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IPC and software combo gathers and analyses plant data

07 May, 2014

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced a combined industrial PC (IPC) and software appliance that uses the Industrial Internet to connect machines and turn raw plant data into actionable information. The rugged Proficy Historian IPC collects real-time production and process information and supports numerous data collection tags in a package small enough to install alongside machine controls in harsh environments.

GE IP describes the device as the start of a new breed of combined hardware-and-software systems designed to pave the way to the Industrial Internet. The data collection and analysis appliance is based on proven products – GE's PACSystems RXi XP IPC and the Proficy Historian 5.5 software. It uses patented compression algorithms claimed to store more data on its hard drive than rival data historians.

“We understand that to get higher efficiency using data from a connected machine, the interface must be easy to implement and use,” explains GE IP product manager, Flor Rivas. “With Proficy Historian IPC, we’ve made it simple to step into the future of industrial automation by combining our industry-leading data Historian software with a powerful industrial-grade computer. This solution simplifies purchase, speeds implementation, and enables data collection from thousands of inputs on a rugged platform small enough to install at the machine itself.”

The IPC has a capacity for 100 to 5,000 data collection points. For larger applications, the data can be forwarded to a central historian, or several of the IPCs can be connected via a wide-area network (WAN) to create a distributed data historian configuration .

GE Intelligent Platforms says its Proficy Historian IPC is the first in a new breed of industrial appliances

According to GE, the system avoids the need to buy products separately and then integrate them. The RXi XP PC comes with the Windows 7 operating system, Proficy Historian software, and all necessary drivers. Users simply power up the IPC and configure the data collection points. They can add tags by plugging in a USB dongle with the tag quantity order, and rebooting.

The IPC uses COM Express technology. This means that rather than replacing the entire IPC and its wiring when the computing power becomes obsolete, users can simply exchange the COM Express module for a higher-powered replacement, leaving the rest of the IPC and wiring intact.

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