I don’t want to start by pissing anyone off, but I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that Rockwell’s graphics engine has not changed one iota since its inception back in the ’90s when it was RSView32.
There are a plethora of HMI Software vendors who are vying for market share in the Industrial Automation marketplace. Among them are a number of major players such as Rockwell™ (FactoryTalk™ View SE/ME), AVEVA™ (Wonderware™), SIEMENS™ (SIMATIC™), Schneider™ (apart from AVEVA), GE™ (iFix™), and since 2010, InductiveAutomation™ (Ignition!™).
InductiveAutomation didn’t start with Ignition!™, it culminated from their ‘legacy’ products (FactorySQL and FactoryPMI) that were around since 2003. Although that’s not ‘new’ in general software standards, it is fairly new in regards to the Industrial Automation marketplace.
They’re also one of the first Industrial HMI Software vendors to offer a cross-platform OS choice. It supports Windows, Linux, AND MacOS. Not many mainstream vendors (actually none that I can think of) can boast that. Arguably, Linux has always surpassed Windows when it comes to stability and reliability, but not many vendors in recent years have supported it.
Ignition is modular based and has a SQL module that makes queries and injections a lot more simple than their competitors. They fully support OPC-UA and have native drivers for Allen-Bradley, Siemens, and ModbusTCP.
Ignition is truely ‘Industry 4.0’ as they also support MQTT and ‘Edge’ device deployment as well as cloud deployment. Redundancy and ‘store-and-forward’ history collection are also out-of-the-box features.
To say Ignition is ‘powerful’ is an understatement as it’s pretty much up to your imagination what you can do with it, and if you know a bit of Python, you can really put an application into over-drive.
Last but certainly not least is Ignition’s vector-based graphics engine. They may not be the only one to use loss-less Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) objects, but combine that with what I’ve already described here and more, and you have a product that is clearly gobbling up market share in a very technology-driven market.
If you need any help making the decision which Automation platform to choose for your ‘greenfield’ project or ‘brownfield’ migration, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our passion is helping our clients be successful.