What’s New – Release Notes
Ei3 is delighted to announce the initial, limited release of a new user-administrable data collection system. This release brings a method of collecting a discrete, user-defined set of data from an OPC-UA capable device, in an on-demand basis, where the trigger for collecting the desired data is provided by the device itself. We call this new method “trigger-based” collection. The time interval between trigger-based data sets is defined by the device providing the data, independent from other simultaneous collection processes.
We have improved the security and user experience of password resets, utilizing an automated emailing system. When Users or their system administrator wants to reset a User password, the system will automatically generate a new temporary password and email it directly to the user. This process is more secure and prevents even the administrators from knowing the temporary password.
When a Downtime Tracking administrator inadvertently adds a duplicate downtime code for a machine at their location of choice, in Downtime Tracking > Admin Tools, the error is detected and a clear message is displayed to the user informing them of the error.
Our data charting tools in Remote Monitoring have been improved to adopt a more common, square wave method for displaying BOOLEAN data values, in both single and multi-line plots. In addition, user-defined units for those values can be used to reflect the data displayed, such as on/off, true/false, etc.
Improved administrative user-experience is provided by additional error detection applied to network subnet mask inputs, to help our administrators avoid typos and invalid network definitions in these areas.
Our Recipe Management users can now benefit from new APIs developed to integrate Andon displays with running recipe alerts. Factories using Andon displays showing production status of their machines can now use these APIs to visuallly display when either machine recipe settings or their feedback values exceed prescribed thresholds, to help them prevent quality deviations in real time.
This release includes a brand new job tracking feature for machine operators who want a simple way to track the productivity of their jobs or work orders. This new job tracking user interface has been integrated with our Downtime Tracking module. It provides a single, convenient place for operators to assign reason codes to downtime events, and inform the system when they’re starting and stopping jobs, or updating the job target speed. Saved changes are applied immediately to current running jobs.
Users can start and stop jobs and change a job’s target speed simply by selecting a downtime event in the histogram chart on the Assign web page, then enter the relevant job information and save it. Productivity analysis of your jobs will be performed automatically, with results available in all the existing standard reports and displays. You can read more about using this function in this article.
Several of our customers have requested a new way for the ei3 system to manage the automatic assignment of reason codes for downtime events, based on information coming directly from the machine control systems. Some operators want downtime events to be divided and assigned with every primary code emitted by the controls as they occur, and leave downtime periods where no code is emitted by the controls as unassigned.
Other operators want to assign a code that’s emitted by the controls to the entire downtime period in which the code occurs, back to the beginning of the downtime event including the time period in which no code was appearing. We call this feature the “backfill” method, where a code is assigned back to the beginning of the relevant event. To select which of these new treatment methods is used on a given machine, we’ve added a simple checkbox in the Admin section for the machine.
Our popular mobile app now has even more features and useful navigation tools.
With this release we’ve updated the administrative user interface and provided more visibility and control for managing the ei3 SaaS product application subscriptions. The comprehensive update will provide more flexibility for our partners to better manage the myriad scenarios they experience across their organization and their broad end customer base. Key features of this new system are:
– “Tacit” (automatic renewal) subscriptions are now managed with automatically generated renewal activations, for more accurate record-keeping and greater visibility, and for better integration with partner billing systems
– ei3 Admins can now set up renewal subscription changes to occur in the future, by creating discrete, advanced renewals that will activate automatically when the selected dates are reached. This provides additional flexibility and control to preset changes in activation dates, subscription plans, billing parties, or warranty information that are known in advance. Once they’re set up, the system will take care of everything automatically.
We’ve added the capability for ei3 administrators to set up and manage machine data points without having to first activate the Customer Portal product. The data points can now be accessed directly in the Remote Service administration pages, under Admin > Data Points.
In order to further expand the user capabilities of ei3, this release prepares to support the Japanese language across all ei3 web applications. In order to complete the validation effort of this project we are performing a limited production release, with a full release planned in the next cycle.
In support of our ISO 27001 certification and ongoing cybersecurity initiatives, we are removing the integrated online Customer Portal Help sections and consolidating all of our online support menus in the ei3 Knowledge Base.
