Logic Supply Releases New ThinManager Ready Thin Clients

Global industrial and IoT computer hardware manufacturer, Logic Supply (www.logicsupply.com), has updated their line of thin client computer hardware to include the latest generation of Intel® processors. 

These new systems allow Logic Supply thin client users to leverage the improved performance and multitasking capabilities provided by Intel’s latest Apollo Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs while lowering total cost of ownership with longer hardware life cycles.

For more information please visit the following links. [...]

Fifth Country in Southeast Asia Region gets ThinManager Certified System Integrators

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Last year we posted a story about the Rockwell team in Southeast Asia training system integrators to be certified in using and deploying ThinManager.

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As a follow up to that story, the ThinManager team would like to extend thanks and gratitude to Satish Basa and Anukoon Asawachatroj for continuing to lead the effort to certify more ThinManager system integrators in the Asia-Pacific region. Their hard work and dedication have continued to increase awareness, opportunities, and sales within the region. Their most recent training success comes from Jakarta, Indonesia with seven new ThinManager-Certified system integrators.

System Integrator Uses ThinManager and Thin Clients to Increase Visualization, Cut Costs for National Operations Center

WachsField Technologies deployed ThinManager and thin client hardware to drive multiple 60” high-definition TVs in order to build a hypervisual national data operations center. Not only was the project a major success, but they also saved the customer a ton of money. Here’s how they did it.

The Setup

When Robert Maxfield first learned about his customer’s desire to create a modern national data operations center, the customer already had some idea of how they would want it to be built out. The original idea included a ton of expensive video hardware that would be able to drive video output cards capable of running several high-definition TVs.

This solution had several shortcomings. The first issue was that it was going to be very expensive. Secondly, the timeline to procure the hardware and configure it was very lengthy. Finally, even after all the expense, the system would not be very flexible if new applications needed to be added in the future. Enter, Robert Maxfield from WachsField Technologies.

Maxfield, a seasoned system integrator, had used ThinManager on previous projects with great success. He knew the end result his customer was seeking could be achieved at a lower cost. He also knew that if they ever wanted to easily scale up from the initial design, they would need a better plan than just continuing to purchase overpriced video display and routing components. After discussing the new plan with the customer, WachsField Technologies developed an alternative design leveraging ThinManager and Arista thin client hardware.

WachsField was tasked with creating an operations center with ten 60’ high-definition TVs that would be used as monitors. The customer had thirteen different applications that would need monitoring including GE IFIX HMI, Proficy Web Trending, Call Center Applications, GSA system, work order programs, mapping software, IP cameras and more.

 

The Deployment

Using ThinManager, WachsField Technologies was able to configure secure connections to the company’s datacenter to provide displays to all ten 60” monitors. “Using ThinManager’s MultiSession, MultiMonitor and Tiling features, we were able to divide the screens in various configurations according to the client’s needs,” stated Maxfield. “Each station at the NOC was outfitted with a laptop and an iPad. The iPads are running ThinManager iTMC and are able to Shadow the larger screens—bringing pertinent data right to the station. This also allows for the NOC staff to modify the layouts on the larger overall screens.”

WachsField also deployed two additional ThinManager features to enhance security and improve the end user experience. The first was WinTMC. Just like iTMC can be installed on iPads, WinTMC can be installed on PC workstations and laptops. This allows ThinManager to centrally manage and deploy applications to those devices in the same way they are deployed to thin clients. In this case, the end users can easily switch between applications local to their laptop workstations and those being delivered by ThinManager.

The second was AppLink. This is a simple ThinManager setting that removes access to the desktop when deploying applications to thin clients. By using this option on the thin clients that drive the large operations center displays, only the required applications are displayed. This reduces the potential for end user error and keeps the NOC staff focused on their jobs.

“The operations center is now running day in and day out utilizing ThinManager. ThinManager’s technology saved the client thousands of dollars and allows for extreme flexibility such as adding new IP cameras feeds as new cameras are installed and new stations come online,” Maxfield explained. “We will continue to use ThinManager whenever we can. Our customer decided it was the best solution for their national operations center based on flexibility, scalability, cost and simplicity. This project was a success on all those points.”

 

Project Overview

ThinManager deployment to expand visualization for new National Operations Center:

  • ThinManager Redundant servers
  • 4 – Arista BoxPC 240 thin clients, unlimited client connections
  • 10 – 60” high-definition TV monitors

Fit for ThinManager:

  • Centralized management for hardware, deployment of applications
  • MultiSession, MultiMonitor and Tiling features to drive large NOC display configuration
  • [...]

