Event Frames Overview

What are events?

Events are important process or business time periods that represents something happening and impacting customer process or operations. Often customers want to analyze their PI data in the context of these events rather than by continuous time periods. Examples of different types of events include: asset downtime, process excursions, equipment startups and shut downs, environmental monitoring excursions, product tracking batches or paper grades, operator shifts, or any other event type that has a start time and end time. 

What are event frames?

Every industry, process, and business has events that are important to them. While there are systems available that can capture the start and end time for a specific type of event, few systems can capture many different types of events and combine the event information with the process data that engineers and knowledge workers need to perform analysis on their events easily. Very often, the event data and process data are stored in separate systems leaving end users with the painstaking task of having to combine different data sets together manually in order to perform their analyses.
The PI System has a feature called event frames that capture critical event contexts for our customers.  The event frames feature permits customers to capture a name, start time, end time, and a series of related information (event attributes) that are useful for analysis within the PI System.

Event frames help customers capture and find important process and business events and the related data. Instead of searching by time, the event frames feature enables users to easily search the PI System for the events they are trying to analyze or report on. Event frames also returns all the related process data automatically so that users don't need to query multiple systems for data and then merge together manually. Event frames capture the events and references the related process data automatically so that users can spend their time analyzing the data, not querying and manipulating the data.

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Using event frame templates, customers can define and standardize the related data (event frame attributes) associated with their different types of events. Event frame attributes can be string data used to provide additional context around the event that are useful for searches. For example, downtime events often have a reason code that users want to search for or filter on during analysis of their downtime events. Event frame attributes can also be configured to reference process data in the context of the event. For example, a temperature excursion event would likely have an attribute for the maximum temperature during the excursion event. Event frames will automatically calculate these values for the user. Additionally, for each event type, customers can configure an index for the attributes that permit them to search the most often. This will allow faster and easier searches using the PI System when customers track multiple event types and have a system with millions of events.
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What PI System products currently support event frames?

The following PI System products support event frames currently:
  • PI Asset Framework (PI AF)
    • Dedicated event frames database
    • Asset Analytics - Automatically generates events based on conditions in real time and backfill event frames based on historical data. You can easily establish criteria to create event frames to support downtimes and excursion tracking and analysis.
    • PI AF SDK - Programmatic access via a software development kit
    • PI System Explorer - User interface for configuration of event frame templates and event frame generation analysis
    • PI AF Builder - Bulk configuration editor
  • Event Frames Generator (EFGen) - Generates events from trigger points in the PI Data Archive. Event Frames Generator also leverages event frame templates in PI AF, populates event frame attributes from point data, handles complex hierarchical events like batches, and migrates existing PI Batch Generator (PI BaGen) configurations forward to Event Frames Generator so customers can just use the configuration they are already running.
  • PI Interfaces for Batch Execution Systems and MES - Create the complex batch events in event frames from the rich information available in Batch Execution Systems or MES systems enabling customers to easily view their real-time process data within the context of their product/batch.
  • Developer Technologies - Access to time-series data, assets, and events from the PI System for custom application programming and integration into tools and systems like Microsoft Office or SQL Server, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs), Web portals, maintenance systems, and others.
  • PI Coresight 2016 - Automatically discover the related events from the assets on customer displays and analyze them on a trend in the context of an event. Event attributes can easily be viewed in a table so customers can quickly see the relevant data to their event. Overlay real time data within the context of an event frame to visualize process variation.
  • PI Datalink - Explore and compare events within Excel. Create easy to use, ad-hoc reports.
  • PI Data Archive - Migrate your PI Batch data to event frames with our analysis and migration tools.
  • PI Integrator for Business Analytics - Export your event frame context data to external systems for Big Data analysis.

What PI System products will support event frames in the future?

The following is a summary of the plans for PI System products supporting event frames in the future. As with all future projections, these plans are subject to change. Please refer to the PI System Roadmap for details and estimated timing as they become available.
  • PI Coresight 2016 R2  - More ad-hoc analysis support for events such as overlay trends and other visualizations
  • RtReports - Compliance reporting with event frames
  • PI Manual Logger - Event based manual data entry
  • Notifications - Event frames provide the  mechanism for notifications in PI Asset Framework