Load Balancing with Process Cockpit

ABB Field Information Manager Learning Center

Field Information Manager supports load balancing via the Process Cockpit which is available at Tools Menu - PROJECTS - PROCESS COCKPIT.

The corresponding upload process groups of Common Names and other parameters are managed at Tools Menu - OPTIONS - UPLOAD PROCESSES.

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Process Cockpit

The Process Cockpit provides statistical feedback over time if subscribed parameter uploads to a connected OPC UA client have been successful in the requested time. For that, it allows the user to configure cycle times for upload process groups defined at Tools Menu - OPTIONS - UPLOAD PROCESSES.

If available, information about active processes (like uploads) is displayed in the footer bar of Field Information Manager window.

The displayed information in Process Cockpit is updated at each finished cycle.

The Process Cockpit takes care of the correct process order to achieve the configured cycle times. Hence, the statistics in Process Cockpit are cleared and reset after each configuration change.

Forecast Indication of current Cycle

The forecast of a process group provides feedback about the completion status in the current cycle as a one color indication:
  • Grey: No forecast is available yet.
  • Green: Progress in current cycle is as expected for the configured cycle time.
  • Yellow: Progress in current cycle is less than expected for the configured cycle time or exceeds the planned time.
  • Red: Process not started, e.g. because it is blocked by other ongoing processes.

The forecast helps to know if a certain process group is on track or likely to not achieve the expected result. This is especially useful for process groups with longer configured cycle times.

The forecast is always only an indication for the current part of the not yet completed cycle. Even if the forecast is not always green, the Process Cockpit will try to catch up to achieve the expected result.

The legend displays the number of process groups with a certain forecast indication.

Status Indication of completed Cycles

After a cycle of a process group is completed, the forecast result goes into the statistics for all completed cycles:
  • Grey: No status is available yet.
  • Green: Process group is completed during the configured cycle time.
  • Yellow: Process group is completed partially or exceeded the configured cycle time.
  • Red: Process group was not possible and could not be started at all, e.g. because it is blocked by other ongoing processes.

The status and long-time statistics help to know if a certain process group achieves the expected result in the configured cycle time or not.

Configuration Change for yellow and red Results

A process group does not achieve the expected results when it has no green, but yellow and red results for a longer period of time.

In such case, a change in configuration is required by the user to bring it back on track again:
  • Adjust the configured cycle time of the process group to give it more time for its tasks.
  • Adjust the process group content, e.g. by moving parameters to other process groups with longer cycle times (done at Tools Menu - OPTIONS - UPLOAD PROCESSES)

Detailed Process Cockpit

The Process Cockpit offers a detailed view which displays graphical trend feedback over a specified time range.

By default, the displayed trend covers the complete time range since the last configuration change. Further filter options allow to only display data of last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or a custom time range.

All existing process groups are displayed in a table with their current configuration. Their displayed trend can be enabled or disabled by clicking on the corresponding checkbox within the table.

A process group has a trend value for each completed cycle (e.g. every 4 hours) with a percentage value of 0-100%. The percentage value of a trend represents the amount of parameters that have been uploaded successfully in the completed cycle.

Upload Processes

Upload Processes is a management view for upload process groups and available at Tools Menu - OPTIONS - UPLOAD PROCESSES.

Within this view, process groups of the type "Upload" can be created, deleted and changed. The process group "Default" always exists and cannot be deleted.

Each subscribed Common Name as well as the complete set of parameters without a Common Name mapping are assigned to a corresponding upload process group.

All process groups appear in the Process Cockpit where the respective cycle times are configured and the performance in form of provided statistics can be monitored.

Different process groups allow a classification of parameters (Common Names) according to their importance and frequency of value changes.

While e.g. process values are more important and dynamic and should be uploaded in shorter cycle times, other less important/frequently changing parameters (e.g. a write protection flag) are sufficient to be uploaded in longer cycle times.

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