Demo program considerations

The team your plant selected to specify the next software investment, which could require a significant outlay of capital dollars, is looking to you for a recommendation. Your opinion is critical to the team's decision. Where do you start? Perhaps you are upgrading a software suite, or maybe you seek to change vendors.

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine October 10, 2004
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Energy Management

The team your plant selected to specify the next software investment, which could require a significant outlay of capital dollars, is looking to you for a recommendation. Your opinion is critical to the team’s decision. Where do you start?

Perhaps you are upgrading a software suite, or maybe you seek to change vendors. Regardless of the situation, wouldn’t it be helpful if you could test drive software before you lay your opinion on the line?

To help plant engineers identify available demo programs that might be of interest, PLANT ENGINEERING magazine surveyed software suppliers about their offerings. This report summarizes the findings. Demo programs are listed by category with highlights of selected programs.

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For more information about software demoprograms, or for an expanded report on the demo programs listed here, go to .


AutomationDirect, Cumming, GA

KEPDirect is a 32-bit application that connects Windows client software to Ethernet I/O. It allows any industrial HMI/SCADA, data historian, MES, or ERP software package that includes an OPC client driver to connect directly to PLCs, Ethernet I/O, or ac drives. Demo and full program run on PC with 200 MHz Pentium processor running Windows 98/NT/2000 or XP operating system. Demo may be downloaded from company’s web site.

Production Process, Londonderry, NH

ProductionACE is manufacturing data collection and reporting, production scheduling, and preventive maintenance software. It collects data from machines for production data collection and reporting, real-time machine productivity/status monitoring, machine-downtime-cause data collection and analysis, production scheduling and job tracking, usage-based preventive maintenance, and a bidirectional scheduling and production data link to ERP. MDTs connect directly to production machines. Software real-time screens display OEE, up time, yield, and standard rate efficiencies by machine and department. Reports include standard and custom production data reporting with Crystal Reports, Pareto charts of downtime, and reject causes by machine, product, date, and operator. Drag-and-drop production scheduling continuously calculates start and end dates, identifies late jobs and machine, and tooling conflicts. Preventive maintenance is scheduled based on actual cycle count and/or run time of machine and up to 99 components per machine. System’s job queue accepts ERP plan, then reports production data at job and shift end. Demo version simulates machines running in real time. Demo and full program run on PC with Pentium processor running any Windows operating system except for ME. Demo may be downloaded, or a copy requested from company’s web site.

Factory Intelligence Network, West Berlin, NJ

FIN is a data collection software system for both new and legacy equipment. It provides real-time display and alarming of machine and process parameters, trending, and report generation. It operates as a maintenance and troubleshooting tool, as well as a production reporting and analysis tool. The demo is fully functional and will run for 30 days. Demo runs on computers with 266-MHz Pentium II processor or greater running Windows 98, NT, 2000, or XP. Full program includes FIN Server software. Server/computer is furnished with the system. Clients run on users’ computers and must have a Pentium III processor running Windows NT, 2000, or XP operating system.

Schneider Electric, North Andover, MA

Unity Pro is a programming package for PLCs that allows users to simulate the program for debugging, correct errors, download to PLC, review status, and diagnose manufacturing process problems. Demo and full program run on PC with 800 MHz (1.2 GHz is recommended) Pentium processor running Windows 2000 or XP Professional operating system. Demo is online interactive. A free trial disk may be requested from the company’s web site.

Vorpalware, Hayward, CA

PlantLog collects and records vital equipment data and machinery readings using mobile technology. Mobile software features include automatic system ID, simple input, systems overview, and customizable input methods. Desktop software features include searchable and sortable system readings history, reporting, and simple file exporting.

PDA Data Collection Module: Through use of a personal digital assistant (PDA) equipped with a barcode scanner, personnel can collect equipment status readings. By pressing a single button, PlantLog scans the unique barcode ID of a given asset and automatically displays a list of items from which to take readings, and instructions to ensure that all readings are observed correctly and are maintained within acceptable thresholds.

Synchronization Module: This module is a software component that can be installed on as many standard PC systems as desired. It provides a way to transfer the readings gathered on the PDA to the primary data repository. Each Sync station can store data in independent or shared locations.

Desktop Viewer Module: The data viewer component allows plant management and other engineering staff to view, search, and analyze historical system data. The intuitive interface enables users to access a system profile by selecting its group and name. Reporting capabilities include a collection of graphical charts as well as a report wizard, which can be used to select a series of items and generate calculated results such as totals, averages, and high/lows. Generated reports can be stored as favorites to be referenced at a later date. Data views can also be filtered by standard or user-defined time periods.