Ei3 will be performing a periodic network system maintenance which will include a brief interruption to machine connections. During this time, you may notice the network or machine connection status indicators temporarily show a lack of connection. The historical ping graphs will also show a dip in connectivity for 5-10 minutes.
To facilitate the role of machine operators on factory floors who are using ei3 to load recipes onto their machines, we are redefining the recipe management “read/write” permissions to function specifically for their use. The new Recipe Management permissions for a given machine will behave as such:
- Read Only: Users can search for and view recipes and can run reports for recipes.
- Read Write: In addition to the read only permissions, users with this permission level can load recipes to a machine. (from the Catalog > Load page, the last icon for Load Recipe is enabled).
- Administrator: Users have all the above permissions, including the ability to create/edit/delete recipes. Admin users can also create/edit/delete recipe alarms and alerts.
- Also note that while all users can view the information available from the Recipe Optimizer tool, only Admin users can use the Optimizer tool (available by selecting the Optimize Selected Recipes icon just below the recipe information).
When setting up a new S14 Amphion device, the DNS fields are no longer required when the “Use DHCP” box is checked.
Ei3’s API methods are very powerful and comprehensive, and some of our users have requested us to provide more documentation. For this we have implemented a new, modern interface to now clearly display all of the methods with an integrated tool to explain how each is used, for any machine in the Customer Portal. You can view the complete documentation in the Customer Portal, under Tools > API Access. You can also view the complete list of calls here: https://api.ei3.com/mds/doc/demo/v1/methods?apiKey=A763487B-A40E-42ED-A73F-66194FA3ABFB
- Users of our Downtime Tracking’s Tablet Mode App will notice several changes to improve usability and access to information:
- There is now more visibility of which downtime events have a reason code assigned by a user, with a new color coding. A lighter shade of blue shows which events were assigned by a user, and a darker blue shows the system-assigned reason codes.
- The app now has a quick link that will switch the view of the histogram to display the entire shift at once. Users can quickly toggle between Real Time and Shift views.
- The number of previous and current shift quantities of unassigned events is now clearly displayed, so users can easily see how many downtime events still need to have a reason code assigned to them.
- Arrows that quickly move the histogram to the selected time period have been added.
- App users have requested the ability to add notes to any downtime event, this is now possible using a quick link in the display of any event that has a reason code assigned to it.
To assist customers in managing their own data points, ei3 will look at the length of tag names entered or imported by a user, and if any exceed the limit of 50 characters, an error message will display: “Tag Names must be less than 50 characters”. The point(s) will not be saved until tag names identified have been corrected by the user.
Various security enhancements have been added in this release, including but not limited to:
- We have improved record-keeping visibility with enhanced change logs for admin users, both in the Customer Portal and the Remote Service Platform. For example, the Product Activations page has improved audit and tracking capabilities.
- Several additional tools and features have been released to coincide with our new Amphion S14 production release.
- For our users who are familiar with OPC-UA, it is now possible to manage PLC security credentials automatically with our enhanced OPC-UA administration tools. This is to support the functions provided by some machine builders who implement the security features of OPC-UA in their PLCs for data access.
ei3 is delighted to announce the release of its next generation Amphion, the Amphion S14. The new S14 includes a new technology hardware platform that enables advanced features such as increased bandwidth capability and both higher and variable frequency data sampling rates. This new platform also provides for future planned variants such as embedded wireless integration. Administration and operation of the S14 are the same as the current Amphion Model 14 series, i.e. same LED light patterns, same configuration processes, same installation requirements, etc. This release includes all of the administrative features needed in ei3 to begin using the new S14’s. ei3 will be issuing more marketing materials and a press release shortly; in the meantime sample S14 devices are now available for evaluation and testing by our existing customers. The S14’s will be available for purchase and the current Model 14’s will cease production approximately June 15th.
A machine’s production shift schedule provides a foundation for accurate OEE evaluation and reporting for that machine’s performance. When the schedule isn’t set up correctly in ei3, problems occur that are sometimes difficult to diagnose as coming from an error in the schedule definition. As a result, we’ve added more diagnostic tools to our shift schedule creation tool to detect and inform you when there’s a potential problem, at the time you are creating a new schedule.
