Welcome! Thanks for your interest in tManager! On this page, you’ll find all of the info you need to understand tManager and start using tManager. For questions like… what is tManager, why you need it, applications, and even how to use it, you’ve come to the right place. Just click through the video series below, or pick and choose the one’s you want to watch, and if you still have questions, please drop us an email!
What is tManager? And what are the applications for tManager? tManager connects PLCs to SQL databases. It’s an in-chassis module in the ControlLogix formfactor and the CompactLogix formfactor. It handles the transactions between the PLC and the SQL database, without a PC in the middle! It does this without OPC! tManager is the transaction manager for applications such as track and trace, recipe downloads, quality monitoring, dashboards, analytics, and high speed sorting.
tManager is OT to IT convergence! Let’s take the example of recipe download. If you are making 10 different wheels, each wheel recipe could have 1000’s of parameters. If you put these 10 recipes, each with 1000’s of parameters in an SQL database, you’ve just relieved a huge burden from your PLC and leveraged systems you already have in your plant through what’s called OT to IT convergence.
So what does the PLC to SQL database architecture look like? And what are some benefits of OT to IT convergence? Use database for storage, not your PLC. Use tManager to orchestrate transactions, not a PC. No PLC logic changes are required for monitoring applications such as storing quality parameters in SQL.
Let’s dive in and see what the SQL database looks like. It kind of looks like an Excel table… columns, rows, and headers. What does your recipe look like in a table for 10 recipes? Let’s learn how to build a table to hand to your IT manager. Then, your IT Manager will create the SQL table for you. You (the control engineer) will create the tags in ControlLogix or CompactLogix. Let’s take a peek at tManager, where you will drag and drop, and map the two together.
Watch an order for truck wheels being placed by the customer. Then we will see the architecture and transaction between customer, ERP, SQL database, MES, PLC, tags, tables, and production line; OT to IT convergence. tManager is handling all transactions between the PLC and the SQL database. No intermediary PC or OPC required. tManager handles the triggers, selects, inserts, updates, and maps between tags and tables. Here’s the bottom line: use tManager to handle transactions between the PLC and SQL database, lift the burden off your PLC, and leverage business systems you already have in your plant for OT to IT convergence.
Now you are ready to get busy! Let's open up the configuration software and get things setup (this video) before we start configuring a project (next video). Set IP address of the in-chassis module. Name your tManager module, configure either unique Ethernet ports, see network diagnostics, project backup, set module time or synch time to network, see license management (SQL, ORACLE, Modbus, Siemens, etc.), configure logs, and configure users.
Create a project and browse ControlLogix tags right on the backplane of the rack, or browse Ethernet/IP PLC tags out on the network. Connect to the SQL database through SQL server authentication. Enter database name, username, password, connect to the database, and browse SQL tables.
Now you are ready to insert PLC tag values into an SQL database. Store production metrics in an SQL database by creating a new project, browse tags and tables (previous video), use the tManager menu to build an "Insert" message path which consists of a trigger (periodic in this example), map (tags to tables), and endpoint (transaction logs, store and forward, or failover for example) -- all menu driven! Run project and watch data go into the database!
Use the Select command for recipe management. Creating a new project, browse tags and tables (2 videos ago), use the tManager menu to build an "Select" message path which consists of a trigger (RFID tag), database endpoint, map (tables to tags), and endpoint (to which PLC are we sending the information) -- all menu driven! Run project and watch data go into the database! Watch tManager scan RFID tag as a trigger, lookup RFID in the database, find row in database associated with RFID, return entire row of data, the recipe, to ControlLogix.
Let's backup now and take a deeper look into creating triggers. Triggers tell tManager when to initiate a transaction between the PLC and SQL database. We will look at periodic triggers based on change in time, scheduled triggers using conditions based on time of day, or event driven using Logix5000 message instructions. Learn about hysteresis, status tags, handshaking (ready to re-arm trigger) and debugging techniques.
When there are new product enhancements, sometimes you may want to update your firmware. In this example, we are updating 4.0.10 to 4.1.2. First, backup your tManager configuration. Then update your firmware. You will also need to updated tManager configuration software. I'll show you how to confirm the update occurred.