Demo requires standard PC and PDA running the Palm operating system. Although it is not necessary to have an actual PDA for the demo because the software can be evaluated using emulation software included in the demo, an actual PDA enhances evaluation. Both demo and full version operate on Windows NT, 2000, and XP. Full version requires standard PC and at least one PDA running Palm operating system.

Company Program name Function URL Reader service #
AutomationDirect , Cumming, GA DataWorx PLC PLC data collection 1
DirectSOFT32 PLC programming 2
EZTouch Operator interface panel configuration and testing 3
KEPDirect OPC/DDE data server that interfaces Windows client software to Ethernet-based controller (EBC) I/O 4
LookoutDirect HMI programming 5
Factory Intelligence Network , West Berlin, NJ FIN Data collection software system for new and legacy equipment 6
Production Process , Londonderry, NH ProductionACE Manufacturing data collection and reporting, production scheduling, and preventive maintenance (PM) 7
Schneider Electric , Palatine, IL Advantys Development, configuration, and commissioning for distributed I/O; and fieldbus and control network integration 8
Schneider Electric , North Andover, MA FactoryCast HMI Graphical HMI application programming, data logging, and trending 9
Monitor Pro Graphical HMI application programming, data logging, and trending 10
Unity Pro PLC programming 11
Unity Studio Factory communication network configuration; automation software and documentation consolidation 12
Vijeo Look HMI/SCADA application programming 13
Vorpalware , Hayward, CA PlantLog Data collection system for equipment status readings 14


ESA, Clackamas, OR

EasyPower allows users to develop detailed electrical drawings. Information about equipment can be added to the electrical system drawing from the built-in library or from existing equipment information. Software allows you to perform system design, troubleshooting, and analysis — including short circuit, protective device coordination, arc flash hazard, power flow, motor starting, and harmonics studies. Demo and full program run on PC with Pentium processor running Windows operating system. Demo may be downloaded or requested from company’s web site. Also, an online interactive demo can be arranged.

Reliability Center, Inc., Hopewell, VA

PROACT is an investigation and analysis software tool that assists users in conducting failure mode and effects analyses (FMEAs) with probabilistic modeling, opportunity analyses using historical data, and root cause analyses (RCA). Demo and full program run on PC with 233 MHz (1.2 GHz is recommended) Pentium processor running Windows 2000, Windows NT (running service pack 6a), or Windows XP Professional operating system.

Rockwell Automation, Greenville, SC

TCO Toolbox calculates the total cost of ownership (TCO) from the existing scenario; a proposed solution and user-entered data that include downtime costs, labor rates, and activity information for the process or application under review. Results are displayed in flowchart, bar chart, and financial form formats. Demo and full program run on PC with Pentium II or higher processor running Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, or XP Professional operating system. Also requires installation of Microsoft Office 97 or later (includes MS Access, MS Word, and MS PowerPoint).

Schneider Electric, Knightdale, NC

HarmCalc Manager is simulation software designed to evaluate ac drives by defining the most cost-effective harmonic abatement techniques when using ac drives. It runs “short form” harmonic distortion effects on power systems; calculates harmonic current, voltage, and current distortion for ac drives; Exports data into most popular spreadsheets for further analysis and data presentation. Demo and full program run on PC with 266 MHz Pentium III or higher processor running Windows 98, NT, 2000, or XP Professional operating system.

UE Systems, Inc., Elmsford, NY

UE Spectralyzer converts a PC into a spectral analysis lab by producing spectral and time views with full FFT function. In real time mode, the screen acts as an oscilloscope with no memory; in record mode, sounds can be directly recorded; and in play back mode, sound samples may be analyzed. Other features include frequency, dB, harmonic, and alarm cursors. Demo and full program run on PC with 400 MHz Pentium III or higher processor running Windows 98, XP, 2000, or Windows NT 4.0 or newer operating system.

