the receiving tank while the leak is occurring, what appeared on the operator's HMI screen, and the alarm screen that came up when the leak detector went off.
When combined with the automatic data mapping capability of Longwatch's Video Historian, the Console Recorder can automatically retrieve and replay operator displays simply by clicking on a time-based alarm or system message.

For more on how a video console recorder works, visit www.longwatch.com.

See also:

To See and Control
- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

HMI, Operator Interface, SCADA news from Control Engineering





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.