Pablo Benvenuto

Learning Lab - Build an Element Relative Display

Discussion created by Pablo Benvenuto Champion on Aug 3, 2012

What is an Element Relative Display? I am so glad you ask, because I have this Learning Lab that will give you a nice overview of this feature.

Are you ready? Ok, let's build something then. We will create an element relative display to display real time data from different reactors. You can follow the step by step instructions to build element relative displays of different pieces of equipment at your facility or you can use the Virtual Learning Environment to follow this lab. This lab was developed using the OSIsoft Virtual Learning Environment, the PI System 2010 and PI ProcessBook 2010. The lab also requires that you have an AF database with elements created from a template.

Create a display with static objects

Open PI ProcessBook and create a display with a tank, an empty trend and four labels named Product, Density, Volume and Mass, over a blue background. Your display should look like the picture below. Do you need help creating a display? Click here and check out this previous lab on creating displays.


Create the element relative display

Before adding dynamic elements to your display ensure that you are connected to the right AF Server and database. Click on File > PI Systems. The Select Database dialog opens. Ensure you are connected to the right PI System and select the correct database and click OK. In this lab I have used the Training Sample AF database found in the Virtual Learning Environment.

Next, open the Element Relative display pane. Click on View > Element Relative Display. The easiest way to find the elements you are interested in is to use the Search box of the Element Relative Display. I typed reactor* in the search filed. This populates the Element Relative Display pane with the Reactor Modules from the three locations: Houston, San Leandro, and Montreal. Next, make sure that you have selected one of the elements specifically. I selected HOU Reactor 101.


Double click on the Trend to add your first reference to the display. This should open the Define Trend popup. Click on the down arrow icon next to the Tag Search… button. Choose Element Relative from the drop down list. Now the Select Attributes dialog window opens, which is divided into three areas. The first area is the Current Element of Interest. The middle area is the Attributes for the selected element and displays all of the potential attributes that can be linked to the dynamic element, in this case the Trend.

Select the Temperature attribute, and all of the sub-attributes, which should be Lower Limit, Typical Value, and Upper Limit. You will then use the down arrow icon to move these attributes into the Selected Attributes pane. Whatever attributes are located in this pane will be displayed in the dynamic element. Click OK. Configure the Trend to have a Start Time of *-12h. You can also change the Plot Name to Reactor Temperature. Then click OK.


Now add dynamic values next to the Product, Density, Volume and Mass labels. You can do this by selecting a value, click Draw > Value, and drawing a rectangle next to the label by dragging your cursor. Follow the same procedure as before, click the down arrow icon next to the Tag Search… button and choose Element Relative from the drop down list. Select Reactor 101 and add the Attribute Product to the Selected Attributes pane. Then click OK. Format the Value that was added with the appropriate font and colors.

Repeat the above steps for the Attributes Density, Volume, and Mass. For these Values, also check the Show Units checkbox. Add another dynamic Value. You will again choose Element Relative from the drop down list next to the Tag Search… button. However, this time, click the button at the bottom of the pane that says Add Element Name. Use this as your display title. You may want to format the value to appear larger.

Now add a Bar Graph over the Tank symbol. Click on Draw > Bar. Draw a rectangle over the tank by dragging your cursor. Follow the previous procedure to add the Level attribute as the Selected Attribute. You can format the Bar Graph so that the border is black and the background color is None. You can also draw a Scale from the Symbol Library overlaid on top of the Bar Graph. See the picture below.

You will now add a Value below the tank for a numerical reading of the tank level. You have now built an Element Relative display. Test this by changing the context in the Element Relative Display pane on the left side of the window. Click on a different reactor and see the Trend, Bar Graph and dynamic Values change as the context changes between reactors.


Using templates to create your elements in AF allows you to create element relative displays that can show you real time data from all the similar elements in your facility. Go ahead, create some AF Element templates at your facility and feel like a super hero, or watch this lab in video format below:


Do you want to know more about building AF Element templates? Watch the video below or search for the PI Asset Framework playlist in our OSIsoft Learning Channelin YouTube for a more in depth learning experience about PI AF.

Did you know you can get a subscription to the OSIosft Virtual Learning Environment and get access to a PI System with all of the OSIsoft tools for you to play with? Read more here. This access is already free if you are an Enterprise Agreement customer or a member of vCampus, there are also discounts for partners.