OSIsoft: What are PI Event Frames?
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OSIsoft: What are PI Event Frames?

September 14, 2019


PI Event Frames help you store and find important process events and their related data. They allow you to track these critical events so you can understand their impact on your business. What do we mean by important or critical events? Do you monitor the start-up or shutdown of your equipment? A phase in a reaction, batches in your process? Operator shifts? Or anything that goes through specific stages that you track? Do events like downtimes, maintenance, curtailment, a process going outside acceptable limits impact you? Think about what types of events are significant to you in your business. What do you want to know about events that have happened? Whether it’s planned or not, you likely want to know when did it start? When did it end? How long did it last? You’ll want to know information that is specific to that type of event. Maybe even calculated metrics that help you assess its impact on your business? That’s what PI Event Frames are all about. They essentially mark the data, so you know when each event started and ended, the duration, and the event specific information that you choose to capture. You can even track and visualize what happened in the time period before with a root cause event. With events marked and tracked in the PI system, you can now analyze the impact of events; you can compare events; and you can easily report on events. How does this all happen? First, PI Event Frames need to be setup to automatically capture specific events. These events are stored in the PI Asset Framework component of the PI Server. And they can be created in several ways using different OSISoft products. We strongly recommend using Asset Analytics. With the event frame generation analysis capability which was introduced with PI Server 2014. This can be setup in PI System Explorer and uses an Event Frame template. Event Frames can also be created using the PI Event Frame Generator or PI Interfaces for Batch and Manufacturing Execution Systems. Programmatic access to PI Event Frames is also available which is great because it allows you to integrate your event frames with other systems and even build your own custom applications. What if you have events that need to be associated with other events? In the case of the root cause event, there has to be a pairing to the triggered event that the root cause is for. Now this relationship is built into the system. When you are configuring PI Event Frames, you can also build out relationships between related events. This is useful for event frames used to monitor a process that goes through several sub processes. Each sub process could be tracked as an individual event, capturing the specific information about the sub process, and this event can then be grouped under the event that captures the entire larger process. These relationships are setup in a hierarchial structure in the PI Asset Framework, that we refer to as a parent event frame with one or more child event frames. Once the PI Event Frames are configured and generated, they can be viewed in PI Client tools, such as the quick visualization in PI Coresight through the related assets and events tab. Or in reports, with PI DataLink, using the explore and compare events functions. Are you leveraging PI Event Frames to help view your time series data in a meaningful way and easily analyze events? Check out these great videos to learn more about the configuration and visualization.

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