Does anyone have any experience of integrating live digital video from plant
CCTV into a SCADA software?
i.e. RSView, iFix, Wonderware etc.?
I am looking for a way to display images from multiple cameras, possiblly up
to four on the one PC display.
I also need to be able to control the cameras zoom, pan, etc. from the same
The cameras have their own small control system which could be easily
interface to a small PLC and the PLC connected to the PC over a data link.
However, what is the correct software solution to make all this work
Also if anyone can give any advice on suitable video capture cards and video
multiplexors I would appreciate this.
The ideal situation for me would be if there were an "off the shelf"
software available for this but I have not found anything so far.
Anyhelp with this would be very much appreaciated.
Been there, tried many things...
Started out originally with video capture cards (Hauppage WinTV and the
like). Found myself building a video network paralleling the Ethernet
network. Then I moved on to IP Cameras and servers.
Dome cameras (pan and tilt units) and the like often use RS485 or an "up the
co-ax" variant for control of the motion functions. Each manufacturer has a
proprietary protocol. Some of them are documented.
The way that I went is to use an Axis webserver. There are boxes that takes
4 composite video signals and turns them into motion JPEGs or MPEG streams.
There are also loadable drivers for a number of P/T/Z protocols. The box is
a webserver you put on your network which downloads an ActiveX to your
browser on a PC to view the pictures (or for that matter a stand alone
application). Such ActiveXs can then also be embedded in (for instance)
RSView - probably others. I'm not a Wonderware on InTouch person, so I can't
vouch for their ability, but I think they can do ActiveX too.
Dedicated Micros also do a range of stuff (Same company as Dennard - make
There are others but I haven't used them so can't vouch for them.
Both those companies have "developer" programs that give you additional
software tools, documentation for their APIs etc so that you can do clever
Now the crunch... *BE CAREFUL WITH BANDWIDTH AND SECURITY*. It is all to
easy to bang a pile of network cameras in your plant on an Ethernet network
and without proper planning and segregation of the traffic allow the non
critical cameras to trample all over your critical SCADA comms.
Conceptually, the easiest way to deal with this is to have independent
networks with additional network cards in relevant machines. It is possible
to design a resilient Layer 2/Layer 3 switched network that can also
segregate this traffic, but it is tricky and you will wind up with the Plant
Engineers having to talk with Corporate IT to strike a deal as to who will
block which traffic at which nodes.
The hassle of video capture cards in each machine starts to sound sensible
Currently at the plant that I am responsible for I have RSViewSE, and NI
Labview as SCADA with the thick end of 30 PLCs. In one building I have a
pile of Axis IP Cameras. In the other building I have Dedicated Micros BX2
with Dennard 2060 domes and fixed cameras. TCP/IP on Etherent Layer 2 (Cisco
and Moxa) and 3 switches (Cisco) keeps the traffic managed. I have four
domains on each switch at each plant - "office traffic", "SCADA trafic",
"Cameras" and "High Speed Data Logging". There are defined routes with
controlled bandwidth for PC computers in the management office suite to see
certain parts of the SCADA and camera traffic, but the Office traffic is
never allowed to pollute the critical control networks. Top the whole lot
off with VPN capable routers and firewall (Cisco again) with carefully
drilled "holes" through into the "office" domain and you can view the whole
lot from home on broadband.
If you haven't already, then make the PCs running SCADA at least dual headed
(plenty of cheap graphics cards do this now) so that you can run multiple
monitors off one PC - you will need all that screen real estate. You also
get to reduce your SCADA licensing costs, because a single screen window can
be quite big when spread over many monitors ;-) , or you can run multiple
applications such as SCADA on one screen, Laboratory management (LabView) on
another and video cameras on a third. LCD monitors with thin bezels give a
great video wall type effect.
But it's been 18 months in the making and its still a work in progress.
The New and Renwable Energy Centre
Mirroring what Dave said,
WonderWare will do active x as long as your pc can handle the bandwidth.
For live/real time data your looking at a separate network. Otherwise the
rest of the plant is going to suffer SERIOUSLY.
You are grazing around one issue in your post, recording. I have crashed
networks with live data. Not at all a pretty site. Have you priced the
development package of WW lately?
Good luck with the project let us know what you decided on using.