1) What does a Fully Configured FIN system consist of?

2) Can I just buy the FIN software, and not a fully configured system?

3) What is involved in configuring "FIN Software Only?

4) How does FIN get the data?

5) I already have a Wonderware , Intellution , Cimplicity , Iconics , RSview , CiTect , SCADA package, why do I need FIN?

6) What if I want to add a data point to the installed system?

7) What if I want to delete a data point from the installed system?

8) How do I go about getting a quotation for a FIN system?

9) What are the minimum requirements for the Client Station(s)?

10) What about upgrades and support?

11) What if I already have all the points in an existing software package such as Wonderware , Intellution Cimplicity , Iconics , RSview , CiTect or another database?

12) Is all of the data stored on my computer all the time?

13) What happens when I run out of disk space or my hard drive crashes?

14) We need to insure that our data can not be changed. Will FIN meet this requirement?

15) What if I want to automatically generate reports

16) Do I need to purchase a FIN Client to view reports that are posted on the web page?

17) Do I need to know how to create web pages to use the Report Server?


 

1) What does a Fully Configured FIN system consist of?

FIN Server running Windows XP with the following minimum specifications:
Intel ® 1.86 GHz, L2/dual-core processor, 2 GB RAM
17 inch monitor
[2] 160GB SCSI Hard Drive
[1] External Ethernet Drive for back up
[2] Ethernet NICs
Microsoft ® Office, Small Business Edition
Norton ® Anti-Virus
Battery back up UPS with USB communications to pc to provide for an orderly shutdown of operating system.
One FIN Client install (additional clients can be purchased at anytime)

Engineering services:
Establish communications to factory floor equipment
Setup of all data points
Testing of all data points
Start up
On-site training using your FIN system

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2) Can I just buy the FIN software, and not a fully configured system?

Yes, now we offer either "Fully Configured FIN" or "FIN Software Only".

"FIN Software Only" is for applications that consist of PLCs (or other intelligent devices that support communications). You will need to provide your own dedicated data collection computer (specifications below), and the DDE or OPC I/O server for the PLC.

For 100 to 300 data point system:

P4 (or equivalent) processor, 2.0 GHZ, 512MB RAM, 80 GB HD, Network Interface Card, Windows ® XP
*Dedicated for only data collection

For 500 data points and larger system:

P4 (or equivalent) processor, 3.0 GHZ, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB SCSI HD, Network Interface Card, Windows ® XP
*Dedicated for only data collection

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3) What is involved in configuring "FIN Software Only?

The FIN software includes a Data Point Editor. After configuring the I/O Server, use the Data Point Editor to identify the points that are to be collected. The Data Point Editor is used to assign each data point a name, description, address location, scaling and display formatting.

Once the data points have all been configured, you are ready to go. The FIN software screens come pre-configured. You don't have to create any graphics!

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4) How does FIN get the data?

This is where the Factory Floor Experts at FIN come in. Every system is different, in some cases all the data points already exist in an intelligent device (such as a PLC). In this case, FIN simply talks to the PLC or the device (via commercially available OPC or DDE I/O servers). Any PLC modifications necessary are included in a Fully Configured FIN System's cost and performed by FIN's engineers. In other cases, the data points may exist in legacy equipment, or not tied into any intelligent device, then, we may add Ethernet I/O modules to collect the data. Serial devices, other microprocessors, or external databases are also no problem for FIN. We can write custom communication drivers or poll data from other sources.

A critical part of a Fully Configured FIN System is a plant review. A FIN engineer visits your facility and determines the best way to collect the data you need.

Once the data points are identified, FIN will design the best method of collecting the data.

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5) I already have a Wonderware , Intellution , Cimplicity , Iconics , RSview , CiTect , SCADA package, why do I need FIN?

SCADA packages are not designed to collect data. Their primary function is to control the process or machinery. Most only store limited information for 1 to 4 weeks.

FIN brings your machine and process data to the office in a format that everybody can understand and utilize. You never know when you'll need to go back and look at data.

FIN comes pre-configured, and the fully configured FIN requires NO IN HOUSE ENGINEERING. In order to get the same information from a SCADA package would require additional software components, MANY engineering hours, and possibly hiring consultants (i.e. $$$$).

FIN can work WITH your existing SCADA package, leaving it free to allow the operator to control the process--- what it was designed to do.

Exporting reports and data to Excel can be very cumbersome in most off-the-shelf packages. It is just a click of the mouse with FIN.

Trending can also be difficult to configure with other packages, but FIN's "drag-and-drop" trending and auto scaling of ranges allows anyone to start trending data in seconds.

