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I looked into FT Metrics a little bit (You can get the user manual for free from Rockwell here). It looks like this application potentially gathers the requisite information from an OPC server (For example, the manual talks about connecting to an RSLinx OPC server which is in turn connecting to a ControlLogix controller). If you had access to those same OPC servers, you could potentially skip the FT Metrics middle man and gather data with a PI OPC interface (PI OPC DA Interface, PI OPC HDA Interface). That might be the easiest, most direct mechanism.
If that is not an option, and you have to get data from FT Metrics directly... I'm assuming that your organization is using FT Metrics to build reports, etc. From the user manual, it appears that these reports are generated as HTML files in some type of a standard format. In which case, it would be possible to use the HTML files directly with the PI UFL Interface (It can parse almost any ASCII-based file in at least a semi-standard format). If, instead, you have the HTML files available via a web browser etc., you could also use the PI HTML Interface (This parses 'live' HTML pages).
The HTML reports are generated from queries to the RSBizWare database, which appears to be hosted in MS SQL. As you note, you might be able to use the PI RDBMS Interface. The queries might be very similar, but I honestly can't say what the FT Metrics system is doing behind the scenes. You would probably have to get more information from Rockwell, although it seems doubtful that they would want to expose how the FT Metrics system queries and manipulates information from the SQL database - It seems that, at that point, you would be avoiding using FT Metrics to make the reports, which seems to be a major purpose to that application.
Does this help answer your question? Please let us know if you have more!
Thanks for the input!
We are still defining the scope of what we want to get from FT Metrics into the PI system but I don’t think going to the PLC/OPC Server is an option. FT Metrics is doing OEE calculations on the performance of the equipment. Some of this is available in the PLC but not all of it. There are calculations like % Available, downtime durations due to specific faults, etc. that are only available in FT Metrics. The UFL could be an option but it would be limited to only what is on the report.
The reason we are doing this is that this data is being sent from one PI server to another PI server that belongs to a separate company. The destination company wants access to these OEE calculation results but doesn’t have access to the source PI server or any FT Metrics reports.
I see. Well, in that case, there seem to be two possible options:
1.) Create reports for the third party specifically, including all the information they would want anyways. Have them retrieve information from this report as described before.
2.) Talk to Rockwell and find out how FT Metrics exposes this OEE data. Once we know how it is exposed and how to access it, we can potentially find a PI product to get it via that mechanism.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything from Rockwell about how the OEE data is exposed so that I could identify a particular PI interface/product that would allow you to grab it (Other than what has already been mentioned) - Hence why it would be best to simply ask them directly. Additionally, we do not have anything in our database indicating customers who have done this or contacted us about it. There isn't a specific PI interface solely for the FT Metrics system.
Once you have that information, reply back here and hopefully further assistance can be provided! Sorry there isn't a specific answer yet.