Newly designed central control room

System Integrator Uses Thin Client Technology to Improve Visualization for International Lime Supplier

Singleton Birch Ltd is the UK’s leading independent lime supplier with a worldwide customer base. The product range includes quicklime, hydrated lime, natural hydraulic lime, graded chalk, aggregates and other specialist products and services. 

Over the last few years, Singleton Birch has worked to optimize production operations. They have moved from a localized, plant-based approach to a centralized control room scenario with field-based operators communicating directly with the CCR (Central Control Room). [...]

ThinManager Control Terminal

Build The Ultimate Control Room

In today’s modern production environment visualization is not only important, it is essential.

Visualization is one of the cornerstones of ThinManager and building your ultimate control room to see everything in your production environment is simply put… “A Piece of Cake”!

Start by obtaining a capable thin client, one that can support multiple monitors. We like a configuration for at least 4 large monitors.  Need suggestions, look at the ThinManager Knowledge Base of ThinManager ready hardware. Install and layout your monitors.
sample ThinManager monitor configurations
screen-configUsing ThinManager you can now assign your control room thin client with all the applications, HMIs, IP Camera Feeds and Desktops that you will need to operate in complete control with optimal visualization of what is happening in your production environment.

Quickly and easily “Shadow” plant floor terminals or take control if needed.  You have options for “Tiling” on each individual monitor, as well as using camera overlays for even more visualization. You can ever move content from screen to screen on the fly!

Simply restart your control room terminal and you now have the set up you always wanted.  It is just that easy and all simply built in to the functionality of ThinManager.





Operator Using Camera

Increase Visualization with IP Cameras

When you think about IP Cameras in your work environment, what comes to mind?  You might think of monitoring safety and security of the facility.  That is a completely valid thought.  For many facilities that is likely the main reason that cameras were put in to place.

IP Camera use, especially in the last 5 years, has given way to much more.  A new focus in a modern production environment is “increased visualization”.  Increasing visualization can spawn from anything that makes you more productive by way of seeing more information.  The use of cameras allows you to have an in-depth feel for an environment, not just a view of the screen at the terminal.

Strategic placement of cameras in the environment can give you a view of the true environmental condition of that area.  It will allow you to see the terminal and line, not just watch  what is happening on screen.

Seeing what is happening in the true environment at a given moment can add great value.  Is the operator at their station? Is there a blockage in the production line?  These can be easily answered if you have incorporated IP Cameras in the environment.  ThinManager makes this a piece of cake.

Cameras can be connected to your network, plugged straight in to your terminal thin client or set up on a stand alone network.  The best set up will depend on a combination of the hardware available to you and the bandwidth at your disposal.

Once a camera is found on your network, it can be added as an overlay or stand alone display client to any terminal set up in ThinManager.  Virtual visibility with IP Cameras in your production environment is a low cost but high reward way to increase visualization, safety and productivity.

Want to hear more about ThinManager and exactly what ThinManager is, check out What is ThinManager.




Monthly Integrator Spotlight

Using ThinManager to Drive a Cutting Edge Facility


Third Evolution Inc. 

For years, businesses and governments have been talking more and more about the environmental impact of modern industrial manufacturing processes and the costs associated with conventional energy sources such as coal and oil.  That combined with the projected increase in fossil fuel consumption in countries such as China and India has lead to a resurgence of new investment and research in the renewable energy commercialization sector.

Robert Maxfield, the Vice President and Control System Architect of Third Evolution, recently got to see just how cutting edge companies can be in this sector while deploying ThinManager in a new state of the art facility specializing in Biomethane capture and processing.  “Our client originally came to us wanting to implement a Citrix XenDesktop thin client architecture into one of their existing facilities.  Having worked with it before, I knew that ThinManager was much easier to deploy and operate as well as offering greater management capabilities, so I offered to show them proof of concept of our proposed architecture using Wonderware InTouch and ThinManager instead.  After seeing it in person, they were sold.”

After their initial upgrade, the customer sat down with Robert to design an even more advanced system for a new facility with a network architecture based on their recent facility upgrade.  Robert explained that they intended to push the envelope even further.    “Because they are such a cutting edge company, they wanted to create something ultra modern that would still allow them flexibility because as they continue to patent new technologies there will be a need to continue to fine tune their process.  They wanted a very clean Control Room with low power usage and heat output, as well as a desire to incorporate iPads instead of placing thin clients and additional network cables throughout the facility without sacrificing functionality of all the features ThinManager offers.  Essentially, they designed this facility around ThinManager.”

