Opto 22 has introduced the Opto iPAC iOS App, offering access to the company’s flagship SNAP PAC System via popular mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. For the first time, detailed, real-time, control system information is quickly and easily accessible to authorized control engineers, maintenance personnel, instrumentation technicians, panel builders, developers, and others through their mobile and tablet devices. Now these automation and control professionals can view, debug, and fine-tune their wirelessly accessible control and I/O systems, saving time and money during installation, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance.
Using the Opto iPAC application, devices running iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) can discover any wirelessly accessible SNAP PAC programmable automation controllers (PAC) and I/O systems on the control system network. Authorized Opto iPAC users with proper security credentials can inspect SNAP I/O points and PAC Control strategy variables, and execute control functions such as turning digital output points on or off, writing values to analog outputs, and changing control variables and table entries. Specific I/O points and tagnames can be retrieved, viewed, and saved to a Watch List for quick future reference. Also, Opto iPAC users can start or stop any flowcharts running within their control strategies.
“We all know how inconvenient it can be to return to your desktop PC, or drag a laptop with you whenever you need to do simple control system maintenance like check wiring or view a system variable,” says Steve Sauls, software engineer and iOS developer at Opto 22. “With Opto iPAC and your smart phone or tablet, you have this capability in the palm of your hand.”
The mobility enabled by Opto iPAC creates new opportunities for control system diagnostics, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Engineers and technicians carrying their mobile device in the field or on the plant floor can inspect their SNAP PAC System controllers and I/O processors, view any control strategies running or saved on their controllers, check firmware, and perform other functions that could otherwise only be accomplished from a PC running Microsoft Windows-based PAC Project software.
Finally, the Opto iPAC offers support for virtual private networking and port forwarding. This provides even more flexibility for authorized individuals who might be away from their facilities but still need remote access to their control systems.
The Opto iPAC application is available for download now from the Apple iTunes Store at a cost of $4.99 USD.
Filed Under: I/O modules, Motion control • motor controls, Software