What versions of software are presently sold by The Foxboro Company for the I/A platform?
Versions 8.0 and 8.1 are the latest version being sold.
What versions are currently being supported?
The Foxboro Company tries to support all version that customers have, but realistically people cannot support/remember features of all, especially old versions.
What are the differences between these versions?
The differences between 4.3 and 6.1 are:
What does it cost to migrate to different versions?
On-line upgrade features, allow you to upgrade to software starting at V.4.1 on the following fault-tolerant stations: CP10 (if no database conversion is required), CP30, CP40, AB30 and MG30. FoxDoc B0193VN contains a "Candidacy Questionnaire" and "Risk Assessment Questionnaire" to help determine whether your process can tolerate an on-line upgrade (OLUG).
Can I migrate to different versions via an on-line method?
Foxboro does not recommend on-line upgrades for version releases (e.g.: V.5.0 to 6.0), recommending it for maintenance releases (V.4.3.1 to V.4.3.3).
What types of blocks are available with Foxboro I/A?
Foxboro I/A supports continuous, discrete, ladder logic and sequential control. The many types of blocks are described in the Foxboro Document BO193AW Integrated Control Software Concepts, section Block Function Types and PSS.
What are the scan rates?
CP 40 scan rates available are 0.1 sec, 0.5 sec, 1.0 sec, 2.0 secs, 10 secs, 30 secs, 1min, 10 mins, 60 mins, 0.2 sec., 5 secs, 0.6 sec, 6 secs, and 0.05 sec.
What graphics packages does The Foxboro Company offer for their I/A DCS?
When you buy Foxboro I/A you can purchase a license for the graphic package, but you get both graphics packagess (older Display Manager, known as DM) and the newer FoxDraw graphics configurator and FoxView, runtime graphics package. You may choose to use either or both.
What are the differences between Display Manager (DM) and FoxDraw/FoxView graphics?
Some of the differences between DM and FoxDraw graphics are: with DM there are separate configurators (Display Builder and Display Configurator) vs. having this all integrated in FoxDraw. FoxDraw/View has high resolution graphics, 3-D look and cut and paste features and the ability to link a bitmap file (*.i or *.bmp) to a base display, overlay or library object, none of which the DM graphics can do. FoxDraw is also very "Windows-like" with toolbar access and scroll bars.
What platform (hardware) is necessary for FoxDraw/View?
FoxDraw operates on Solaris (V.2.4 or greater), windows NT (V.3.51 or greater) and Windows 95. It can be installed on an AW51/WP51, AW70 or non-I/A series PC.
What is the status of continued support for the DM graphics?
At present there will continue to be support for the DM graphics as well as the new FoxDraw/FoxView packages. DM however will not be supported on V. 8.X+
Can you convert from DM to FoxDraw graphics and vice versa?
You can convert *.fdf (FoxDraw) graphics to *.g (DM) files. You can also convert 50-series markers into FoxDraw library objects (*.m1). You can also convert AutoCAD *.dxf files into *.fdf files. Finally, you can convert *.pfd file to *.fdf files. DM files are ASCII (*.g) files, FoxDraw files are binary files (*.fdf) which can be converted to *.g files. See Cassandra archive for scripts to automate this. Finally, you can convert *.fdf to bitmaps.
How do you switch between using Display Manager and FoxView
The AW/WP shows Display Manager as the default display. I want to use FoxView instead. What do I do? (or, The AW/WP shows FoxView as the default display. I want to use Display Manager instead. What do I do?)
To use FoxView as the default display, run the script file:
To use Display Manager as the default display, run the script file:
What types of historian products are offered for Foxboro I/A?
Foxboro currently offers two historian packages which run on the I/A platform. The older or legacy historian uses an Informix database. The newer historian is referred to as the AIM* historian or AIM*AT. You can migrate the legacy historian configurations and data to an AIM* instance, but not vice versa.
What are the differences between these products?