Robert started by designing a facility wide intranet using WPA2 security on a segmented Layer 3 Wi-Fi network.  By creating a separate VLAN and Subnet for the Wi-Fi and the control network and routing it to the ThinManager server, he ensured that if the network security was breached, the only thing that could be accessed would be ThinManager instead of the server controlling operations and data.  Then to implement the ThinManager iTMC app, he hard coded the SSID for the Wi-Fi network directly into the iPad, which would render the Wi-Fi network invisible to any other device inside or outside the facility.

After completing the wireless architecture, Robert and the team from Third Evolution turned their attention to the Control Room.  “We started with a basic ESX architecture using two VMware servers and one virtual server with Windows 2008R2 on each physical machine running redundant.  Then we have five 55” screens.  Three of them are on one Arista Box-240PC connected to one server using the ThinManager MultiMonitor feature, and the other two are connected to the backup ThinServer on a second Arista client,” Robert told us.  “We designed it so that if any one piece of hardware failed, they wouldn’t lose their screens.”

After tying the network together, Robert began layering in ThinManager features to customize the facility operations and increase functionality.  “We set up the Shadowing feature to make it easier to work remotely with the plant operators.  We have ThinManager set up at the corporate office that we can access via VPN and use that to shadow them at the plant.  If there is ever a problem, they can show us what they are doing, and we can provide accurate real time remote support.  We also layered in ThinManager AppLink and IP Camera Support to deliver the integrated camera dashboard for advanced controls as well as for delivery of their Wonderware InTouch HMI.”  By using AppLink he was able to set InTouch to deliver in full screen mode without having to configure each individual user with a separate batch file or security preferences.

The most impressive part of the Third Evolution architecture, however, was the integration of WinTMC and iTMC with the ThinManager installation at the facility and the corporate office.  “Anyone with security clearance at their headquarters or one of their 150 satellite sites can monitor the plant processes without using hardcoded security credentials, resolution settings, or even an RDP connection. We just gave them an icon on their PCs and iPads, and they have full monitoring capability right at their fingertips.  Even the President and Vice President of the company can use the app to connect via VPN and access the plant network from anywhere.”

After running for six months, Robert says the customer has not reported any problems with the system and that it is now part of the standard architecture for all of their facilities.  “I think the ease of integration when deploying ThinManager is wonderful.  Without the centralized management ThinManager delivers, we would have had to do a lot more work and had a system with less flexibility and security.”

We then asked him if he had any parting advice for other system integrators.  “If you are going to use ThinManager, utilize it to its fullest.  Don’t just use the bits and pieces you are comfortable with.  It is simple to understand and deploy, and you won’t have to edit or restructure any of the software.  We already have two more ThinManager deployments scheduled for this year, and we plan on introducing the end user to everything ThinManager has to offer.”


To view our “Tips & Gems” video tutorials, visit our video links page here.

To review cost savings of using the ThinManager Platform, visit our ROI Calculator here.

To read about successful ThinManager Platform deployments, visit here.

To see when the next ThinManager 2-Day Training Session is being offered, visit here. [...]

MailBag Friday (#43)

Every Friday, we dedicate this space to sharing solutions for some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our ThinManager Technical Support team.  This weekly feature will help educate ThinManager Platform users and provide them with answers to questions they may have about licenses, installation, integration, deployment, upgrades, maintenance, and daily operation.  Great technical support is an essential part of the ThinManager Platform, and we are constantly striving to make your environment as productive and efficient as possible.


Could you please advise me what configuration is required on a Windows PC to allow for a WinTMC session to span multiple monitors? We found the configuration on the thin server but still can’t get the WinTMC session to maximize across both monitors on the client system.

It is almost the same process as setting up MultiMonitor for a thin client.  In the terminal configuration wizard select Enable MultiMonitor, select the resolution of your monitors, and setup the layout of the sessions.  If you choose the resolution that your monitors are running at it should open full screen across both monitors once it’s received its configuration. [...]

MultiMonitor – Created By ACP, Driven by Arista

Almost fourteen years ago, ACP released ThinManager as a centralized management solution for the modern factory.  Since then, ThinManager has evolved into a complete platform that manages clients and their connections to servers, as well as a myriad of applications and visual resources.  While most of the evolution of ThinManager can be attributed to a handful of dedicated programmers and the vision of CEO Matt Crandell, the impetus for most of the features has come from the changing needs of ThinManager end users.  Most notably, is MultiMonitor, one of the most used and most versatile of the wide range of ThinManager Platform features.

MultiMonitor is Born

Developed in 2006, MultiMonitor first appeared in ThinManager 3.0 after ACP developers identified aglaring need for advancement of the technology being used by factory network engineers.  Randy Cannady, Director of Engineering at ACP, explained to us how ACP made the decision to develop MultiMonitor.  “We had end users who needed higher resolutions.  They were starting to use thin clients on the floor but still had multiple PCs and multiple monitors in their Control Rooms to monitor all of the processes.  We knew it would make more sense to eliminate the need for the PCs and additional keyboards so we went to work developing MultiMonitor.  We knew we could program it, but it would require the right thin client hardware.  That’s when we contacted Arista.”

