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New iTools features iView program

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EUROTHERM has introduced an enhanced version of its iTools configuration and monitoring package.

Version 5.55 features a number of major enhancements, including the ability to create custom user screens using the new iView program.

The new View Builder module allows users to create PC-based user screens or mini-SCADA screens for simple process monitoring, commissioning and diagnostics.

A user-friendly toolkit enables users to quickly and easily develop their own screens, without the need for more than the most basic overview of the program.

Any number of screens can be developed and linked together. The cost effective iView program has no limit on addressable tags, and uses the OPC drag-and-drop tag address for fast and simple connection to available I/O.

The program is provided in two modules, the Builder, used to develop the screens, and the Runner, used by the operator in normal operation.

As an added security feature, the SCADA screens operated on the iView Runner program allow no modification by operators, allowing the system to be limited to monitoring and control of parameters operators are required to access, while blocking all others.

The iView Builder toolkit allows operators to directly import background images, or develop screens from the comprehensive library of engineering images provided free to iView users.

User buttons allow switching between any number of screens allowing large fully interactive systems to be quickly developed.

Other standard operator interface fields such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons and drop-down menus, provide fast means of developing the screen, with linking via the simple OPC drag-and-drop tagging.

The interactive SCADA screen can be viewed in real time in the iView Runner module, from the Builder module or, once completed, it can be saved and the screen started in the Runner module.

The screens offer a powerful means of economically monitoring and controlling parameters in any number of controllers, indicators, data management systems, recorders, dataloggers, variable speed drives or other equipment, and all in realtime.

The iView program offers an economical means of entering the world of SCADA, for applications where larger SCADA packages would be cost prohibitive.

iTools employs an OPC (OLE for process control) server which uses MODBUS to communicate with the controllers. The server connects to the controllers via serial communications, Ethernet or a telephone modem, and may also be used by third party 'client' software such as Wonderware and LabVIEW.

Additionally, a DDE link allows parameter values to be displayed 'live' in an Excel spreadsheet or similar applications, and historical logged data can also be imported into Excel.

One of the other main features of the iTools package is the included datalogging program called OPCscope. This independent program allows for datalogging of any parameter in a controller or series of controllers on a ModBus network, plus 5000 Series recorders on the PC network.

The data can be viewed in real time on the screen, with variable logging rates from one second to one month, while information is stored to a text file for simple import to third party programs such as Excel for data processing.

Ideal for batch monitoring and commissioning, OPCscope provides an inexpensive datalogging option for standard control equipment.

OPCscope also provides a simple DDE interface to programs such as EXCEL for realtime data transfer. For simple interfacing to SCADA packages such as Wonderware, CiTech and Iconics, an OPC driver is available with the OPEN version of the iTools package.

This driver allows OPC tags to be utilised, allowing greatly reduced development time for application writing, using the drag and drop tags.

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