    Stratus Technologies on the Cutting “Edge”

    Stratus Technologies, a longtime partner of ThinManager, has developed and released a new server, the Stratus ztC Edge.  Stratus supported the ThinManager platform when it was produced by ACP and now as part of Rockwell Automation line of products.  We are pleased to share this release information and welcome an amazing new piece of technology to the industrial ecosphere.

    https://www.cio.com.au/mediareleases/32706/new-zero-touch-edge-server-addresses-demand-for/

    Congratulations to Panacea Technologies

    In the course of providing solutions to customers, Panacea Technologies not only found a great technology to improve their customer’s computing, but they also found a way to create a new offering that has the potential to change the benchtop and small-scale reactor space for the better. That technology is ThinManager from Rockwell Automation.

    Last week we posted about Panacea Technologies and all that they have achieved with the expansion of their OpenBio platform. We are pleased to follow up that post with the announcement that Panacea has been recognized and received the 2018 Pharma Innovation Award.

    “Designed to be the “centerpiece” of your laboratory operations, the OpenBIO Benchtop Bioreactor from Panacea Technologies can be controlled from anywhere with a tablet, phone or computer — a truly mobile experience for staff.” (By Karen Langhauser, Chief Content Director, pharmamanufacturing.com)

    Read More On This Award.

    System Integrator Uses ThinManager to Help Create a New Platform for Benchtop and Small-Scale Bioreactor Users

    System Integrators work hard. Projects usually take longer than expected as the scope stretches to meet the customer’s expectations. Every project has unique challenges. Sometimes you put in long days and weekend work to make sure everything gets done.

    Because of these things and much more, successful SIs learn how to work very efficiently. When a tool or system can be utilized to make projects more streamlined, SIs will seek to redeploy that tool or system on other projects to help overcome the obstacles mentioned above.

    In the course of providing solutions to customers, Panacea Technologies not only found a great technology to improve their customer’s computing, they also found a way to create a new offering that has the potential to change the benchtop and small-scale reactor space for the better. That technology is ThinManager from Rockwell Automation.

    The Challenge

    The current state of the benchtop and small-scale bioreactor market allows limited interaction with the reactors. Some facilities may have hundreds of reactors that need to be controlled and monitored. The issue is that these systems often use proprietary HMIs that have rigid limitations on how many units can be connected. Currently, many operators simply have to deal with monitoring one or two bioreactors at a time from a fixed terminal.

    “We once saw an operator running around with kitchen timers, paper notebooks, and a Microsoft Surface all while standing in front of the proprietary HMI,” said Will Aja of Panacea Technologies.

    Besides making lab operations inefficient, these systems have no real way of controlling user access. Panacea Technologies decided they could apply ThinManager to help solve these issues. What they have developed is not only a solution, but a whole new product to offer to their pharmaceutical customers.

    The Solution

    Panacea knew that mobile tablets would be an excellent way to overcome many of these issues. But seeking more than just a mobile connection, Panacea also wanted to provide access to more reactors at a time.

    “We envisioned a product where scientists could move freely through the lab interacting with all the Bioreactors in a lab quickly with an intelligent system that would know who had access to what based on where they were. ThinManager fit the bill perfectly here, and we are taking advantage of almost every single feature ThinManager offers.” [...]

    Large International Food Manufacturer Makes Quantum Leap to Thin Client Technology

    More and more industrial manufacturers are realizing the benefits of using thin client computing technology to run their modern facilities. We recently had the chance to speak with Thanh Phan from Quantum Solutions about how they used ThinManager to build out a new food production facility in the Midwest.

    When one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies wanted to open a new processing plant in Davenport, Iowa, they called on their partners at Rockwell Automation to help them design and implement a modern, connected workspace.

    Since the network services group from Rockwell Automation was already managing the networks for the customer, Dan Neiner, Senior Engineer for Rockwell Automation, was involved with the project from the onset. The customer wanted to implement a thin client strategy for this new facility. The old plants had used PCs, and the customer wanted to move away from the time and expense necessary to keep PCs up and running in their production environments.

    Because the solution required thin clients, Dan called on his systems integrator partners at Quantum Solutions. Quantum not only had thin client experience, but they had ThinManager experience. They were chosen by the customer to lead this deployment.