For our Bobst Smart Headset users, we want to ensure that they are aware of whether their headset has the latest firmware that’s available. For this, an information hover-over icon has been added to the Smart Headset information page which displays the latest version information and where to download the firmware if they need it.
And last but not least, we’ve provided for a better user experience for administrators of ei3, by reducing the number of clicks down to one that it takes to activate the ei3 apps on their machines.
The ei3 project number is now visible from the Remote Service > Machines page for all users to see. This is done to reduce confusion between OEM partner admins and their users, between partner admins and their customer admins and IT people, and between ei3 support and our partner admins and their customer admins and IT people.
To provide our partners with more flexibility and increase ease of use for setting up networks and machines, we’ve provided partner admin users with the ability to change an Amphion model from the Edit page in the Remote Service bubble. This is useful for cases when an Amphion is changed or upgraded, or if a mistake was made during setup.
Service technicians using integrated augmented reality remote service solutions now have the ability to set up their computers by downloading the necessary software directly from ei3. With this new capability, we and further integrating augmented reality solutions from third parties.
Some reports can generate files with lots of data that can be too large for normal online processing or emailing. To address this, we’ve created two new reports with which our users can access larger amounts of data via download.
The new reports are listed below:
- Process Data Export By Location: this report allows you to download all of the data we’ve received from any or all machines selected, over a time period you choose.
- Quality Data Export By Location: the report will provide all of your quality data for any or all operations selected, for all machines performing those operations, over a time period you choose.
After a report is generated, the file can be downloaded by the user for up to seven days after it was created.
Read more here: http://kb.ei3.com/machine-data-export/
- Many customers have asked for a way to compare machine performance over time. To provide performance tracking tools to our users, we’ve added a new feature in Remote Monitoring, aptly named Compare. It allows users to create a ‘fingerprint’ of their machines by choosing a baseline time period from existing machine data to compare against other time periods. You can read details about how it works and where to find it here: http://kb.ei3.com/remote-monitoring-compare/
- To provide customers with more robust downtime tracking, we’ve made a few adjustments to improve the abilities of users to view historical changes made in the Downtime Tracking These changes are listed below:
- It was difficult to understand at a glance whether a machine downtime assignment had been a result of a manual assignment or an automatically assigned code. To make this more noticeable, the Downtime Assign page has been updated to display different colors for assigned downtime. The colors are explained below.
Represents machine downtime that has been assigned a code automatically by using PLC codes or other automatic systems.
Represents machine downtime that has been assigned a code manually by a user.
- When the reason is changed for a downtime event, we now keep track of the original feature. When a specific downtime is selected from the Downtime Assignment page, it will now display the user name of the person who last assigned the downtime code.
- To provide additional tools to users of our Downtime Tracking application, a handy Export tool has been added to the Downtime Tracking > Assign page. This export will provide a downtime history of the data currently displayed on the downtime assignment histogram.
- In situations where ei3 has stopped receiving data from a machine for more than 10 minutes, the reason for the downtime will revert to Unassigned.
- It was difficult to understand at a glance whether a machine downtime assignment had been a result of a manual assignment or an automatically assigned code. To make this more noticeable, the Downtime Assign page has been updated to display different colors for assigned downtime. The colors are explained below.
- Some of our users have machines with more than 58 devices and needed a way to create their own configurations. We’ve added two new Amphion types: F and G. Using these new Amphion types will allow ei3 administrators to create their own Amphion configurations for machines with up to 254 devices. For the time being, the new Amphion types are available only for the Amphion model 14C.
- Changing OEE machine parameters such as max speed will integrally affect OEE calculations, so it is important to keep track of such changes in order to provide for valid comparisons of machine OEE productivity data over time. We now have an auditable record log available for this information, accessible both from Remote Service and Customer Portal.
