5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2015 3:58 PM by bryancouch

    Converting Honeywell Experion PKS DCS displays to PI ProcessBook displays

      Hi, Is there an automatic way to convert Honeywell Experion PKS DCS displays to PI ProcessBook displays, using some kind of tag mapping? One option would be to build PI PB displays from scratch (which I personnaly prefer), but I wanted to know if there was a more automatic way, which is preferable if the number of displays is big. I found on the internet a tool called GrlTS (Data South Systems). Is there any other tool to try? Regards, Rafik
        • Re: Converting Honeywell Experion PKS DCS displays to PI ProcessBook displays

          I am not aware of any other tool like the Data South one. If you could export the 3rd party display to SVG you might have a handle to get some of the work done by simply importing it to PI PB, or if you could access the 3rd party display programmatically you could write your own display converter (PB displays can be created/modified easily by automation)

            • Re: Converting Honeywell Experion PKS DCS displays to PI ProcessBook displays

              Thanks for the input.


              As the DCS displays seem to be in htm format, developing our own tool would be preferable I think, as usually established converting softwares usually give bad surprises (never tried DSS, though).


              I manipulated PB Displays in the past using VBA script in Excel files. Is there another way/ tool?

                • Re: Converting Honeywell Experion PKS DCS displays to PI ProcessBook displays

                  I executed a project a few years ago where about 700 Honeywell Experion graphics had to be converted to Processbook. I wrote a program in VB.NET to read the DCS graphics files (in .htm format) and convert them to PB. Actually it's a 2-step process - the program reads the DCS source and makes a 'definition' file that contains the details of all the elements in the file such as lines, text, values etc. The definition file is to then used to generate the PB graphic using a PB VBA script. The reason for this 2-step procedure was that as a PI System integrator, I found myself being asked to convert control system graphics more and more frequently so instead of writing a new converter for tech file type, I just need to write a program for each DCS file type to make the definition file and then use the same VBA script to do the final graphics generation in PB.


                  I would estimate that the Experion converter I wrote is about 75% accurate. Simple objects like text, values, simple shapes and lines are converted accurately, some objects have no PB equivalent (like "rounded rectangles") and some can only be converted without formatting (for example, without 3D shading but with correct size and positioning). So even after conversion, the graphics will need some manual touch-up to get them into a final state. On the project I did, this was about 1 hour effort (on average) so it was a huge time-saver as compared to developing the graphics from scratch. I created additional VBA macros to help with repetitive tasks that were needed to fix common problems with all graphics. The converter doesn't handle multi-states very well so these were also mostly added by hand (again using macros mostly). I think I might be able to improve the accuracy and incorporate multi-state conversion too but I need to make time to visit the program again.


                  The converter was developed through good old-fashioned reverse engineering and studying the .htm files and there was no support whatsoever from Honeywell. Using a similar approach, I developed a converter for Yokogawa Centum CS (SVG format) graphics which was a bit easier as SVG is just XML and so by definition, is well-formatted. With this converter, it was possible to get I would say 95% accuracy for most graphics, including multi-states and even symbol library symbols. I've used this converter to convert maybe 3000 graphics for various projects - a HUGE time-saver!


                  While I developed the converter primarily to support our project engineering efforts, I have been asked by various other integrators and end-users to consider making it a "commercial" application. It's not really in a condition where it can be used by an end-user at this stage and needs constant tweaking here and there but the logic for the most part is sound (the reason why I used the 2-step approach was to allow for easier debugging of the conversion process and also to allow the "definition" files to be edited if needed e.g. bulk find-and-replace in files of colours or line-styles, pre-fixing tags names to match PI System implementation). I'm also working on converters for other control systems, again driven by project requirements more than anything else.


                  If you're from an end-user organization (not an integrator/developer or other potential competitor) and willing to sign some sort of a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement, I would be willing to consider releasing the source-code of the Experion converter and the PB VBA generation script to you strictly for internal use by your organization.