This article will discuss how to make a connection from WIN-911 to iFIX.
Where to Install WIN-911
When integrating WIN-911 into an existing GE iFIX system, there are four recommended architectures to use:
- A single GE iFIX Application with a single WIN-911 system
- Redundant GE iFIX Server Nodes with a single WIN-911 system
- Two or More GE iFIX Remote Server Nodes with a single WIN-911 system
- Redundant GE iFIX Servers with Redundant WIN-911 systems
Each of these architectures requires the use of different combinations of WIN-911 licenses and add-ons. To understand where to install iFIX CLICK HERE for a network diagram. To read additional information about nodes and licensing CLICK HERE.
If you are using iFIX Security, you need to create a dedicated iFIX user account for use with WIN-911.
This user account must have the appropriate permissions to acknowledge alarms.
For information on how to create a dedicated user account, or on GE iFIX Security, please refer to the iFIX product documentation.
The following note only applies to users with iFIX 5.8 R2 SP2 or iFIX 5.8 SP2 R2, and if you are using another version of iFIX you can skip this section.
If you are using this version, then you must download the latest GE SIMs from the GE website. The links to the Alarming and EDA SIMS are required for importing tags and acknowledging alarms.
These SIMs are available through the following links:
Occasionally GE combines SIMs into other SIMs, or into a Service Pack.
If you cannot find the SIMs, check GE’s SIM and Service pack tracking document SIM and Service Pack tracking document.
Note: To use any of these links, you will need to be logged in to your GE account.
If you are running GE iFIX version 5.8 SP2 or 5.8 SP2 R2 and do not have these SIMs installed, you will encounter the following errors:
- WIN911_Source_iFIX_Runtime_WPFHost.exe crashes when attempting to acknowledge an alarm
- WIN911_Source_iFIX_Runtime_WPFHost.exe crashes when attempting import of Blocks
iFIX System Configuration Utility (SCU)
Open the WIN-911 configuration workspace then select Alarming -> iFIX -> Source.
To successfully integrate WIN-911 into your existing iFIX infrastructure, you must configure the iFIX System Configuration Utility (SCU) to start two executables as part of the iFIX start up sequence:
- The alarm queue
- The WIN-911 iFIX Runtime Source
The queue must be started before the runtime source.
These two applications must be launched and active before WIN-911 may import blocks from iFIX.
They are also required for remote alarm notification.
Follow these instructions to make sure that iFIX launches both apps at start up, and in the proper order.
Watchdogs check tags for changing values. If the specified value does not change within a user-defined interval, WIN-911 will generate an alarm.
Please note that this alarm must be pre-configured by the user. Ensure all Watchdogs are configured with database blocks that are dedicated to this unique purpose. Combining Watchdog blocks with other SCADA functions will cause the Watchdog not to function properly.
For more information CLICK HERE to view the iFIX Watchdogs and Heartbeats Webinar. The video is set to begin playing with iFIX.
Health Alarms (Optional)
In case there is an error reading from your iFIX alarm queue, the health alarm will generate an alarm in WIN-911.
WIN-911 can indicate its operational status by writing a changing value to an integer value in your SCADA.
We call this function a Heartbeat because it provides a “vital sign” to iFIX, allowing for corrective action to be taken in case the WIN-911 system is offline.
The heartbeat takes the form of an Integer value that varies between 0 and 9, at intervals you choose. After the value reaches 9, it resets to 0. Then the process is repeated.
If the value fails to update within the specified time, you can assume that WIN-911 is in an impaired state and is no longer able to receive alarm event information.
To set up a WIN-911 Heartbeat, complete the following steps:
Configuring Notification Gateways
WIN-911 offers four different options for delivering alarm notifications; email, SMS, Voice and the WIN-911 Mobile App. The next step in the process is to create the Gateway connection for all desired notification methods and add the users as contacts in WIN-911. If you are not familiar with this process CLICK HERE to review the How-To notifier videos.
Configuring a Callout List (Tactics & Strategies)
This section will define how to create a notification list and using Tactics and Strategies. Alarms will trigger a strategy, which will then start a Tactic (callout list). If you are not familiar with configuring Tactics and Strategies CLICK HERE to watch the video.
The term tactic in WIN-911 refers to the callout list of users to be notified in the event of an alarm. Basic tactics are available with any WIN-911 license, while the Advanced Tactics are available only on the advanced license.
Retries - Additional notification events
Delay Between Retries - Time between notification retry.
Delay After - Allow time for the user to address the alarm before moving onto the next contact.
A strategy is the list of policies put in place when the alarm occurs. This includes the starting, stopping and renotification actions. The alarm will occur which will start the strategy. Basic Strategies (shown here) are available on any license, and the Advanced Strategies require the Advanced license.
Start Tactic – Which callout list will be started
Stop Condition – When to stop the callout list.
Renotify on Any State Change – If the alarm changes states between unacknowledged/acknowledged or Active/Inactive, then the users in the tactic would be renotified. The stating, stopping and renotifying policies should be determined by the end user during the configuration of WIN-911.
Bring Alarms Into WIN-911
It is important to understand how to use filters (also known as Subscriptions) to bring alarms into WIN-911.
The iFIX data source supports two different methods to being alarms into WIN-911. However, you only need to use one of these methods.
- Subscription Filters
- Allows filtering on Block Names or Areas
- Filters are less taxing on the processor
- Dynamically brings alarms over
- Add a new alarm that fits an existing filter, and that alarm is already filtered into WIN-911
- Need to know exactly where alarms are going, so you don’t add alarms to an incorrect alarm strategy
- Alarm Import
- Similar import process to Version 7 of WIN-911
- Group alarms and point to a specific strategy
It is recommended you use filters to bring your iFIX alarms into WIN-911, as it is a dynamic process and does not require as much memory.
For more information, CLICK HERE to watch the iFIX Filter and Import Video.
Testing and Troubleshooting
By now all the following steps have been completed:
- Connection between WIN-911 and iFIX with the SCU setup
- Optional: Watchdogs,Health alarms and Heartbeats
- Notifier Gateways
- Notifier Connections (people)
- Tactics and Strategies
- Alarms Brought Into WIN-911
The next step is to trigger a test alarm and verify it was sent to the proper user. If the alarm does not appear use the WIN-911 Log Viewer to troubleshoot the alarm.
Open windows explorer and find the Log Viewer tool
Verify the alarm was sent to the appropriate strategy:
Double click the alarm for more information about the dispatch process:
To start a support case, you will need your Maintenance Support number or your CD Tracking number. CLICK HERE to open a new support case or call 1-512-326-1011.