Building a Stronger Partnership

Dating back to 2004, Arista had been a hardware partner with ACP as one of a small handful of manufacturers producing true industrial thin clients.  “After years of supplying hardware to ThinManager users, ACP asked us if we could develop a new ThinManager enabled thin client with multiple video outputs and no fans,” stated Thao Le, Vice President at Arista Corporation.  At that time, most thin clients used fans for internal cooling.  But the problem with deploying them in an industrial application is that the fans bring in dust and any airborne particles, which greatly reduces the life cycle of the hardware.  “The only alternative is to create a “clean room” which is almost impossible in an industrial environment.  So we started to engineer a completely new thin client,” said Thao.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Randy and the development team at ACP had delivered their hardware partner a difficult request.  They knew they needed a client with multiple video processors and video ports, but adding additional hardware to the client without the use of fans was going to require an entirely new approach to the philosophy and design of the current industrial hardware landscape.  Thao explained the development process of what would eventually become the Box 140PC / Box 240PC.  “We first started by taking an older unit with a video card in a PCI slot and adding additional video ports.  Technically it worked, but the Windows based Thermal Monitoring System kept shutting down the unit to prevent overheating.  From there we re-engineered the client case by improving our thermal module with the addition of copper piping to draw heat away, as well as adding a heat blocking thermal chamber and adopting a vertical card design to allow heat to flow up into a heat plate to keep it from getting trapped inside the case.”

MultiMonitor Grows Legs

From 2006 to 2009, the ACP development team continued to improve on the base functionality of MultiMonitor using the newly designed Arista clients.  Eventually, ThinManager 3.3 was released, which added full support for MultiMonitor, including multiple layout templates for end users to choose from.  The response from end users showed ACP that MultiMonitor was a total success.  “Once we released ThinManager 3.3, the uptake rate was the fastest of any feature we had ever released, primarily for the Control Room application,” said Randy.  “Even today, it continues to be one of the most commonly deployed features of the current ThinManager Platform.” 

Under the Hood

Today, MultiMonitor allows users to seamlessly display up to five screens on a single client and is still the only platform on the market to allow the client to display a different session on each of the five screens.  In addition, MultiMonitor can span a single session across multiple monitors and even supports Touchscreens.  With multiple configurations and layouts to choose from, ThinManager has created the most versatile process management feature of any platform available today.

The Evolution Continues

Not content with MultiMonitor, Randy and the team at ACP went back to the drawing board and came upwith a way to further enhance this technology in conjunction with the Arista MultiMonitor clients.  “After releasing MultiMonitor there was discussion about allowing multiple mice and keyboards to allow multiple users to work off one client, which led to MultiStation, our newest feature release. It only requires a single ThinManager ready Arista thin client that already has multiple USB ports for extra input devices.  So by combining MultiMonitor and MultiSession, we can separate each display for individual users and span multiple sessions that exist on a single monitor.” 

Products Evolve with Partnerships

After a decade of partnership, we asked Thao how ACP and Arista continue to work so well together.  “The reason why our relationship with ACP is so successful is because we have been working closely with them for a long time.  When you buy an Arista box and ThinManager, you are buying a complete solution.  We run ThinManager in our office so we can continue to provide support as new versions and features of ThinManager are released by ACP.  Troubleshooting the software and hardware at the same time makes sure they work seamlessly together.  We continue to work closely to give the customer complete support for their entire system.“


Register for our MultiMonitor Webinar on 5/1 by clicking here.


To download or print the PDF version of this story click here.


To view our “Tips & Gems” video tutorials, visit our video links page here. [...]

TMUG 2013 Developers Roundtable Transcript

 This year at the TMUG Conference, end users got the opportunity to ask Tim Caine (Chief Technology Officer) and Randy Cannady (Director of Engineering) about some of the new features in the works for the ThinManager Platform 7 release later this year, offer suggestions to improve functionality from an end user perspective , and discuss future features and options.  Questions were also fielded online from various ThinManager users around the world.  The following is a list of those questions and the responses provided at the Developers Roundtable.



1) Employees oftentimes lose their badges and must obtain new ones.  When this occurs, the Plant Engineer would like the right to change their badge number.  This requires a long process of contacting “the keepers of the servers” to make the change.  The request is to provide a function via the TermMon ActiveX Control to programmatically change the badge numbers of non-administrative Term Secure users and to automatically log the date/time when that user’s badge number has changed.

