Video Tutorial: Tracking the Health of Your Servers

Posted by Win Worrall on Mar 8, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Knowledge is power and knowing the current state of your underlying server hardware for your process can be very powerful indeed.  Keeping a pulse on information like CPU usage, available memory, memory consumption by a process and whether or not critical process are still running can be the difference between hours of downtime with thousands of dollars in lost production and being able to proactively avoid any downtime.

The following short video blog demonstrates step-by-step how easy it is to use the Cogent DataHub to monitor vital system statistics on your servers that can be shared in real-time via supported client interfaces such as OPC DA and OPC UA or even send email/SMS notifications.

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Topics: DataHub, OPC Integration, OPC DA, OPC UA, IT/OT, Alarming, Windows, Video Tutorials

Video Tutorial: Sending Email & SMS Alerts Triggered by Process Values

Posted by Win Worrall on Jan 25, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Timely notifications about abnormal conditions in your process are vital to minimizing downtime and the costs associated with it.  Automating the process based on the condition of specific process variables gets you the information you need for making decisions as quickly as possible.

The following short video blog demonstrates step-by-step how easy it is to use the Cogent DataHub to establish a connection to an OPC data source and then define various flexible conditions for triggering email and/or SMS text notifications based on values collected from that OPC server.

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Topics: Device Integration, DataHub, Alarming, SMS, Email, OPC Integration, OPC DA, OPC UA, Video Tutorials

Enabling System Health Tracking in OT Software Applications

Posted by Win Worrall on Nov 30, 2017 2:00:00 PM

The heart of any control system is the computers and servers that run your automation software.  For example, when PLCs talk to AC drives over Ethernet, the drives will shut down if they lose communications for more than a second, sometimes even milliseconds.  Drives shutdown = Line shutdown = Plant shutdown.  What IT calls a blip for plant operations can mean downtime, scrapped product and even your company’s reputation due to missed delivery deadlines.

Traditionally, server maintenance and upkeep is the role of IT.  However, when these systems go down, it affects operations (OT) with different pains than IT sees on the business side.  IT has systems to monitor their own assets, on the standards they need for the business, but they need the OT side to expand monitoring of their own systems and self-reliance in order for OT to meet operational needs, while bringing in IT as a resource.

This blog post will discuss how to get information about health of servers and PCs that runs the automation software OT users need without having to rely solely on IT.

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Topics: DataHub, OPC, IT/OT, Alarming, Windows

Making Your Smart Phone Smarter with Email/SMS Alerts

Posted by Win Worrall on Sep 21, 2017 2:00:00 PM

In the automation and control world you need to know about problems immediately.  If problems are not recognized early enough, they can cause unexpected downtime, damage to machinery or environmental impacts.  In other words, these problems can cost you a lot of money.

Fortunately, these days most of us have 24/7 access to email or texting through their laptops and smart phones which has made receiving alarms in a timely fashion much easier than in the past.

In this third post of our “I Can Do That?” blog series, we’ll cover how to get alerts to problems ASAP and also share some specific use cases for email/SMS notifications using Cogent DataHub.

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Topics: OPC UA, OPC, OPC Alarms and Events, OPC DA, Email, SMS, Alarming, DataHub

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Working in industrial automation since 1996, the Software Toolbox team has seen a lot. The level of automation system sophistication of our integrators and users has evolved, each driven by the demands of their market and clients.  Everyone's learning continues as technological change accelerates.

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