Company Program name Function URL Reader service #
ESA, Inc. , Clackamas, OR EasyPower Measure V2 Power quality measurement analysis 15
EasyPower Integrated power system analysis and design 16
EasyPower EasySolv Arc flash analysis and electrical system design 17
EasyPower SafetyTracker Arc flash analysis and work permit creation 18
Reliability Center, Inc. , Hopewell, VA The PROACT Suite Root cause analysis (RCA) and opportunity analysis 19
Rockwell Automation , Greenville, SC TCO Toolbox Total cost of ownership (TCO) decision support tool 20
Schneider Electric , Knightdale, NC HarmCalc Manager Calculates harmonic current, voltage, and current distortion for ac drives 21
UE Systems, Inc. , Elmsford, NY UE Spectralyzer FFT and spectral analysis 22


24/7 Systems, Inc., Louisville, TN

Tango Repair Tracker allows plants and shops to share equipment repair information in a convenient, collaborative manner. Software is a free web service for authorized industrial equipment repair shops, allowing them to enter equipment design and repair information into an internet-based database, for retrieval by plant users. Data includes design details, repair findings, root cause analysis, repair actions, and linked documents such as damage photos, job documentation, and shop tests like load and balance. Plant users can view their equipment currently being repaired at multiple repair shops, and see a list of repairs completed within the last 30 days. Demo and software may be used by anyone with a computer running Windows Internet Explorer, version 6 or newer.

CyberMetrics, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ

FaciliWorks is a CMMS program that tracks facility maintenance schedules, employees, suppliers, tools, parts, procedures, budgets, and purchasing. Software is designed to help you improve reliability, optimize inventory, and comply with standards. Features include customizable reports, 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, electronic signature, history, preventive and unscheduled maintenance reporting, and PDA support. Demo and full program run on PC with 800 MHz Pentium III or higher processor running Windows XP, or 2000 operating system.

Datastream Systems, Inc., Greenville, SC

Datastream 7i is web-based asset performance management software that helps users maintain physical assets properly and increase productivity. It provides preconfigured work processes, screens, menus, and reports based on industry best practices. This software/web application includes a simple browser interface that enables plants to share information across the enterprise, regardless of geographic location. Demo and full program operate on any PC or thin client with a standard web browser and a connection to the internet.

DPSI, Greensboro, NC

iMaint Online is a web-based EAM/CMMS program that offers asset management, maintenance scheduling, labor and craft management, work order management, cost tracking and containment, parts inventory management, and purchasing tools. The software integrates with Crystal Reports, assists with regulatory compliance documentation, supports user-defined labels, fields, and status, and is available with PDA and bar code interfaces. Demo and software are web-based (remotely hosted by DPSI), and will run on any computer using a standard browser. Windows operating system must also run Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. Server/PC (resident) version is also available and requires 300 MHz Pentium II processor or higher for the demo and a 1GHz Pentium III processor or higher for the full program.

eXegeSys, Salt Lake City, UT

eXegeSys Asset Maintenance (eAM) is a CMMS application available in three editions — “Small Business Basic,” “Small Business,” and “Enterprise Edition.” Demo is a fully functional version of the “Small Business Basic” edition running on a Microsoft Access database. The free demo has a 90-day trail period after which it will cease to run. Program features include work order control, equipment catalog, parts and inventory, preventive maintenance, purchase order tracking, employees, craft and labor, and setup. Demo and full program run on 200-MHz Pentium processor or higher. Demo requires Windows 2000, XP, or 2003 operating system. Full program runs on Windows 2000, XP, or 2003; HP-UX 11.0; Linux 2.4 Kernel; Linux Itanium 2.4 Kernel; or Sun Solaris 9 operating systems.

HOUNDware Corp., Edmonton, AL

HOUNDware Onsite is mobile asset management software that tracks assets, consumables, tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles. It allows quick issue and return of assets — providing history of all asset usage by item and employee; integrates with business intelligence (BI) systems; ensures employee tool use certification; manages system security; generates custom reports; and monitors and schedules maintenance (optional). Demo and full program are fully functional via the internet and require Windows 95, 2000, or XP operating system. Demo requires handheld RFID or barcode scanners. Full program requires wireless access points, handheld scanner, RFID chips, or barcodes.

Maintenance Connection, Inc., Davis, CA

Maintenance Connection Onsite/Online is a web-based CMMS application designed to track work orders, manage equipment, schedule preventive maintenance, maintain inventory levels, and build and run customizable reports. Demo and full program run on 500-MHz. Pentium processor or higher running Windows operating system with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or newer. Program is available through application service provider (ASP), purchase with online hosting, or purchase with self-hosting.

OpWare, LLC, Le Roy, NY

ProTek Plus is a server/PC-based EAM/CMMS. Demo is the latest version of the application and is accessed via the Internet. Company runs the demo and user accesses and shares it over the web and communicates verbally over the telephone during the demo. The demo includes the ability to add new records as well as extract existing data from a copy of a production database. Full program enables parts tracking, cross-referencing, and semiautomatic reordering. It facilitates work prioritization, planning, and scheduling. Application tracks changes according to regulatory requirements. Online interactive demo is accommodated by request and runs on any PC with standard browser. Full program runs on PC with Pentium IV running Windows 2000 or XP for single user or small installation. Multiuser configuration requires PC client with Windows 2000, NT, or XP; or a server with Citrix or terminal services; and SQL Server 2000.

