How to Remotely Control Your Plant With a Mobile App

How to Remotely Control Your Plant With a Mobile App - Remote Manager App Screenshot Parker Hannifin Electromechanical North AmericaNow OEMs and users can remotely monitor and control factory automation displays from anywhere in the world with a phone or tablet and an internet connection. Parker has released the Remote Manager mobile app that controls one or more Parker Factory Displays (PFD) or Interact Xpress™ HMI (and as a result of their machines). It’s a powerful “Information Anywhere” capability that allows users to perform a wide variety of tasks remotely and in real time:

  • log in to any network-connected machine using its IP address, username, and password to monitor and control the machine
  • monitor plant metrics
  • configure alarm notifications via text message or email
  • run diagnostics on machines not functioning properly
  • customize functionality with seven different security levels to suit plant and IT environments
  • update machine software

Enabling this functionality is a simple matter of connecting Remote Manager to a PFD, which functions as a data aggregator pulling data from a variety of sources including Parker and third-party controllers and databases. The information is published to databases (e.g. MySQL) and then pushed out to the Remote Manager app through code (e.g. PHP) in a web browser.

“We’ve come to rely on Remote Manager. In our food processing and canning plant, there’s always water everywhere, so electronics are always at risk. The app gives us the ability to run and monitor our entire department wirelessly on iPad and Google Nexus tablets, away from water. And it’s so easy to use! The controls are fantastic and easy to learn. Set-up only required an IP address, and we were up and running. I can’t say enough good things about this app, and we’re hoping to tie in Parker Factory Displays soon to make the system even better.” via  Christian Nondorf, Electrician / PLC Programmer, Del Monte Foods, using Remote Manager

The Remote Manager app is available for:

Factory display visualization systems

The Parker Factory Display (PFD) visualization system. PFD offers unprecedented flexibility and impact for delivering critical messages to associates on the factory floor. Whether presenting Andon display-type information, lean metrics, production status, OEE data, safety policies or employee announcements, PFD is much more than a "scoreboard" that simply displays text -- it provides workers with real-time, situational awareness for faster response to downs and non-conforming conditions.

The PFD comes packed with a new controller-only option, factory display options up to 55" for primary and secondary units and updated PFD software, which is 32/ 64-bit compatible. The new controller also includes two Ethernet ports, which allows the separation of the Office network from the plant network. With the addition of the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver to the controller image, you can now connect to virtually any database!

With its high-definition resolution, flat-panel displays and built-in networking, PFD offers unparalleled visual impact for empowering associates. Its intuitive graphics enhance the message, while its distributed architecture easily integrates into existing manufacturing and IS infrastructure. Whether remotely publishing displays from anywhere via the Web or visualizing non-conforming parts on a production line, the Parker Factory Display does so much more than other production board displays and Andon display-type systems and at a lower cost.

Learn more about Parker Factory Display (video):


Download our whitepaper to learn more how web-enabled devices can push valuable production information anywhere your plant needs it.






Attending PackExpo 2017?

Meet our engineers at PackExpo in Chicago September 25 - 27 and test out our latest solutions in the IIoT, and packaging and processing manufacturing. Visit us at booth S-7965 to ask questions of the team related to this content or any of our products. Not attending the show? Learn more about our processing and packaging solutions here.


Article contributed  Electromechanical Division, Controls and HMIs, Parker Hannifin, Motion Systems Group






Other articles related to HMI and Visualization:

How the “Information Anywhere” Revolution Helps Boost Production

Wireless Remote Monitoring System Suits a Variety of Applications

All About Cache and Forward Buffering in InteractX

Have a question about Parker products or services? We can help: Contact Us!

Comments for How to Remotely Control Your Plant With a Mobile App

Chris Singer
Does this work directly thru our server or does it go thru another server to get to our server?
Marissa K Tucker
It depends what feature or functionality you're trying to achieve.

Xpress is a web publishing server meaning you don't need to set anything up! Simply place a device running Xpress (either our XT HMI or the Parker Automation Controller) onto the same network as the user will be on. Once it's on the same network the user can log in with their credentials and the known IP address of the device. The user can log on either via a PC or mobile device using Remote Manager over WIFI. Of course, pages and features should be limited by the programmer depending on the role that specific user to has. But all this takes place on your network--no remote or external server required.

If you are interested in additional functionality such as sending e-mail alerts via an SMTP server, the programmer would need to either use their own internal mailing server or one that is available externally.
Kurt Olson
Any word yet on when Remote Manager will be ready for iOS 11?
Thank you for your assistance.
Kurt Olson
Marissa K Tucker
Thank you for your interest. Support for iOS 11 will be part of the next Automation Manager release which will be out in the next few weeks (7/23/18 today). We will update this blog when it is available for download.

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