The main theme for the improvements that were made for this release of the software was communication. Azima DLI focused the development efforts in improving the type of data that gets collected in the TRIO and how that information is communicated from collector to analysts to decision makers.
One of the challenges that many people face in the maintenance world is getting the attention necessary when technicians see a problem and when analysts identify machinery faults. ALERT 3.60 has added new features to flag machines of interest, get second opinions on diagnostics, add photo notes of what field technicians are seeing, and relay events to other decision makers. To help streamline communication, we also made improvements to the Survey Transfer File Exchange as an alternative to replication.
Azima DLI was first to market with a modular data collector utilizing Bluetooth communication. ALERT 3.60 brings remarkable improvement to the Bluetooth connection and data communication between controller and DP-1.
Because we understand the challenge of getting multiple systems upgraded, we made ALERT 3.60 reverse-compatible with the earlier 3.50 version. This will help large companies get all of their software licenses and data collectors upgraded more systematically.
New with 3.60 on the TRIO data collectors are more advanced test capabilities. This greatly improves the depth of diagnosis and analytical capabilities advanced users require.
The first look is at the Watchman Expert Review. Portal Enabled ExpertALERT software which has been configured for this feature will have a button allowing an analyst to get a second opinion about their machine’s diagnostics from our Watchman Services group.
Even the most seasoned analyst, with twenty years of experience will ask a colleague their thoughts. Vibration analysis and other CBM technologies are not exact sciences. The data is always subject to interpretation. As you may know, the biggest benefit of our Watchman Services is the fact that a plant could never achieve a local level of experience that is offered by our Experts. We have over forty engineers capable of analyzing. And importantly, available to collaborate on diagnoses.
A RaaS customer will greatly benefit here. They can perform their own analysis, but when the diagnostics becomes a challenge, beyond their experience or just need a second opinion, a simple click of this button will send a notice to our Diagnostic Center to get the customer an answer. This uses the Watchman Services Ticket program.
The Watchman Expert Review feature in the ExpertALERT software is mimicked on our Watchman Reliability Portal. Again, this feature is only available for Portal Enabled databases and the feature must be activated for the individual user. So if a customer would like the second opinion option, we need to have portal operations check the option to allow. From the portal dashboard, managers too can use this feature to have a second look at what is being called out if they are unsure. Again, this is mainly a feature for RaaS customers- those that do their own analysis.
New with 3.60 is the ability for technicians in the field to identify machines that require urgent analysis. This helps flag assets for a more immediate diagnosis by the analyst. The Urgent Analysis button will add a note to the machine which will be apparent to the analyst whether they are local at their facility or remotely around the globe. This helps bridge the gap of communication between the collector and the analyst given that today, most analysts stay at the desk and don’t necessarily collect their own data. This feature can easily be paired with the notes options that are already available on the TRIO.
One of the new notes available on the TRIO are photo notes. This new feature expands on the camera capabilities available on today’s tablet controllers. The user can take a photo note to help relay to the analyst problems or conditions found at the machine.
A significant improvement that was made to the TRIO is its Bluetooth communication. With 3.60, communication between the controller and the DP-1 was greatly improved. The software had some major improvement to the way it handles the connection between the DP-1 and controller. How it handles timeout or allowing users to break and regain connection was improved and this improvement is part of the software / firmware update. Also with the launch of 3.60 for TRIO, Azima DLI will be announcing a new and improved DP-1 acquisition device. An improved design will give customers a much greater range with the Bluetooth connection. With these two improvements, customers will see more reliable communication and a much stronger connection.
Communication between the desktop ExpertALERT and the TRIO data collector can also be found in the improved Survey Transfer File exchange. This is a simplified alternative to moving databases or replication. The Survey Transfer File creates a small file from the ExpertALERT software which can easily be sent to the data collector via a thumb drive, network, or even email. On the TRIO, this small file creates the full survey of machines to be tested by the collector in the field. Once complete, the technician runs a similar tool which packages the new data to be transmitted back to the analyst. Notes in the field are relayed along with the data and action items by the analyst are communicated to the field.
To help bridge the gap in communication to decision makers and other people who have interest in the plant assets, Azima DLI has made many improvements to the Event Tracker. The Event Tracker allows work orders to be created based on the faults identified by ExpertALERT. Customers who have access to the Watchman Portal can get more people involved in tracking those faults from the time when they occur, to the ordering of parts, performing the repair, confirmation of findings, and the return-to-service quality assurance test. More people in an organization can be involved in the success of the program.
The Event Tracker was introduced in EA 3.50, but 3.60 brings many improvements to help get more people involved and access to edit the fields. The goal here is to open the Event Tracker to other area’s within an organization. These groups have input or information about assets, but don’t necessary need to see the data or diagnostics.
With the launch of ALERT 3.60, Azima DLI has made many additional improvements to the software and the user experience. But historically it has been a bit of a burden on customers to accomplish these updates. In the past, all systems, especially replicating systems, needed to be taken down at a large scale, planned fashion. And everything had to be upgraded all at once. This burden left many customers to decide to just wait until or forego updates.
Customers can now upgrade their system to 3.60 more systematically as 3.60 is reverse-compatible with 3.50. Customers that have large programs can start utilizing the features of the desktop version with their data collectors operating a version behind. As their timeline fits, updates can be rolled out in a more controlled manner.
This part may be a little confusing given Azima DLI has never allowed this in the past. It should be understood that new features that are available on the 3.60 platform will not function on the 3.50 devices until they get updated.
One of the most vastly improved areas within ALERT 3.60 was the expansion of the advanced test functions on the data collectors. There are many improvements made to allow customers to save their own unique settings as well as new pre-defined tests like order tracking, cross channel phase, bump tests with equipment running, long time capture, speed detection, and phase analysis. The specifics of these new tests will be available in the 3.60 announcement.