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Jacklin Altman11 Nov, 2019

Easy as PI: PI Vision

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What good is data if you can't see it? Andrew Nguyen, Product Marketing Manager at OSIsoft, has held various roles throughout the company over the last 7 years, and he has seen this data evolution firsthand.

What is PI Vision?

PI Vision is OSIsoft's flagship data visualization tool that enables all levels of an organization to gain insight into their critical operations and processes in real-time. It's an easy-to-use, self-service, and scalable visualization tool that provides benefits across an entire organization.

What Inspired it?

PI System users needed a way to view their operations data in a simple, agile way. Having raw data is valuable, but by transforming that raw data into a visual format, it quickly becomes consumable information, leading to better data driven decisions for the organization.

Who uses it?

PI Vision benefits many users across the organization:

  • First, operators and engineers are the power users - they're the ones building displays for monitoring processes, running trends over time, and seeing how assets perform over a given time period.
  • They then share those dashboards with middle and upper management, the second main user group. Managers view and consume the information at a higher level, using it to assess asset and plant performance as a whole.

What are some of the key features?


The first major feature of PI Vision is Ad Hoc Trending. This allows users to quickly and easily begin root cause analysis by multi-selecting data items from any display and then sending them to an ad hoc workspace where those items will then be trended together with one click. This creates a seamless problem-solving workflow, as users can easily create, save, and share these ad hoc workspaces.

The second key feature of PI Vision is Collections, which is a grouping of similar assets. This allows users to easily filter their displays to only show items that are relevant (such as only displaying assets that need troubleshooting). Another benefit of Collections is that as new assets are installed and come online, they are automatically added to the relevant PI Vision display, so there is no need to edit or rebuild displays.

Lastly, Multi-Stating is another key feature of PI Vision. This feature provides visual status indicators for the operator or engineer, making it easier for them to understand the status of their assets, at a glance. For example, a symbol on a display will begin blinking red when the value of that symbol has exceeded a predefined threshold, in order to draw the operators attention to a potential problem. When the value of the symbol is within the predefined threshold, the symbol can revert back to its original color, notifying that there is no longer an issue.

How are people using PI Vision?


One of the most common uses is to build out process monitoring displays, allowing operators to visualize what is happening with the assets at a given site. PI Vision is also extremely useful for conducting root cause analysis and visualizing trends. Users can then share displays across their team and/or other business groups, since it's a web-based client that allows for quick information transfer.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a leading manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft systems and radars, is using PI Vision to monitor conditions of paint booths for drones in real-time. Abbott Nutrition is improving process controls and increasing batch cycle times through improved data visualization. Bondtech, a manufacturer of autoclaves, core lechers, and vulcanizers, is providing customers with web-based PI Vision dashboards for monitoring and system alerts. Sempra Renewables is using PI Vision to give operators rapid insights into each of their sites, with alarms tied directly into the screens for rapid issue detection.

What's next for PI Vision?

In the upcoming weeks, OSIsoft will be releasing a migration utility that will provide a path forward for existing PI ProcessBook customers.

  • PI ProcessBook to PI Vision Migration Utility - This tool will analyze PI ProcessBook displays and migrate them to become native PI Vision displays. This ensures that users who have invested in PI ProcessBook can bring that investment forward to OSIsoft's latest data visualization tool.

Beyond the aforementioned features, there are additional improvements being considered based off of user feedback.

  • Collaborative Display Editing - Currently, only a single user can make changes to a display. This possible improvement would allow a team of people to all collaborate on a single display.
  • Ad Hoc Calculations - This would allow for basic calculations to be done right in a PI Vision display (such as running calculations between two temperatures in a display).
  • Multiple Time Contexts - Multiple symbols on the same display with each symbol having different time ranges, which would allow users to compare trends over different time periods.
  • Offline Display Management - Users would be able to take a display offline, edit it, and then re-upload an updated version.

Learn more about PI Vision.

Jacklin AltmanDigital Media ManagerJacklin is the Digital Media Manager and local food critic at OSIsoft. With over 7 years of experience in marketing, software, and social media, she writes about all things tech, marketing, and the PI System.
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