Magically Going Back in Time: New Wonderware Playback Feature

By Glenn Yancey, System Consultant, InSource Solutions

How many times do we hear of a recall for a product that we consume?

Here’s a Food Safety News headline from earlier this year that serves as one example: Milk Recalled in New York Because of Improper Pasteurization

Many products that we consume require pasteurization.  Pasteurization is a process by which foods are heated to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time to kill (or deactivate) a target number of potentially harmful bacteria. In the supermarket, we recognize milk, fruit juices, almonds, cider, and beer as pasteurized products. This is why our dairy and juices have a longer shelf life, instead of us drinking a petri dish after a short amount of time.  Consuming these products without this process could make us sick or they could even be fatal by containing E Coli or Salmonella. The FDA has HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) regulations for both juice and dairy that must be followed.  The one for the juice industry is 21 CFR part 120, and compliance with this regulation is mandatory.

However, there are times when we turn the news on and hear of a recall on milk by a dairy company, like the one I mentioned above, or on juice by a beverage manufacture. As a resident of Florida, we are accustomed to consuming fresh orange juice that we buy at the grocery from companies who source from local groves.  If a recall were to happen, it definitely hits close to home for me as I’m not only a local, but have a vested interested in the quality of the products due to my relationships with my clients, who in this case are juice manufacturers.

So if a recall happened, can my clients use the Wonderware Historian Client to look at the data focused on the pasteurization process?  Sure, they could, but they can ALSO take advantage of one particular game-changing feature inside of Wonderware 2017 InTouch Operations Management Interface (OMI) called SCADA Playback.

“Great Scott!! Are you telling me that I can go back in time and view my HMI screens, as the operators saw them last week? You mean that is built into InTouch OMI? I don’t have to pay additionally for that functionality??”

Yes, SCADA Playback functions like a console recorder that allows the operators to take their HMI screens and go back in the past to the point where we suspected there was a problem, i.e. where the pasteurization process had failed, and investigate further. SCADA Playback allows us to monitor the process holistically, viewing the other data and process states that were associated with that moment in time, hopefully, for example, exposing the root cause of the drop in temperature during the pasteurization process. Potentially, I could even view when the electricity to power the pasteurizers went below 1.21 Gigawatts…as long as that data was being monitored at the time.

The historical SCADA Playback feature truly is a time machine to allow us to witness what happened in the past, analyze the data during that time, and then fast forward back to the future!

Watch this video to see a bit more of how it works.