Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Video system upgrade

Enhancements and upgrades in the Longwatch Video System Version 5.2 include a Value Edition of the Console Recorder, a low-power XLP version of the Video System that delivers surveillance in remote areas with limited power budgets, and improved database functions.

Console Recorder Value Edition

The Longwatch Console Recorder acts much like an airplane’s flight recorder, because it stores all the screens that operators saw before, during and after a critical event, and it records every action the operators took during that time. Playing back the operator’s display can help solve problems faster and more accurately, because the display correlates other plant data in an intuitive way.  The Value Edition of the Console Recorder allows users to install the terminal monitoring software at a low entry cost.

The Value Edition of the Console Recorder monitors and records all activities at up to six operator consoles, including screen displays and operator actions via the keyboard and mouse, so that engineers and supervisors can replay an “event.” By replaying the event, engineers and supervisors can see what the operators saw and did, and determine if the operators were given the proper information and took the appropriate actions. The recorded data can be saved and used for training purposes, process improvement, justification to various regulatory bodies that the correct actions were taken, and detailed “post mortems” of events.

When part of a complete Longwatch Video Surveillance system, the Enterprise Edition of the Console Recorder can also synchronize with video taken in the plant from multiple cameras, and with real-time and historical process data (including trends and alarms) from existing process automation systems, This allows engineers and supervisors to completely reconstruct an event, using video from the plant, data from the historian, and the operator displays and actions from the Console Recorder.

The Value Edition of the Console Recorder captures data from six operator terminals, but it can be upgraded later to the Enterprise Edition Console recorder and Video Historian. 

Low Power System
Version 5.2 also includes an extreme low-power (XLP) option, where video cameras and the Longwatch Remote Video Engine can operate from solar power and batteries. The XLP system “hibernates” until a signal from an intrusion alarm or motion detector or operator wakes it up. The system then begins recording live video immediately, sends a short “alarm clip” to a remote operator at a central HMI/SCADA system, and continues to record data until commanded to return to hibernation.

The XLP system is ideal for well sites, pumping stations, pipelines, offshore platforms or other remote areas where 120Vac line power is not available. Such sites typically have some form of RF data link, and use solar power for their instrumentation. The Longwatch XLP system uses very little power during hibernation, yet provides these remote sites with video monitoring capabilities.  Longwatch communicates from the remote station using virtually any network provided, ranging from low-speed radio modems to satellite and cellular links.

Enhanced Database Functions
The Longwatch Video system is designed to work with data historians and real-time databases from a variety of HMI/SCADA vendors, so that real-time and archived video can be synchronized with live and historical data. For example, if an operator sees a “Low Level Alarm” on an HMI screen, he or she can switch to live video to view the vessel. If the operator sees material flowing out of a crack in the vessel, he or she can call up archived video synchronized with data from historians to quickly determine when and why the vessel started leaking, thus enabling efficient trouble-shooting and corrective action.

Operators already have the choice of using the Longwatch Viewer or integrating with existing HMI/SCADA databases, such as iFIX, InduSoft and Wonderware.  Version 5.2 now includes a new software tool, The Longwatch Video Window, that enables integration with additional HMIs such as ClearSCADA that do not support ActiveX. The Longwatch Video Window allows users to display video generated by Longwatch Video Engines from remote and/or in-plant cameras using their existing HMIs.

Other advanced database tools include support for ODBC compliance database drivers, global toolbar filters in the Longwatch Viewer that allows user filters to be applied to multiple database queries at the same time, enhancements to support non-SQL Server databases, and improved paging support for extremely large databases. Version 5.2 also includes a user-friendly interface allowing for more rapid installation, easier configuration and reduced training requirements.

See also Tuning the forgotten loop,(April'10) and  Console Recorder (Sept'09)

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