In this article, you will learn:

  • How to use the Machines page
  • How to create attributes that organize data across multiple machines
  • How to use machine events in Triggers

In order to monitor machines in Tulip, you must first build an OPC connector in order to pull a node tree into Tulip. 

In order to do this, your machines must output data in OPC/UA format, or you must use a 3rd party service like Kepware to convert data from another industrial protocol. 

After that, you can organize all OPC fields on the Machines page. It is located under the Shop Floor tab.

Here's how to organize machines and OPC fields in Tulip.

Introduction to the Machines Page

After clicking the "Machines" option under the Shop Floor tab, you will see the following choices: 

By default, the Machine Library view is selected. This is where you can see all machines that you have created in Tulip.

The second view is Attributes, where you can create attributes that can be used across multiple machines. Attributes are fields with one of the following data types:

  • Integer
  • Float
  • String
  • Boolean

An example might be "Alert" or "machineStarted" or "machineStopped". Then, when you add OPC fields under each machine, you can map them to one of these attributes. 

This will help you run analytics and make it easier to switch machines between stations. For example, if you wanted to see all "Alert"s that had fired on your shop floor over the past 24 hours, you could run an Analysis based on that specific attribute.

Or, if you buy a new machine and want all your existing triggers to work automatically, you can map OPC fields from the new machine to the same attributes as the old machine.

The third view is Connectors, where you can set up OPC connectors with the same interface as the Connectors page.

Adding a Machine with Fields

To add your first machine to Tulip, use the "Create Machine" button.
You will need to add three details.

  • Name
  • Connector
  • Station: This is the Station where an app will use the machine data

After that, you have two options:

1- You can "Select Machine Node" to import an entire node tree that contains the fields that you would like to monitor in Tulip.

2- You can click "Next" and add fields one by one.

Next, you will have the option to map fields to attributes. We recommend that you create common attributes if you are planning on adding multiple machines from your production floor.

If you do not choose to use attributes, you can hit "Save" after adding at least one field.

If you choose to use attributes, you can choose or create one from the "Select Attribute" menu, then click "Save".

Using Machines In Triggers

You will use these fields and attributes in the "When" statement of a Trigger.

When setting up a trigger, you will have two choices:

"Specific Machine", where you can choose a field from any individual machine that you have configured on the Machines page. 

If you have mapped this field to an attribute, then the attribute name will appear first, and the individual field name will be shown in parentheses.

"At This Station", where you can choose an attribute from any machine running at the particular station where the app is running.

"At This Station" is a more maintainable solution, since you can substitute machines at a given station without breaking the trigger logic.

If you use "Specific Machine", you will need to update all triggers within an app if you need it to connect to a new machine.

Further Reading

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