Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced groov Server for Windows, a software-based version of its groov product for building, deploying, and viewing simple, effective, and scalable operator interfaces to monitor and control systems and equipment using computers and mobile devices. groov Server for Windows runs on enterprise PCs or servers, and is intended for settings where the IT Department won’t add hardware to the network, but will add software served from a Windows PC. Since groov Server for Windows runs on a PC, it also reduces costs for OEM machine builders who incorporate a PC in their product and need to add mobility options for their HMIs.
Using only a modern web browser, groov securely lets industrial automation end-users, system integrators, machine OEMs, building managers, technicians, or any authorized person quickly build and deploy browser-based interfaces for automation, monitoring, and control applications. Although groov is served from a Windows PC, any computer with a modern web browser can be used to build interfaces. These operator interfaces can then be viewed on almost any computer or mobile device regardless of its manufacturer or operating system, including PCs, tablets, smartphones, and even smart high-definition televisions. groov is intended to augment traditional human-machine interfaces (HMIs) by making important information available at any time and in any location.
groov offers a simple yet flexible environment for developing operator interfaces with zero programming, and requires no per-seat runtime or viewing licenses. Overcoming the biggest challenge in developing for multiple screen sizes and mobile HMIs, groov automatically and gracefully scales all screens, page objects, and gadgets, allowing groov HMIs to be viewed and manipulated from virtually any device of any screen size.
groov works with modern web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera running on operating systems including iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. groov benefits from the capabilities of these browsers by using the latest web standards like HTML5, CSS3, and SVG. And while many competing technologies depend on additional software or browser plug-ins like Flash, Silverlight, or Java to work, groov simplifies deployment by requiring no additional software or plug-ins.
Networking and Interface Development
groov Server for Windows runs on a PC or server that you control. All network communication between a web browser and groov uses an encrypted secure sockets layer (SSL) over an HTTPS connection. groov does not respond to any other communication methods on any other ports.
groov connects to Opto 22 SNAP PAC automation systems and OptoEMU energy monitoring products over a wired Ethernet network or wireless LAN. Opto 22 recommends using a separate network interface card (NIC) to segment your control systems. Support for the OPC-UA protocol is planned in 2013 and will allow groov to communicate with systems from other manufacturers that offer an OPC-UA server.
The simple and flexible development environment, groov Build, dramatically reduces the time needed to build interfaces when compared to traditional HMI screen-building tools. groov Build includes a library of scalable, touchscreen-ready gadgets: gauges, buttons, range indicators, text entry, sliders, and trends. Images and real-time video from network IP cameras—also fully scalable—can also be added. Designed to support HMI best practices, groov Build includes the tools necessary to build high-performance, intelligible information and control screens like those defined by the High Performance HMI Handbook (Hollifield et al.) and the ASM (Abnormal Situation Management) Consortium Guideline, Effective Operator Display Design.
groov Server for Windows Components and System Requirements
groov Server for Windows includes groov Build and groov View. Also available are the optional mobile apps groov View for iOS and groov View for Android.
To build operator interfaces with groov Server for Windows requires:
- A SNAP PAC S-series, SNAP PAC R-series, or SoftPAC controller with firmware R9.2a or newer, running a control strategy developed in Opto 22’s PAC Control.
- Any computer with a modern web browser. This can be the same computer where groov Server for Windows is installed, or a separate computer.
To install and run groov Server for Windows requires:
- A PC on the same network as your SNAP PAC controller, with one of the following Microsoft operating systems:
- Windows 7 Professional (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 8 Professional (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Server 2012
- A minimum of 300 MB available disk space is required to install groov Server for Windows. You may need additional disk space to create projects.
Filed Under: HMIs • operator interfaces • monitors, Software