Real World ThinManager | Part 4

Chemical Processing

PROBLEM:
• PCs scattered throughout a multi-acre site made routine maintenance a major hassle.

SOLUTION:

• ThinManager Ready thin clients are managed in the central control room.
• Thin clients no longer need to be visited for maintenance.

A chemical plant had PCs all over a huge refinery, including some located in towers that were up 10 flights of stairs. Maintaining and patching the PCs took hours of walking and climbing.

ThinManager and terminal servers were deployed, allowing the PCs to be replaced with ThinManager Ready thin clients. [...]

Real World ThinManager | Part 3

Cheese Manufacturing

PROBLEM:
• Humid environment causing frequent PC failures.

SOLUTION:
• Replaced PCs with thin clients
• Thin clients are more reliable and less sensitive to harsh environments than PCs.
• Small form factor allows thin clients to be placed in a protective panel to combat humidity.

Part of the cheese making process requires a saltwater rinse to cure newly made cheese as it passes through an extruder. The mist from the process coats the entire room with a thick condensation. Because of the requirements of the food manufacturing process every surface is hosed down each day with strong cleansers to maintain sterility. Even though bags of silica gel were stacked in the panels to try to protect the PCs from the moisture, the elements were still affecting the PCs as fans circulated air through them for cooling. [...]

Real World ThinManager | Part 2

Chemical Plant

PROBLEM:

• Outmoded paper strip charts were a hassle and did not give instant real-time trending.

SOLUTION:
• Replaced strip charts with thin clients.
• Collected I/O in SQL server and backed up and archived.
• Archive gave operators the ability to see trending patterns in a more efficient manner.

Emission monitoring charts are critical to pollution control. Before their thin client installation this company captured this data on paper strip charts printed on machines that require oiling, inking, and paper refills. [...]

Real World ThinManager | Part 1

Distribution & Logistics

PROBLEM:
• Shipping company needed real-time information from 30+ remote sites.

SOLUTION:
• Deployed ThinManager at each remote site.
• Set up a “war room” with 30 thin clients.
• Connected each thin client to a remote site via WAN.
• Single operator able to t view activity of all remote sites.

A global company with distribution centers around the world was having trouble getting real-time information from the sites to the headquarters.

The company standardized on ThinManager and deployed ThinManager and terminal servers at each site, setting up a “war room” at the headquarters with a thin client for each remote location. These thin clients boot locally and then connect to a remote terminal server via the corporate WAN. [...]

ACP Announces Version 4.1

ACP announces version 4.1 of their award-winning thin client and terminal services management software.

New version will include support for managing virtual machine environments and an iPhone app

Alpharetta, Georgia, January 2011

ACP’s ThinManager version 4.1 release is scheduled for March 21, 2011 and will be demonstrated live at our TMUG User Group taking place in Atlanta March 29-31. (Register for TMUG2011)

ThinManager 4.1 will include the much anticipated support for virtual machine environments. Users who currently enjoy ThinManager’s ease-of-use when managing their terminal servers and thin clients will now have that same capability when it comes to virtual terminal server and desktop management. VM resources will appear in the ThinManager tree along with other sources currently available. [...]

Automation Control Products, ThinManager Move To A New Office

Alpharetta, Georgia, October 5, 2010 

Automation Control Products and it’s flagship software, ThinManager, have moved to a new space that allows for exponential growth in the coming years. The new office has expanded many areas that make ACP’s ThinManager the elite terminal server management and thin client software, such as a state-of-the-art Tech Support Lab, Webinar Room, Marketing & Education Departments and our award-winning support staff.

Tech Support Lab
With the new space comes a 400 square foot Tech Support Lab. This lab is designated to work on specific issues that our users face while integrating the software into their applications. Equipped will terminal servers, thin clients and ThinManager, ACP’s support staff will help tackle any issues that arise.

Webinar Room
ACP Education & Marketing personnel will man the Webinar Room. Each week, ACP’s Todd Garmon will conduct an overview and demo of the software. Director of Education, Paul Burns, will also give introduction and training webinars.  The webinar room is equipped with a MultiMonitor setup, a terminal server, thin clients and several IP cameras. Click here to view upcoming webinars.

Marketing & Education Departments
ACP understands the importance of solid marketing techniques and education should work side-by-side. With that philosophy in mind, our new office has expanded these departments and will continue the effort to make ThinManager a regular B2B name in the industry. Along with Paul Burns, VP of Marketing Tom Jordan is ramping up the marketing side by hiring new talent to help in the effort.

ACP Expands ThinManager Distributor Channel

AutomaTech, Control Dynamics, Industrial Network Systems and McNaughton-McKay now offering ThinManager and ThinManager Ready Thin Clients

Alpharetta, Georgia, June 10, 2010 – Automation Control Products is proud to announce the recent signing of new partners to its nationwide distributor sales channel. These companies’ commitment to their customers and their understanding of rapidly changing technology make each one of them a great fit with ACP’s ThinManager and its focus on building the most robust industrial software platform for the modern plant floor.

In addition to selling ACP’s Thin Client management software ThinManager, each of these distributors will also be selling ThinManager Ready hardware from ACP’s existing hardware partners. [...]

So What is a Thin Client?

As best I can tell, Tim Negris is the man who coined the term Thin Client when he was with Oracle. It originally described scaled down applications that ran in conjunction with a full version of an application that was loaded on a server.

When Windows OS versions that allowed multiple users came on the scene, one of the first hardware companies to start selling client hardware was Wyse with the introduction of their WinTerm in 1995. This made sense – Wyse was already a huge seller of “dumb” terminals for mainframes and providing a Windows Terminal was logical. [...]

Building a Thin Client System

Question: We would like to put together a Thin Client system that will have a total of seven Thin Clients. While some of these clients will be standard Thin Client hardware, we would also like to use some of our PCs as clients as well. We also need to allow for some spare capacity for the future.

Can you please specify the hardware and software (ACP and Microsoft) requirements for a reliable system?

Answer: There are multiple ways to build this system. I will start by specifying the basic system (the minimum required) and then work up to a system with redundancy that will guarantee uninterrupted operation in almost every case. Each system will have the following four parts – the Thin Clients, the hosting Windows Terminal Server, the Microsoft software and the ACP software. [...]

Total Cost of Ownership

A Thin Client computer runs what looks like a full Windows NT 4.0 operating system on each Client installed in a factory. This is accomplished by having a powerful server running a version of Microsoft’s NT 4.0 designed for Thin Clients, NT Terminal Server 4.0. This version of Windows allows multiple users to log in and establish a full Windows session running on the server. Each user gets a dedicated share of memory, some slices of CPU time, and access to the server’s disks and applications. [...]