- Remote Service: Machine Audit Log is available from Admin > Machines > History icon
- Customer Portal: Machine Audit Log is available from Admin Tools > Machines > History icon
- An audit log now shows all past changes made for the following parameters:
- Machine Maximum Speed
- Minimum Production Speed
- EULA https://www.ei3.com/legal/end-user-license-agreement/
- For customers using Recipe Management, a new Recipe Optimizer function has been added, which looks at a selected set of recipe runs and derives a new recipe based on those selected ones, optimizing for maximum OEE.You can read more about Recipe Optimizer here: http://kb.ei3.com/recipe-optimizer/
- It is now possible to assign shift team names to shifts for individual or groups of machines. This provides a new means for tracking and reporting factory performance by teams. Shift Teams features are administrator-only features which can be found in the Customer Portal, under Tools > Shifts > Teams. You can read more about Shift Teams here: http://kb.ei3.com/shift-teams/
- For those of our customers who administer their own data collection using OPC-UA, we’ve found that certain tag type combinations or missing tag types used to set up productivity and OEE calculations may cause errors. In response to this, we’ve added a function which validates the data set up to ensure that productivity calculations will succeed.If a valid combination is not present, then an error message will appear to guide the administrator.
- Additionally, for customers using OPC-UA, it is now possible to import a list of data points via XML to a machine which has already has data points and collected data. Previously, you could only import data points to machines that had no collection history. We have changed this to provide more flexibility with adding, editing, or removing data points.
- In our Quality module, several changes have been made to improve its performance:
- When changing the selected machine using the machine selection drop-down menu in Quality, the Active Dashboard for selected machine will appear. If the machine has no active job, the Select Job page will appear instead.
- Colors for notes on quality tests will display and retain the colors based on the type of test performed (ex. De, ph, viscosity, etc).
- When a new job is loaded to a machine, a notification will appear, notifying users and allowing them to decide whether to save their changes or refresh the dashboard to render the new job.
Admins from our partner companies are now able to make changes to key machine data attributes in both the Remote Service and Customer Portal sides of the web application. These changes can be made from the following locations:
- In the Remote Service platform, from Admin > Machines > Edit
- In the Customer Portal, from Admin Tools > Machines > Edit
These machine attributes can be edited:
- Max Machine Speed
- Speed Units / Time
- Min Production Speed
- Production Units
- Changing a machine’s maximum speed will cause productivity to use the new value going forward. It will not cause a historical back-calculation of productivity data.
- The machine max speed is also used / offered as the default target speed for Jobs as they are created by the user. An existing Job definition that is using the old max speed as its target speed will not automatically be updated to reflect the new max speed.
- Additionally, a new hover-over message has been added to these machine edit pages to advise the user of the impact of their changes to max and min speeds.
Partner admins now have the ability to change the allocation number on machine activations after such records have been saved. In order to maintain traceability for accounting audit reasons, a historical log of changes made to the allocation number is also available.
- We understand that having to contact an administrator for new configuration files is inconvenient. To make files more accessible, we’ve provided additional functionality to make these files available to users. A new Settings page has been created under the Preview Machine menu in the Remote Service website where these files are accessible.
- Job Management menus can become hard to navigate over time as more and more run on your machine. For customers with machines that have this function enabled, it is now possible to ‘hide’ and ‘unhide’ various menu items using the ‘Active / Inactive’ filter to make viewing these menus and finding active menu items easier. On the Products page, an Active / Inactive filter has been added. Clicking this filter will change whether or not the list shows only active products and hides any inactive products from view. Additionally, typing the search terms ‘active’ or ‘inactive’ will now allow users to more easily find items on the Products list. Additionally, a search bar has been added to the Tool Catalog page, allowing users to more easily find the tools they are looking for.
- It is now possible to import a list of downtime codes via XML to a machine which has already had downtime codes applied. Previously, you could only import codes for a machine that didn’t have any yet assigned in its historical data for Downtime Tracking. We have changed this to provide more flexibility with adding, editing, or removing codes.
- In order to enable administrators to provide process improvement initiatives and better tools for remote service users, two new questions have been added to the end of the current Remote Service survey (found upon ending a remote service session). The questions added to the survey are: “Technician needed at customer site?” and “Spare Parts needed?” With the responses gathered from these additional questions, we will be able to provide a better experience to our Remote Service users.