QMS Consulting, Inc., San Jose, CA

QMSoutsource combines CMMS, safety, and MRO procurement in one program, which includes lock-out/tag-out, confined space, hot work, and fleet management. It also has the ability to issue safety permits. Software features workflow process control and safety/work order relational coordination. The server host program performs planning and checking, while handheld runs task-based programs. The program can operate on individual enterprise servers, or can facilitate enterprise maintenance management over the Internet. Demo runs on handheld computers and PC connected to the Internet using high-speed connection and standard web browser. Full program requires handhelds and server running Unix/Linux.

Company Program name Function URL Reader service #
24/7 Systems, Inc. , Louisville, TN Tango Repair Tracker Web-based equipment/condition management software that tracks location, repairs, and design changes for any repairable asset 23
CyberMetrics, Inc. , Scottsdale, AZ FaciliWorks Server/PC-based CMMS 24
Datastream Systems, Inc. , Greenville, SC Datastream 7i Web-based asset performance management (APM) 25
DPSI , Greensboro, NC iMaint Server/PC-based EAM/CMMS 26
iMaint Fleet Server/PC-based EAM/CMMS for fleet and mobile equipment 27
iMaint Online Web-based EAM/CMMS 28
PMC Server/PC-based CMMS 29
eXegeSys , Salt Lake City, UT eXegeSys Asset Maintenance (eAM) Server/PC-based CMMS 30
HOUNDware Corp. , Edmonton, AL HOUNDware Onsite Web-based mobile asset management 31
Maintenance Connection, Inc. , Davis, CA Maintenance Connection Onsite/Online Web-based CMMS 32
OpWare, LLC. , Le Roy, NY ProTek Plus Server/PC-based EAM/CMMS 33
QMS Consulting, Inc. , San Jose, CA QMSoutsource Server/PC-based CMMS, safety, and MRO procurement 34


Prime Technologies, Inc., West Chester, PA

ProCalV5 is a CCMS that allows users to setup and manage activities for calibration and management of instruments, systems, and equipment. The program enables users to list plant assets with hierarchal associations for systems, equipment, loops, and instruments; establish separate accounts for companies, sites, divisions, and departments; assign responsibilities to various user groups within each account; build calibration records; set up calibration and maintenance schedules, print worksheets, and assign work; monitor data entries and send warnings, alerts, reminders, and e-mails for triggered events; and operate completely paperless. Demo runs on standard PC running Windows 98, 2000, 2003, NT, and XP. Full programs runs on all conventional PCs and server networks.


National Instruments, Austin, TX

LabVIEW is a graphical software development environment for creating flexible and scalable test, measurement, and control applications. Users interface with real-world signals, analyze data for meaningful information, and share results and applications. Demo version provides all the functionality of the full program for 30 days. LabVIEW applications will run for 5 min before reloading. LabVIEW will remain open for 30 min after which it must be relaunched. Features include interactive I/O assistants for data acquisition and instrument control, automatic code generation, connectivity to many I/O devices, 450 built in analysis functions, open network connectivity, web publishing and report generation tools, and development for real-time, PDA, and field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based systems. Demo and full program run on 600-MHz computers with Pentium III/Celeron processor or equivalent running Windows 2000, XP, or NT version 4, Service Pack 6 or later operating system.


AutomationDirect, Cumming, GA

ECT promis•e draw is software for control system design. It generates control system schematics, panel layouts, bills-of-material, wire lists, and terminal plans. Software is available in AutoCAD add on or standalone versions. The add-on version runs as an application inside AutoCAD; the standalone version requires no additional CAD software because it includes the AutoCAD OEM engine. Features include electrical symbol library, search capability, logical drawing lines (wires), automatic wire break/mend when symbols are removed or placed, manual panel layout function, intelligent 3-phase wire function, bill-of-material generated automatically from schematic, real-time device and signal cross referencing, copy and paste routines, point-to-point wire list, integrated parts database linked to schematic drawings, and project revision control. Demo runs on PC with 333 MHz Pentium, while full program requires 500 MHz Pentium or faster processor. Both run on Windows 98, 2000, NT, or XP operating system.

