Process automation plants using industrial HMI often place the equipment in remote locations in the field, away from the process control room or maintenance stations. For busy plant personnel, it's much easier to be able to configure these remote monitors from a centralized location or even off-site remote location. In addition, maintenance and technical support for the daily HMI operators can now be done remotely without needing to physically stand in front of the screen, which is often difficult and time-consuming (pharmaceutical clean rooms, large refineries for example.)
In this video, Product Portfolio Manager Marc Seissler demonstrates how easy it is to configure a VisuNet remote monitor using our Control Center software:
Hello, my name is Marc Seissler and I am product portfolio manager for HMI products at Pepperl+Fuchs.
Today, I’d like to show you how to configure a VisuNet Remote Monitor using the Control Center.
With thin-client-based remote monitors, you are able to access information of the process control system or the MES in the field, for example to monitor processes. So far, remote monitors had to be configured on-site. The VisuNet Control Center now enables you to remotely setup your remote monitors via the network.
It’s installed on a standard Windows PC –like this notebook –that is connected to the same visualization network as the remote monitors. The software makes it really easy to configure and manage your remote monitors from one central point.
The Control Center’s user interface is divided in three main sections:
- The navigation menu with a remote monitor overview is located on the left
- The function bar on top
- The main section is in the middle of the Control Center
In order to access a remote monitor, you first search for it in your local network and add it to the remote monitor list. To do this, click 'Find Remote Monitors' in the function bar. In this window you can now start the search using the 'Start Scan' button. All remote monitors available in your local network will be displayed in the list. Once your remote monitor is found, close the window with OK.
If the remote monitor has not been listed here, you can add it manually with its network name using the function 'Add Devices.' All remote monitors are now displayed with their status information in both –the navigation menu and the main section. In my case, I’d like to establish a connection to the VISUNET-GXP. Therefore, I select the monitor in the device list.
When connecting for the first time, you will need to authenticate yourself and authorize the access first. This is done by entering the administrator password saved on the remote monitor. Depending on the network speed, this step may take a few seconds. Then, the connection to the remote monitor is established and basic information is displayed.
If you want to configure your remote monitor, you will need to establish a 'Session Shadowing' connection. To do so, click 'start' in the function bar. The Control Center starts the “session shadowing” connection and the screen content of the remote monitor is now displayed. Activate the remote access in the function bar in order to change the settings and control the remote monitor.
Now you can create a new RDP profile. Like in case of a conventional on-site configuration, go to the profile management. Now I create a new profile 'Test-RDP' as an example. And that’s it, the profile is created.
Starting the connection now, you will see that the image of the host –which can be a process control system computer –is displayed on both screens: the remote monitor screen and the control center screen.
If you stop the session shadowing, you will be able to download the new connection profile from the RM via 'Download Data,' and upload it to additional remote monitors.
As you can see, the Control Center software is easy to use. Not only can you remotely configure your remote monitors, but also reliably control and maintain them –from one central location. In case of failure, you no longer have to walk back to the field, but you’re able to easily access the remote monitors to fix problems, thus actively supporting users.
More information on the Control Center as well as on our HMI products is available on our website. In case of any questions please feel free to contact us!
Thanks for watching!