- A new user-friendly web page has been added to display when the website is down for scheduled upgrades. Users will not be able to log in or access data during the duration that these messages are displayed, and this is clearly displayed in the new system maintenance page.
- We know that users occasionally will try to export large amounts of machine data for analysis, or attempt to generate comprehensive reports with large amounts of information, and at times when the website is in heavy use it can cause something called a “timeout” where the browser doesn’t want to wait for the result any more. In such cases, we’ve added a friendly error message to display and alert users that such a timeout has occurred. To fix this, simply hit the Back button in your web browser to regain access to the system and your machine data.
- To maximize the productivity and quality of your operations, you need a continuous feed of your machine data. To help you ensure that you get it, we’ve created a new Data Gap Analysis Report as well as an associated troubleshooting guide to help diagnose problems with connectivity issues that cause gaps in that data. This report is user-configurable and scheduled for automatic delivery, as with all our other standard reports.
- Our manufacturing customers have asked for more flexibility in the existing Remote Service Sessions Report to get a report of all historical service data for their machines, and we’ve delivered. This report is also now available to non-admin users of the Remote Service module.
- The Downtime Details Report now offers additional options to include downtime details by Job, by Product, and by Tool.
- Coming soon we will be adding new language options to ei3. In this release we’re laying the groundwork to offer languages that don’t use the Latin alphabet, and we plan to implement this capability in our future releases, starting with Japanese. In rare cases, some of our manufacturing customers define Uptime a little differently than typical OEE standards. To provide for them, we’ve created an ability for Admin Users of our Downtime Tracking module to change Downtime events into Uptime. This feature is accessible to them on the Assign page.
- To further improve the ability for our partners to communicate en masse with users via distributing platform support and service notifications, Admins of Remote Service can now extract a list of all currently enabled users for use in communications services.
- It’s now very easy to view which users have access to which customers, applications, and machine resources. A new User Access Report provides full visibility over these items.
- We’ve provided our partner admins the ability to check boxes for enabling automatic job tracking capabilities, but until now the choices have not been clearly conveyed. To clarify the use of “Automatic” and “Manual” options for the existing Job Management tools, we’ve added a drop-down selection menu when setting up a new machine.
- On the Admin Tools > Users page, users can now be searched for by their assigned location name.
- In the Current Data > Snapshot page in Remote Monitoring, points will now be displayed when they have no data value reading (null value), and points that are calculated using other points will show the calculated value instead of the raw reference value.
- In Amphion connection Alerts, the acronyms “RSSD” and “MRFD” have been replaced with the words with Network and Machine, respectively, for clarity.
- A new “Missing Data” alert type has been added to the Remote Monitoring module. Once configured, these alerts will be triggered when a gap in data of at least ten minutes occurs.
- Remote Service User Administration: Disabled users can now be hidden from view on demand, to for improved visualization of the active users list.
- Location selection from the drop-down menu on the Overview page is now ordered alphabetically.
- Downtime Tracking (Tablet Mode) – We’ve added new icons and a way to display of downtime codes and categories. Each downtime category’s codes are now displayed in separate tabs.
- We’ve added full-text search capabilities in the Customer Portal for the Admin Tools > Users page to allow for more efficient user searching and administration when there are numerous user records present. Search by name, location, admin, or anything else – or just use * to get a full list of users.
- We’ve implemented a function in Remote Monitoring > Export > Productivity Data to allow users to Summarize By Recipe. This feature works just as the Summarize By Job function operates, however Recipe Productivity data is produced instead.
- After loading a recipe, the Current Recipe screen now shows the Alarm Limits so that you can determine if the change being made is within an acceptable range.
- Added an Alarm History Report for the Recipe application.
- We improved the Overview page in the Customer Portal to:
- Order machine badges by a variety of options, such as Name, Serial Number, OEE, or Speed;
- Filter displayed machine badges by location; and
- Added ability to change evaluation values on badges by Current Shift or Last 24 Hours.
- All filter/sort selections are automatically saved whenever changed.
- Text fields in Remote Monitoring > Alerts now update dynamically based on your Condition selections.
