zenon 8.00 and zenon Analyzer 3.20: COPA-DATA releases new software versions

COPA-DATA presents new versions of its automation and reporting software with zenon 8.00 and zenon Analyzer 3.20. Users will benefit from a number of performance improvements, extensive functionality for smart factories and energy distribution, as well as new predictive analytics calculations.

As well as module and industry-specific extensions, the focus of this year’s release is fundamental adaptations to product infrastructure. In future, zenon customers can take advantage of improved performance in the areas of data distribution, grids and redundancy, as well as cycling archiving. For example, through optimized data distribution between driver and Runtime, zenon 8.00 processes more than 10,000 variable changes per second in one screen. Thanks to multi-threading, grid redundancy performance is improved by up to 50 percent. In stress tests, cycling archiving performance of 250,000 variables written per second has been demonstrated.

In addition, further zenon developments lay the foundation for a new licensing system which makes license management more flexible, quicker and clearer for customers. In the future, zenon users can manage their software licenses more independently and enjoy more flexibility and time savings thanks to automated digital processes.

“With our short release cycles, we support the innovation capability of our customers. The increasing volumes of data from the digital transformation of industry demand reliable applications. Thanks to design thinking and agile software development, we guarantee the continual development of zenon while bringing reliable new technology promptly to the market,” explains Reinhard Mayr, Head of Product Management at COPA-DATA.

New features in zenon 8.00

The Extended Trend module in zenon presents recorded values graphically in the shape of a curve. It shows historically recorded data, as well as online data that has not been saved. Project creators and users enjoy enhanced user-friendliness in zenon 8.00 due to many new features and optimizations in Extended Trend. Increases in engineering efficiency are delivered through, for example, index substitution of curve variables – a form of object-oriented engineering. Graphical renderings of archived data can be engineered faster and more intuitively – the project engineer is provided with the best possible assistance when creating effective diagrams. It is even simpler for users to receive customized and relevant information. For a quicker overview, variables can now be pulled natively by drag and drop into the diagram window. A configurable pop-up window provides supplemental information on a specific value, which reflects the trend.

Equipment Modeling in zenon organizes a physically existing system into any number of hierarchically structured groups and units. Variables, recipes, functions and archives, and other meta-information can be assigned to these equipment groups over several projects. This allows for data modeling in the development environment, as well as the user environment. This way, the module offers an optimal overview of the status of equipment used. In zenon 8.00, the Industrial Maintenance Manager module is now comprehensively coupled with Equipment Modeling. Machine and maintenance data can, therefore, be managed that much easier. Service intervals can be conveniently planned and clearly represented.

zenon Batch Control is a solution for batch-based production in a variety of industries. Its intelligent design and seamless integration in zenon as a process control system provide for quick implementation and efficient validation. With zenon 8.00, master recipes can now be automatically released. In addition, a recipe can be created in an external program, then automatically imported and released for production. This allows for a consistently automated workflow. Moreover, touch operation for batch recipes has been improved.

zenon 8.00 also brings essential new features for shift management. Process data in the Alarm Message List, the Chronological Event List, and in Trends and Reports can now be filtered based on shifts. As a result, informative production analysis with consideration of shift data is an option, which can be particularly helpful in large production facilities.

zenon Process Recorder offers the possibility to transparently analyze errors and problems after the event. It supplements existing zenon tools for even more precise error analysis. With zenon 8.00, the evolution of a project can now be illustrated. Any deviations from the current state are highlighted in the replay mode tables. That way, several project development stages can be consistently analyzed using one tool.

New features for the energy industry

For energy automation, COPA-DATA has developed additional functionality with regard to a comprehensive Distribution Management System. Two new modules, Load Flow Calculation and State Estimator enable grid calculations in the context of energy distribution. Load Flow Calculation benefits smaller energy grids in which all inputs and charges can be properly measured. The State Estimator plays a role in larger energy grids in which complete measurements do not take place. Furthermore, calculations can now be made to optimize grid operation, such as topologic interlocking from the grid calculation or the (n-1) calculation to assess faults in subcomponents of the grid.

If invalid data is sent from a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), this can lead to widespread loss of function at the operator site. The newly developed Alternative Data Points (ADP) driver helps avoid this issue and provides improved data consistency and operation safeguarding through robust data flow. The alternative data points jump in during an RTU fault and maintain the data flow either with redundantly collected data from other RTUs or through programmable simulation data. Moreover, the ADP driver is also useful for control systems in other industries.

New features in zenon Analyzer 3.20

To measure and ensure production quality, the Statistical Process Control – SPC is frequently used. The most common SPC reports can be created and analyzed in the new version of the COPA-DATA reporting software, zenon Analyzer 3.20. These include process capability analysis to assess quality stability in pilot production, control charts for quality checks in series production and a histogram to render the distribution of measured values around the average value. Additional statistical reports such as box plot, trend with limits, or the XY trend, supplement the already extensive analysis offered to optimize production quality.

In addition, zenon Analyzer 3.20 offers smart analysis tools thanks to the new Predictive Analytics Reports. Based on historical values, and with the help of prediction models, better decisions can be made. The requirement for meaningful predictions is a comprehensive and solid database, which is made possible through consistent digitalization of production. zenon Analyzer offers two types of predictions. Time-based predictions provide an outlook of how a variable will develop in the future. Value-based predictions show how a value will develop if another value is changed, for example, to assess energy consumption following a fictitious change in production volume.

In the future, the project engineer will configure the prediction model in the Prediction Model Manager. This newly introduced tool is a part of the zenon Analyzer Management Studio. It includes helpful wizards for step-by-step creation of prediction models.

Automation Update