Answer-          “This is part of a series of suggestions that all have to do with updating TermSecure users via various different means.  Currently, this fix can’t be implemented because there is no active directory integration.  Once we have that, maybe this requirement would change a little bit, but I would think we could allow that to happen through the ActiveX control in some manner. “



2) What I see lacking in ThinManager is the ability to assign privileges for the various functions within ThinManager for various groups of terminals, display devices, servers, etc.  Our facilities are segmented into different areas with different individuals responsible for those areas.  Ideally, we would like to create an organizational tree within TM that mirrors our facilities/responsibilities and use Active Directory groups to manage access to ThinManager functions for the various parts of the organizational tree.  Just like a directory tree, you should be able to select inheritance, etc.


Yes, we’ve been tossing around the idea of making it more discrete in terms of your security settings within the tree.  Right now, when you run ThinManager it inherits the Windows user you are currently logged in your PC as it applies security to what you can do in ThinManager.  But if you can modify one terminal you can modify every terminal.  If you can modify one display client, you can modify them all.  There is no way to make that more fine grained and we have been talking about various ways of doing this but it is an implementation problem with the database, not a problem with the idea.  We have to figure out how to get around that. [...]

MailBag Friday (#32)

Every Friday, we dedicate this space to sharing solutions for some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our ThinManager Technical Support team.  This weekly feature will help educate ThinManager Platform users and provide them with answers to questions they may have about licenses, installation, integration, deployment, upgrades, maintenance, and daily operation.  Great technical support is an essential part of the ThinManager Platform, and we are constantly striving to make your environment as productive and efficient as possible.



I have a WYSE S10 thin client that I am intending to do some testing with Thin Manager.  I am having trouble configuring the network connection to reach my server running the Thin Manager application.   The Thin Client boots up and obtains an IP address for the client via DHCP.  But, I am not able to connect to my server to select my terminal configuration.

I can configure a specific instance of an RDP connection from the thin client to the server and access the server direct, so I know I can access the server on the network.  Do you have an instruction/guidance document for the network setup for the WYSE S10 client? 


Even though that Wyse is not a ThinManager Ready thin client, you can just set set up the PXE server within ThinManager and use it. 

Chapter 11 of the manual discusses the configuration of the PXE server.




I am looking to replace my current monitor management solution and read about your MultiMonitor feature.  In our current facility, most of our PCs have up to 4 Monitors and our configuration is such that every time an application is launched it is started at a predefined place on a predefined Monitor in a predefined size.

Is this basic requirement covered by Thin Manager?


Our system is flexible. You can use either method, depending on what suits you. PCs only let you do method #2. [...]

MailBag Friday (#30)

Every Friday, we dedicate this space to sharing solutions for some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our ThinManager Technical Support team.  This weekly feature will help educate ThinManager Platform users and provide them with answers to questions they may have about licenses, installation, integration, deployment, upgrades, maintenance, and daily operation.  Great technical support is an essential part of the ThinManager Platform, and we are constantly striving to make your environment as productive and efficient as possible.



I have an HP thin client dual monitor display extended setting mode with resolution 3840 by 1200.  Will ThinManager be able to support the MultiMonitor with extended mode?


The MultiMonitor feature will allow a session to span 2+ monitors. The maximum resolution supported in an RDP Session (an RDP session may span multiple monitors) is 4096×2048.




We are currently using ThinManager 4.0 and are looking to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 as well as ThinManager 6.0 Xli.  When I look at the Xli compatibility list, our thin client (Arista ARP-1615AP-ACP) is not in there.  I’m a little confused as to what Xli is.  Does that mean our thin client will not work with version 6.0?


XLi is a ThinManager licensing platform that was introduced as an all in one’ licensing package, that allows for unlimited functionality (up to your connection count) of the software. The XLi Compatibility List is a list of clients that we have tested that will PXE (Network) Boot from ThinManager. The Advantage of using PXE booting with XLi is that it allows for many more choices of Thin Clients (possibly some that we have not even tested here in the office). [...]

MailBag Friday (#28)

Every Friday, we dedicate this space to sharing solutions for some of the most frequently asked questions posed to our ThinManager Technical Support team.  This weekly feature will help educate ThinManager Platform users and provide them with answers to questions they may have about licenses, installation, integration, deployment, upgrades, maintenance, and daily operation.  Great technical support is an essential part of the ThinManager Platform, and we are constantly striving to make your environment as productive and efficient as possible.


I have installed the ACP ThinManager on my laptop and the application on the iPad to use your iTMC function.  I need to know about the network configurations, how should they be set up? Currently, I am not able to connect to the server from the iPad. Both devices are connected on the same wireless network. Any ideas?


You will need to download and install the iOS Proxy Program for ThinManager:

Additionally, our wiki ( would be a great tool for you to use in setting up ThinManager and iTMC.

-TM                      [...]