Request to share their experience working with Canary vs. GE Proficy or other historians.

Dear All,

Could you please share your experience in using Canary to replace GE Proficy or in place of it? What made you to choose Canary and how is the experience so far?

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  • Years ago, when I worked at a previous job, I went from GE’s Classic Historian which we have been using for close to 5 years and switched to Canary labs and was blown away with the difference in nearly all aspects of the products.  The trending tool at the time was Canary Labs trend link, which I embedded into our HMI which was GE Proficy iFix.  One big difference I noticed was how I was no longer contacted every time someone needed a trend built.  The plant operators had no problems learning and using Canary’s trending tool.  We also rarely had issues with the Historian, and if we did, Canary’s Technical support responded within minutes of my phone call to them. 

     I then relocated and changed jobs and ended up with a SCADA system using GE iHistorian at one facility and Rockwell FTHistorian at another facility.  It didn’t take long before I realized how bad the iHistorian and FTHistorian was compared to Canary Labs.

    I found that Canary Labs Administration console was the easiest to work with.  The GE iHistorian management console to me felt like it was outdated.  GE did come out with a web-based management console but was always a headache to get installed and also was limited to only some of the management tools.  You still needed the Thick Client management console to fully manage the Historian.  I also had bad experience with the GE Historian archive files ending up corrupted causing us to lose data.  This happened any time we had an unplanned system shutdown.  Not once were we able to recover our data when this happened, not even with the help of GE support.  We also had to many bad experiences with updates or sim installs causing the system to become unstable, even to the point where I had to re-install the Historian.

    And to me, the worst part of the GE iHistorian was the trending tool GE supplied with their GE Proficy HMI, it was awful, and this was comparing it to Trend link, and not Canary’s newer trending program called Axiom.  If you ever used Canary Axiom or even TrendLink and compared it to what GE supplies as a trending tool you would quickly understand my frustration I had with their product. 

    On hardware and resource requirements, GE historian is a resource hog.  If you choose GE iHistorian, I would recommend you load up on lots of Ram, I had issues where at times the historian would consume a large amount of the memory to the point where the Historian Administration Console would lock up and the only way to recover was a hard reboot which corrupted the archive file that was in use.  If I Recall correctly, our Historian has 16 gigs of ram and that is not enough. 

    The experience I have had with the GE Historian has been so bad, that It has given me the motivation and justification to replace our two Historians with Canary Labs Historian.  Let’s put it this way, the way I got the approval to replace our existing historians was by setting up a test Canary Historian side by side with our existing GE and Rockwell Historians.  Our plant operators loved the trending capabilities in Axiom and also, our IT department was impressed with how low the requirements were for the hardware for the Canary Historian.  We are currently in the implementation process and am thrilled that we will soon be retiring the GE and Rockwell Historians.

    I’m going to follow your post, so If you have any specific questions about my experience with the Historians, reply to my response and I will be happy to answer.

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    • hortar Many thanks for this. Appreciate your time. Happy to hear your implementation experience. This brings in a clear view and builds confidence on the product. Good Day.

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