Blue Heron Soft-ware, Ltd., Sechelt, BC

Design It! is an automated database application for electrical and instrumentation system design. Features include motor, electrical equipment, and instrumentation management; CAD drawing integration; automated design; user customization; specification sheets for instruments, motors, and equipment; process and calibration data; PLC/DCS integration and management; report generation; and web-enabled capabilities. Demo version is full functional and may be used for 30 days, after which it may be unlocked without loss of data if software is purchased. The hardware and software requirements are the same. Software will run in standalone or server configurations, the difference being additional memory for multiple user sessions. Standalone version requires PC with 233-MHz Pentium running Windows NT Workstation, XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional, or server versions of these operating systems (NT Server requires version 4.0 or newer).

Famic Technologies, Saint-Laurent, QC

Automation Studio is a schematic design, simulation, and project documentation software suite for fluid power, automation, and controls. It is used for design, maintenance, service, and troubleshooting purposes in industrial hydraulic and pneumatic systems, mobile hydraulic systems, electrical controls systems, and PLC and automated controls applications. Features include drag-and-drop symbols, ability to assign parameters to components for calculation or sizing, dynamic simulation, and full-color animation, which allows users to test, troubleshoot, and model circuit behavior. Demo and full program require 166-MHz Pentium processor running Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, or XP operating system and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.x, 5.x, or 6.x. Must have high-speed Internet connection. Demo is an online interactive live session.

Company Program name Function URL Reader service #
AutomationDirect , Cumming, GA ECT promis•e draw CAD for control system and schematic design 35
Blue Heron Software, Ltd. , Sechelt, BC Design It! Electrical and instrumentation design 36
Famic Technologies , Saint-Laurent, QC Automation Studio Schematic design, simulation, and project documentation for fluid power, automation, and controls 37

Energy Management

Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, WI

RSEnergyMetrix is web-enabled, energy-management software that helps users solve ongoing, energy-related challenges. Features include correlation of energy and production costs; accurate cost accounting based on actual consumption; energy reports and charts generated for processes, departments, facilities, or enterprise; ability to see energy consumption graphically; and parameter prediction analysis. Demo is online interactive and requires PC with 500-MHz Pentium III or faster processor running Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000 Standard or Enterprise, Microsoft .Net Framework 1.1, and standard Internet browser.

Schneider Electric, LaVergne, TN

POWERLOGIC System Manager allows users to monitor power and piped utilities by viewing real-time trends, tabular data, bar charts, waveforms associated with alarms, historical reports, interactive graphics, and link to other web-enabled devices. Demo displays power and piped utility system information from monitoring devices connected to actual loads at various Square D/Schneider Electric plant locations. Software family is web-enabled and features real-time data and report sharing; remote alarm notification to email, pagers, and other remote devices; distributed monitoring; and automatic data collection. Demo is online interactive and will work with any operating system that supports Internet Explorer 5.5 with Service Pack 2 or higher. Full program requires server with 733-MHz processor. Client requirements are the same as for running the demo program.

Company Program name Function URL Reader service #
Rockwell Automation , Milwaukee, WI RSEnergyMetrix Energy management software that combines data communication, client-server applications, and web connectivity 38
Schneider Electric , LaVergne, TN POWERLOGIC System Manager Energy management software that monitors plant power and piped utility systems 39


CyberMatrix Corporation, Inc., Calgary, AB

Employee Project Clock is an employee time tracking system that allows tracking by project and job code. Features include the ability to track employee time spent on different projects, view employees’ time entry by shift, assign rates by employee or project, track project costs and schedules, project management and expense functions, use time entry data with spreadsheets, create custom time reports, and add multiple languages. Demo and full program run on a PC with Pentium processor running Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, or XP.

Dyadem International, Ltd., Richmond Hill, ON

RiskSafe 5 is workplace risk assessment software supporting job safety analysis, behavior-based safety, ANSI B11, MIL-STD 882, and other similar standards. It allows companies to effectively create task/step-based risk analysis or complete safety audits to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards. It contains risk assessment templates and hazard checklists, is customizable, and reports can be saved in HTML format, allowing risk assessment data to be e-mailed or posted on a company’s intranet. Downloadable demo is a full working time-limited application. Demo and full program run on PC with 200-MHz or faster processor running Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, or XP.

InterPlan Systems, Inc., Houston, TX

eTaskMaker is a project management tool that allows companies to standardize and improve best practices in estimating, planning, and scheduling maintenance work across the enterprise. It generates detailed, customized project schedules for export to leading project management systems based on quantities, dimensions, and answers to multiple-choice questions. Program includes more than 100 estimating modules related to plant maintenance (including piping demolition, fabrication, and installation). Demo and full program run on PC running on Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, or XP.