LogMate Technical

LogMate® is a software application that collects, displays, and analyzes plant alarm and event information. It provides several important services to a manufacturing operation:

    • Accurate analysis and evaluation of alarm and operations performance
    • Timely assessment of manufacturing disruptions and incidents
    • Storage and retrieval of plant knowledge and operator assistance documentation
    • Automated performance reporting and alarm notification
    • Alarm design workflow and change management/control

Architecture: Secure and Flexible

LogMate system designs can accommodate differences in IT policy, network robustness, and security issues. LogMate components can be installed on a single computer or distributed across many systems – a modular architecture that adapts to your needs and requirements.

LogMate consists of three main modules:

These three modules work together as the basis of a LogMate installation. All three modules may be installed on one computer or may be split in any combination. The ability to separate the modules allows LogMate to adapt to different infrastructures or use policies.

Capture and Web Services modules are TiPS products. The SQL Server module is a Microsoft product.

The Capture module collects alarm and event data from the plant and parses it into a target database. Capture can collect from many different data sources simultaneously.

LogMate licensing considers each source of alarms and events to be a single “Port”. Ports are listed and managed from within the Capture interface. Connections between Ports and data sources can use various communication methods, including:

    • OPC A&E
    • OLE DB / ODBC
    • TCP/IP
    • ASCII file mirroring
    • Serial (COM)
    • SNMP / UDP (Syslog) / NT Event Log / Ping (network infrastructure status)

OPC A&E and OLE DB are more current communication methods, though others may be necessary for legacy systems. For instance, if LogMate Capture is located in the same general vicinity as the data source, data may be transferred across a point-to-point serial connection. If serial data must be transmitted over longer distances, Serial-to-Ethernet converters allow serial data to be transmitted across an IP-based network, directly to a LogMate TCP/IP Port.

Fully functional SQL Server licenses are available through normal purchasing channels. As an alternative, a free, limited functionality version (the core SQL Server data engine minus administrative interfaces) is included in the TiPS LogMate distribution or is downloadable online. The functionality and performance of LogMate is not affected by different SQL Server versions, however the free versions are restricted in total database capacity. Upgrades of SQL versions do not affect the LogMate product.

The web services module enables user interaction with the program via thin-client web browser interface. It mediates browser interactions with the SQL Server module. Client access from workstations is through a standard load of Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.

The LogMate Capture module collects event data from connected systems and processes it into a database. A single Capture module can collect data from multiple systems, or Capture “nodes” can be assigned to individual areas or operator stations.

Editable “filter” files are responsible for defining how data is parsed into fields. Filters may be customized prior to startup or at any point afterward. Changes to the filter may be made retroactive if desired. Capture employs extensive data integrity and buffering mechanisms to ensure a complete and accurate data archive.

Following some basic configuration Capture is capable of maintaining the target databases without any need for administrative intervention. Capture can be run as a service, running completely in the background without need for hands-on attention. Capture status can be monitored via the thin-client interface and Capture can optionally be configured to send status messages to a LogMate database.

LogMate supports flexible architectures including both centralized and distributed architecture designs.

Learn more about Centralized Architecture Configuration >>

Learn more about Distributed Architecture Configuration >>

LogMate uses a standard Microsoft SQL Server® database engine for storage and processing of collected data. SQL Server was selected for numerous reasons:

    • Speed – SQL Server suffers little performance loss under heavy loads or volumes. Data is processed and available to browser clients in real-time.
    • Low maintenance – All setup and maintenance is integrated into LogMate. You will not be required to become a "certified SQL administrator".
    • Alignment with automation trends – Many automation vendors are standardizing on SQL Server for data storage.
    • Low cost – SQL Server is one of the least expensive databases to implement and maintain.
    • Scalability – SQL Server can be implemented on a very small or very large scales. LogMate includes a base version of the SQL Server database engine that can be seamlessly scaled when necessary.
    • Hardware requirements – Hardware requirements for a SQL Server system are reasonable. Large scale systems work best with high-capacity hardware, but minimum requirements are very realistic.
    • 21 CFR Part 11 compliance – SQL Server includes authorization and electronic tracking features that support a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance initiative.

LogMate client applications are built on the Microsoft .NET® ASP framework, leveraging the speed and stability of .NET and the ability to use a true thin-client interface. The Web Services module generates the LogMate pages that are displayed in browser windows.

LogMate uses standard Microsoft IIS® (Internet Information Services®) technology, typically included with all versions of Microsoft Windows.

Thin-Client Interface

LogMate is a true thin-client application. Simply open a standard Internet Explorer® browser and log on. There are no plug-ins, no downloads, nothing loaded on the client at all.

Implementing alarm management best practices
is good for business

As a manager of one or possibly numerous sites, chances are you have more than a few responsibilities. You might wonder where alarm management fits into the priorities and what the value is when compared to other projects.