Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mobile operator interfaces!

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced a new groov Box (GROOV-AR1) that hosts groov mobile operator interfaces for virtually any automation system. Users simply connect their automation system to groov, and then connect authorized mobile devices to groov via either a web browser or an app interface. This allows each mobile device to interact with the automation system in a secure and predefined manner.

This new industrially hardened web-serving appliance sports a wide 0-70 °C (32-158 °F) operating temperature range, compact footprint, complete solid-state fanless design with no moving parts, high-performance quad-core processing, gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and USB expansion for wireless LAN interfaces. Measuring just 4.2 (W) x 6.8 (L) x 1.4 (D) inches (106 x 171 x 33 mm), the compact size and rugged design of the groov Box make it perfectly suited for deployment in harsh industrial environments. The groov Box is manufactured in and supported from the U.S.A., and Opto 22 product support is free.

What’s groov?
The groov Box industrial appliance runs groov, a zero-programming, web-based way to build, deploy, and view effective, scalable operator interfaces to monitor and control automation systems and associated components, equipment, and processes. These operator interfaces can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer regardless of its manufacturer, operating system, or screen size, and two-way communication allows remote control for authorized and authenticated users. Supported devices for groov include smartphones, tablets, computers, and even smart high-definition televisions. groov augments existing human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems by making important information available at any time and in any location.

groov uses a standard method of securely communicating with devices on the plant floor—including PLCs, DCSs, PACs, databases, and OPC-DA servers—called OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA). As an OPC-UA client, groov can quickly and easily browse system tags from an OPC-UA server. OPC-UA servers are available from several companies. Also, because HMI and SCADA systems from automation manufacturers like Allen-Bradley, GE, and Siemens often include OPC-UA support, you may already have an OPC-UA server installed and running.


To demonstrate the power of groov, a fully functional trial version of the software-only groov Server for Windows is available to download and try so you can see your own system’s data on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. You can operate groov for up to two hours without a license, and restart if more time is required. Any projects you build with this free trial version of groov Server for Windows can be run on the new groov Box with no configuration or changes required.

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