- Updates to information generated and displayed in the Product Activation Status Report.
- Added a section to the Downtime Tracking > Assign page which displays the number of unassigned downtimes in the current and previous shift. Clicking on this text will jump the user to the last unassigned downtime in the histogram.
- Added a feature in the Recipe application to compare recipes between machines and highlight any differences to the user. This can be accomplished on web page or in a report or both.
- Added function in the Recipe application to copy recipes from machine to machine.
- Split and separated the Job Run Report and the Job Productivity Report.
- We’ve added a real-time device pinging capability on the Remote Service and Customer Portal remote service select machines pages.
- The existing Materials function as found in the Tools > Job Management section has also been added into the Quality > Jobs section.
- In the Certificate of Analysis report wizard an option has been added for users to either include or exclude failed test results.
- Added Last 7 Days as an option for possible date range selection in Remote Monitoring – Reports – Performance Summary report.
- Added a new “auto-refresh” toggle button icon to the Downtime Tracking > Assign and the Remote Monitoring > Charts> Process Data (both single line and multi-line modes) pages that by default is disabled, but when toggled enables an auto-refresh of the histogram at once every minute until toggled back off or when user leaves the page.
- On the Remote Service > Admin > Network Information page, when an internet connection is provided via DHCP IP address, it is now listed as such in the Internet IP column.
- New charting solutions are available in the Sales Module.
- Color agnostic symbols created – Remote Service status LED shapes have been changed from round balls to check marks and ‘x’s, while retaining the current color scheme.
- On all edit pages for which there is data, the usernames of who created and last modified the record and the D/Ts for these two activities are now listed. (This would include Users, Companies, Divisions, Locations, Networks, Machines, Images, Parts, Predictions, etc).
- Added a “Forgot Password?” display message to initial and subsequent login pages with link to reset password, instead of only displaying it after user fails to enter correct password.
- Improvements have been made to descriptions of reports in Quality Management to better reflect their purpose and contents.
- Search capabilities have been added to various areas of the Quality reports wizard, to make finding items more user-friendly.
- A Last Login column has been added to various areas of the Remote Service platform to display the last user login date.
- All charts and graphs have been updated to more modern HTML5 capable technology.
- We’ve made improvements to the Search functions of Customers and Companies, allowing users to search for a customer by multiple parameters, including location name, division name, company name (variants of the company name) instead of only by company name.
- The Machine Built Year and the End Date of the most recent Remote Service product activation of a machine are now included in the Machine Information section of the Remote Service Session report.
- Various charts and graphs in the Remote Services system will now display values of the graph when moused over. The following charts can support these new capabilities:
- The Process Data Charts as found in Remote Monitoring > Charts > Process Data
- The Linespeed Chart as found in the Customer Portal > Overview page (Machine Badges)
- The Productivity Trends Charts as found on the Customer Portal > Dashboard page (top right quadrant)
- A General COA Report version has been added to the Reports section to be used by all customers without specific custom requests.
- We’ve added SMS capabilities to the Alerts systems available in the system.
- We’ve added a templating function to import / export XML files for downtime categories, codes, and machine PLC code configurations.
- Our mobile applications have been updated to support the new OS versions and logos for Android.
- A convenient shortcut has been added to launch the Customer Portal directly from the Remote Service Platform.
- Users can now edit previous journal entries on a machine (found in Remote Service > Machines > Preview Machine > Journal).
- The Login page will now detect if CAPS lock is enabled to aid in preventing users from typing their password in uppercase.
- We’ve made improvements to the ping chart window (accessible from the Machines page in the Remote Service Platform) to be resizable and added scroll bar capabilities for users with low screen resolution.
- We have added the ability for users to upload custom logo graphics for certain reports so you can put your brand logo on the CoA reports you send to your customers.
- Various changes to the Pareto page have been made (found in Downtime Tracking > Analysis > Pareto) to allow for easier user navigation through data analysis:
- The “Order by” option for By Occurrences has been added in addition to the existing Total Duration.
- There are now three levels of drill-down, from Type Level > Category Level > Code Level. Clicking once more displays a list of all downtime code instances from the above drill-down selections.
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