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6) What if I want to add a data point to the installed system?

FIN software includes a Data Point Editor. Data Points can be added, deleted or modified. Points can be added, provided that the communications connection to the device is already established -- in other words, that FIN is already gathering data from the device, such as a PLC. If the point is from a new device, a new I/O server (or other hardware) may need to be added in order to establish communications with that device.

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7) What if I want to delete a data point from the installed system?

Using the Data Point Editor, you can delete points. You must realize that deleting points would also cause FIN to stop collecting data from that point, so this should be done with much consideration.

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8) How do I go about getting a quotation for a FIN system?

For FIN Software only, please contact the sales department for pricing.


For a Fully Configured FIN system, we will ask you several questions regarding approximately how many data points you want to monitor (FIN pricing is structured based on data points from 100 to over 3500), and how many people would like to have access to the data (number of clients). Then we will ask you about the existing control systems and instruments. At that point, we can give you a budgetary quotation.


Due to the nature of data collection and the variety of equipment on typical factory floors, in most cases we need to visit your facility to look at your equipment. Part of our expertise and knowledge is knowing the factory floor, and providing the best solution for collecting the data. Our "Plant Review" is currently FREE of charge for serious inquiries. Upon completion of the survey, we will send you a detailed proposal including all engineering and hardware required to collect the data you need. We can even recommend what points we think you should collect.


It is simple, leave the data collection to the experts… FIN!

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9) What are the minimum requirements for the Client Station(s)?

Windows ® NT, 2000 or XP operating system
Pentium ® 3 processor, 128 MB RAM, 10 MB of free HD space

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10) What about upgrades and support?

You will get one free year of telephone support and upgrades with your FIN software. After a year, you can renew your support on a yearly basis for a nominal fee.


Support for Fully Configured FIN systems includes weekly health checks, telephone support, access to our customer website, and upgrades. After a year, you can renew your support on a yearly basis for a nominal fee. Upon renewal, you will receive a new removable drive to back up your data for the coming year.

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11) What if I already have all the points in an existing software package such as Wonderware , Intellution Cimplicity , Iconics , RSview , CiTect or another database?

If your data is already pulled from the plant floor into a database, we can usually obtain the data easily from that software package. In most cases, this requires little or no additional engineering.


FIN can, in most cases easily obtain data from any database that is ODBC or OLEDB compliant.


Please consult a FIN engineer to discuss your application.

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12) Is all of the data stored on my computer all the time?

Yes, the data is always there on your FIN server, so you can retrieve it whenever you need it. We store the data points every second on the dual hard drives (provided as part of a Fully Configured FIN system) and then compress the data, in order save disk space. A 160 GB hard drive can store 7 years of data for a typical 500 point system made up of 250 digital and 250 analog data points. Similarly, the historical data generated by a 200 point system can be stored for over 16 years!


All Fully configured FIN systems ship with an external Ethernet hard drive. The system will be configured to back up the data once per day, so you never lose your data. Not only is the data stored on dual hard drives, but the back up drive gives you TRIPLE redundancy! Upon renewal of your FIN yearly subscription, a new removable drive will be sent to you, so you can securely store the previous year's data.


All FIN servers (supplied with Fully Configured FIN) are also shipped with a DVD +/-RW drive that will allow you to back up your data onto DVDs as well.


The data collected can also be easily saved to a network drive using Windows Explorer ®.

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13) What happens when I run out of disk space or my hard drive crashes?

The FIN software monitors critical computer system points. One of these points is hard drive disk free space. You can set up an alarm to alert you when the free space falls below a specified number. Utilizing this feature will insure that you never lose any data.

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14) We need to insure that our data can not be changed. Will FIN meet this requirement?

Yes! The data collected by FIN can never be modified. It stays in its originally collected state.

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15) What if I want to automatically generate reports?

The Fully Configured FIN comes with our "Report Server" software. The Report Server allows you to automatically generate reports that have been configured in a FIN client and post them to a web page on the FIN server. (Report Server is not included with FIN Software only.)

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16) Do I need to purchase a FIN Client to view reports that are posted on the web page?

No, anybody who has Internet Explorer ® and access to the FIN Server computer can view the reports.


The reports can also be copied and pasted into other software packages such as Microsoft Excel ®

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17) Do I need to know how to create web pages to use the Report Server?

No, you simply need to identify the report, time for the report to run, and the interval you would like to run the report.


The web page is already created on the FIN Server. Once the reports are enabled, they are automatically posted on the page. No web design required!

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* - Excel® is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation



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