    Thanh Phan with Quantum Solutions knew ThinManager was the right solution for their customer. It’s the only thin client system designed specifically for industrial application delivery and management.

    The customer’s new plant is very large, coming in at almost 385,000 square feet with a staff of around 475 people. It was designed to replace an existing plant that had operated for decades. Quantum’s plan for deploying ThinManager and FactoryTalk View SE consisted of 3 Remote Desktop Servers and 2 ThinManager Servers that would manage and deliver content to 48 industrial thin clients.

    The servers and applications that run this ThinManager solution are driven and supported from a Rockwell Automation Integrated Data Center (IDC). This packaged solution not only runs the applications that ThinManager delivers, but it also runs the network and is securely managed by Rockwell Automation technical support professionals.

    Simplicity Equals Productivity

    There is more than one reason the team from Quantum chose ThinManager to deploy FTView SE to the thin clients in this plant. “All the requested functionality that our customer needed for this deployment was already integrated into ThinManager in a simple way,” stated Phan. “Other convenient features such as TermMon ActiveX, virtual keyboard and simple touchscreen calibration solidified ThinManager as the final choice.”

    Phan continued, “The TermMon ActiveX provided reboot and screen calibration functionality directly from the HMI. We were able to apply a script to the reboot process that ensured the thin client logged out of the server and restarted, etc. in a specific order. This also eliminated the need for physical keyboards for calibration. When a keyboard is needed, ThinManager’s hold-time configuration allows operators easy access to a virtual keyboard. We were able to configure the virtual keyboards to persist for only 5 seconds ensuring the keyboard never got in the way of other hold events on screen.”

    Safety and Security are Built-In

    Safety and Security were also important aspects of this food and beverage deployment. In addition to the built-in security of thin client hardware, Quantum deployed two of ThinManager’s most powerful features—AppLink and Shadowing.

    “AppLink guaranteed that operator access at the thin client would be limited only to the HMI application. This ensured that the server could not be accessed from the thin client. This was an absolute requirement, by the customer, for this deployment,” said Phan.

    “Shadowing allows us to troubleshoot issues remotely. Not only can we see what the operator sees, but we can take control of a terminal while an operator is standing by. Working in tandem with TermMon, we can remotely reboot a terminal after making updates to the HMI,” Phan explained.“We also took advantage of ThinManager on the server side. First, all of the users in ThinManager are synced with Active Directory so system access can still be managed by IT. Also, by using SmartSession, we are able to load balance all three HMI servers. This makes the entire thin client delivery method much more robust and improves availability in the event of server failover.”

    This is a textbook example of how ThinManager benefits systems integrators by providing solutions designed for specifically the industrial manufacturing customers they serve. We asked Thanh Phan if Quantum planned to deploy ThinManager for future customer thin client deployments.

    “Absolutely!” Phan replied. “While the program itself is straightforward, easy to learn, and takes little time to set up—the time saved and travel expenses avoided as a result of allowing engineers to remote in to a plant’s system and solve problems without having to appear on site is really what puts ThinManager above the other platforms we have used.’

    “As an example,” Phan continued,”after our initial on-site setup, the customer experienced small problems that we were able to solve in 15-30 minutes, over the phone, using the Shadow and TermMon ActiveX features. If these features were not readily available, it could have meant a trip out to the customer, resulting in additional travel costs that would otherwise be unnecessary. At the very least, it would have resulted in an additional loss of time.’

    “While instances like those listed above do not occur on a frequent basis,” Phan admitted,”when the customer does happen to have a problem, ThinManager’s features keep it from becoming an expensive one.”

    Project Overview

    Required deployment for new plant startup with following customer requests:

    • 48 thin clients
    • Failover for applications
    • Restrictions on operator access to servers
    • Simple thin client replacement in event of hardware failure

    Fit for ThinManager:

    • All requested functionality already integrated into ThinManager
    • Other convenient features (such as TermMon ActiveX, virtual keyboard, simple screen calibration) solidified ThinManager as the final choice

    Quantum readily agreed to ThinManager being used as the platform of choice for several reasons:

  • Quantum’s first choice for these systems with other customers is already always ThinManager.
  • ThinManager is very simple to set up and straightforward to use even for those that are not familiar with the platform.
  • The Shadow feature enabled the ability to effectively troubleshoot problems remotely.
  • [...]