With the legacy historian you have to stop it to make changes to the collection point and reduction group databases. There is a Data Display part of the legacy historian that you can go to to easily see historical data. You cannot look at the data from AIM*AT this way, but you also don't have to stop the AIM*AT historian from collecting to make changes to it. You can run the AIM*AT historian configurator on an AW51, AW70 or remote PC. With the legacy historian it must run on an AW. AIM*AT works better with DFW because you can get historical data easier than with the legacy historian which requires OPC calls in Excel. AIM*AT has other packages now that work with it to get history and trends.
However, since the legacy historian uses Informix Online v5 as the database engine, the database can be used for much more than the historian. Informix Online v5 has been resurrected by IBM and is currently sold and maintained by IBM. Many 3rd party software packages can be utilized to connect to the Informix database.
What platform do I need for AIM*AT?
Prior to AIM*AT 3.0 you had to run it on an NT PC. With 3.0+ it runs on an AW or AP. Both the legacy historian and the AIM* historian run on the same platform. You should be at a minimum of I/A version 4.3x or 6.1x to run AIM*AT.
How long is the legacy historian going to be supported?
The legacy historian is going to be supported ....
What report packages are offered with the Foxboro I/A DCS?
Report Writer 50, Win32 Report Package (Foxboro Canada), and FoxDMM (for maintenance) are available.
What are the different types of trends available with Foxboro I/A?
You can configure trends with the legacy DM graphics package or use other optional packages such as: FoxAnalyst, FoxExplorer, Statistical Process Control Package (SPCP).
How is a trend configured on a system using DM graphics?
You can use the standard trends available through the DM package and then modify them as you see fit or you could probably get trends made by other Foxboro I/A users and modify them too. To access these trends select CONFIG, then Display Builder, then select the size screen you want to create (1/4 screen all the way up to full screen). Select
How is a trend configured on a system using FoxDraw graphics?
FoxDraw provides 7 trend types and 14 durations. You can use a pre-configured trend or you can configure a custom trend, connecting trend pens to parameters you specify. You can insert up to 8 trend graphics (single base display or base display plus library object). A trend can show up to 4 variables in real time or history. Data can be numeric or Boolean. See Section 2 (Trends) of document B0193WG for more details.
Can I restrict changes to on-line trends?
Can I restrict changes to on-line trends???
You can by the protection numbers assigned to a user and not allow them that number in the editing of the trend.....
In Display Manager, you can set the configuration of a trend so that any run-time changes are only temporary (i.e. for that instance) and that the trend is not permanently changed.
I/A system timekeeping (prior to V8.x)
Master Time Keeper (MTK)
Every fileserver (AP or AW) on a system has the capability to be the master timekeeper which keeps system time synchronized within 50 milliseconds. Other legacy stations which can have a master timekeeper are PW and Spectrum Slave Gateway.
Every station on the network has a slave timekeeper which is updated by the master each time the master broadcasts an update (every 10 minute).
Only one master timekeeper is enabled at a time. When the master timekeeper is no longer available (ie, it was on an AW that has rebooted or been taken down for tape backup), mastership will go to the next available fileserver. In a small network with only one fileserver (example: 1 AW and 1 WP) as soon as the AW is rebooted, the master timekeeper is no longer running. Setting up the time in the AW (in system management) will make that the Master Time Keeper starts up again. If for some reason this time is not set it up the AW and WP clocks will be different and there will be no way to open an ICC session until this time is set, and system alarms will be sent periodically warning that the time has not been set.
If the time is changed, the master timekeeper broadcasts this change to all stations
CP & FBM synchronization
CPs and FBMs keep time in number of seconds since midnight. Every 15 minutes the the CPs and their FBMs compare time values. When these values differ by more than 2 minutes, the FBMs value is updated to match the CPs. This means that when the CP rolls over to midnight, the next time check will see a significant difference between FBM and CP, so the FBMs time values will be reset to match the CP.
Problems with time changes
Time changes occur with daylight savings time, or because someone made a mistake setting the time in the first place.
Motif applications (FoxView and Alarm Manager) under Solaris are seriously affected by changing the time back. Motif applications don't update the screen if the current time is earlier than the last update time. So, if you set the time back an hour, your operator graphics freeze for an hour.
Historians are also affected -- if left running, they don't record over the previous data, rather they record a second set of data for the time period.