The Desire for Virtualization Drives ThinManager Centralized Management in Ireland
For decades, industrial automation in North America has seen consistent growth in both volume as well as technological development. In many parts of the world, however, there has been a slower adoption rate of these new innovations in the manufacturing sector. One such innovation, Virtualization, has forced companies to reexamine their stance on waiting to adopt new technologies.
Enter NeoDyne, located in Cork, Ireland. Specializing in creating production performance monitoring and process improvement solutions, this fifteen year old system integration firm has plunged into these new technologies head first as they continue to modernize facilities across Ireland. One of their current deployments is a Manufacturing Information System (MIS) at the main processing facility owned and operated by a global leader in the cheese and whey protein market.
Heading into 2013 the hot topic around the IT water cooler seems firmly focused on the “Virtualization War” being waged between Microsoft and VMware. There are arguments to be made on both sides of the debate and who will come out on top is anyone’s guess at this point. Microsoft has a history of coming to market late with a product, only to devour the entire market with a low price point. While Microsoft looks to finish buying out the current Virtualization Market, VMware has seemingly decided to ignore Virtualization as an “end game” and continues to push past it towards full cloud adoption to compete as a service to rival Microsoft Azure.
For over a decade, Automation Control Products (ACP) has been changing how the industrial automation sector does business in the competitive, fast paced, global marketplace with the ThinManager Platform. Today, ACP is a worldwide leader in the automation industry that provides full-feature centralized thin client and terminal server management software. Our unique platform offers trendsetting centralized management solutions for the modern factory by simplifying management of applications and visual resources. When combined with ACP’s ThinManager, each client has performance and features unmatched by products from any other company.
ThinManager Grows With Expanding Operations
When a large globally recognized beverage company needed to expand their North American facilities from coast to coast, they called on the Barry Wehmiller Design Group. With more than 25 years of experience as a global supplier of manufacturing technology, and over 600 dedicated technical professionals, they were the obvious choice for such a large project. When it was time to improve and upgrade those facilities, the Barry Wehmiller Design Group called on ThinManager.
“We looked at a number of different options and settled on the ThinManager Platform because of its great reputation as it was created specifically for industrial applications. It seemed to be an ideal solution for the plant floor. It doesn’t carry a lot of overhead and it is very easy to install. That was one of the primary considerations when we chose ThinManager,” said Mike Sommars of Barry Wehmiller Design Group. He then explained the totality of this large multi-phase, multi-location project that was deployed and expanded upon over a period of time.
Last month, we discussed how the often used “Return on Investment” statistic is one that is skewed by the data that is or is not used to determine initial cash layout of a proposed deployment. However, one important part of that equation that has always been unavoidable when pricing out a proposed deployment is hardware. When thin clients were first introduced, their initial cost savings over PCs was obvious. But over the last decade, PC prices have continued to drop while thin client prices have, for the most part, stayed the same. A quick review of new product press releases this month from manufacturers such as AIS, HP, Acer, and Ncomputing shows that while some thin clients can still be purchased at a very manageable price point, most of the current models on the market can cost up to $700 per unit.
Stacking up the Benefits: ThinManager and Rockwell Automation
For nearly thirty years, ESE, Inc, the Engineering Solutions Experts, has seen continuous growth in plant automation engineering. Headquartered in Marshfield, Wisconsin, ESE specializes in Rockwell solutions for global food and beverage manufacturers. Yet, after years of providing support and upgrades, it became apparent that there was a missing piece to the puzzle. That piece turned out to be ThinManager.
Contacted by a major cheese processing plant in California, ESE was brought in to upgrade their existing processes with a combination of modern hardware and a Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View SE distributed SCADA system. They replaced the older PanelView terminals that were on the factory floor with Allen-Bradley 200R VersaView Industrial PCs, as well as a legacy RSView32 SCADA system to give them more computing power and greater flexibility.
Everything you read about thin clients, zero clients, or anything other than a PC will tell you there is a device that is better and saves you more money compared to their competition. More often than not, these claims are validated by a report paid for by a hardware manufacturer that only talks about their specific client matched up against another client chosen as comparative fodder because they know they can beat it. These reports are not false, nor are they inaccurate. They are, however, slanted to omit where the savings really are to paint a far prettier picture. After all, their first, last, and only reason for commissioning such a report is to sell you their newest hardware release.
This is the first in a three part article focusing on the entire process of Virtualizing in an industrial environment. While there is a lot of talk about Virtualizing and VDI, we wanted to focus on the viability and deployment of Virtualization in an industrial and manufacturing environment which would speak to the concerns and difficulties specific to this industry.
Part 1: Centralization Before Virtualization
It is everywhere and there is no escaping it. It is written about, discussed, recommended, and deployed in offices and facilities around the world every day. It is the iPhone of IT…you might not know why you are buying it, you just know that everyone else is using it so it must be the next great thing. But as implementation of virtualized environments continues to become the norm rather than the exception, industry publications are reporting that up to 40% of Virtualization deployments are never completed and eventually scrapped.
For Immediate Release: June 27, 2012
ACP ThinManager to release Munici-Pack Licensing
ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA—ACP (Automation Control Products), a worldwide leader in the automation industry that provides full-feature centralized thin client and terminal server management software, has announced that they will be releasing a new “Munici-Pack” licensing option. Unlike standard ThinManager license packs that require the full installation to be in one physical location, the Munici-Packs allow a municipality the flexibility to use purchased licenses anywhere within their jurisdiction. This licensing option uses the recently released ThinManager 6.0 Platform which has several new functions and features such as iTMC, which allows any Apple iPad to run as a portable, wireless thin client, as well as worldwide remote access capability and improved support for a wide range of hardware and components. Specifics of the Munici-Pack License model can be found via the following link: