Frequently Asked Questions

How is the data transferred from the sensors to the Factbird hardware?

Sensors are connected by cable to the Factbird devices. The Factbird devices send data to the cloud through a mobile phone connection or via WiFi or Ethernet (only for Factbird Omron NX1).

What is the Preventive Maintenance Module and how does it work?

The Preventive Maintenance Module is a feature in the Factbird system. It allows maintenance managers not only to manage maintenance tasks based on time, but also offers the unique ability to schedule tasks according to machine usage or cycle counts. This flexibility in scheduling leads to efficient task completion and improved resource utilization.

How can I connect Factbird with Power BI and Tableau?

Connecting Factbird with Power BI or Tableau is achieved through their respective connectors or APIs. Both Power BI and Tableau provide connectors or APIs that allow you to establish a connection with Factbird's data sources. By configuring the connection settings and providing the necessary authentication details, you can establish a seamless connection between Factbird and Power BI or Tableau, enabling data integration and visualization.

Can the Digital T-Card System be used anywhere?

Yes, as a cloud-based system, Factbird's Digital T-Card System can be accessed from anywhere, offering the flexibility to manage your tasks on-the-go.

How does Factbird facilitate data transmission from PLCs to the cloud via MQTT?

If you want to send data from one of your PLCs to the cloud using MQTT and Factbird, Factbird creates a unique client ID for the PLC. You are provided with the broker address and a detailed example of the MQTT topic that needs to be published or subscribed to. This allows the PLC to establish a connection with the broker and seamlessly transmit data to the cloud for further analysis and monitoring.

Is it necessary to power off my machine during the installation of a clamp-on current transducer?

No, there's no need to power down your machine during inspallation. A clamp-on current transducer doesn't require power off because it measures the magnetic field around a conductor, eliminating the need for direct contact with live wires. This method ensures safety, convenience, and efficiency, as it allows for continuous system operation and real-time monitoring without disrupting the circuit.

Note, while the clamp-on current transducers offer this plung-and-play advantage, it's crucial for users to adhere to all safety guidelines when working around electricity, including using appropriate personal protective equipment and following organizational protocols.

How can I log on the portal and view the data from my Factbird?

If you are already Factbird user and want to access the Factbird portal to view your production data, you can log in on this website (you’ll find a log in button at the top right corner).

How does the automatic scheduling based on cycle times work in the Preventive Maintenance Module?

The Preventive Maintenance Module facilitates maintenance scheduling based on production counts or 'cycle counts.' When you select "cycles," the system starts monitoring the output of the sensor you've chosen, which should be the one counting your production units. Each unit produced is counted as one cycle. When the system detects that a specific number of units (or cycles) has been reached, as per your set threshold, it automatically triggers a maintenance task. This ensures that maintenance tasks align with the actual wear and tear of the machinery, providing timely and efficient maintenance.

How secure is the transmission of PLC data to the cloud using Factbird?

Factbird prioritizes the security of PLC data transmission to the cloud. It utilizes industry-standard security measures such as encryption and authentication to protect the data during transmission. MQTT supports secure connections using protocols like MQTT over SSL/TLS, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the data being transmitted.

Can the Digital T-Card System handle a large number of tasks?

Absolutely, the Digital T-Card System is scalable and can manage any number of tasks, making it a perfect solution for organizations of all sizes.

What types of sensors are compatible with Factbird?

Factbird can connect to both analog and digital sensors. Factbird was developed to allow the use of many types of sensors depending on customers' specifications.

Any digital sensor that outputs NPN or PNP signal is supported, by default, it is possible to have two sensors simultaneously connected to a single Factbird® DUO.

You can find a sensor overview guide here.

Can Factbird integrate with other ERP systems besides SAP?

Factbird is ERP-system agnostic and flexible in the sense that it can be configured and managed through the API. This often implies a custom integration to forward desired data to Factbird. Common use cases include automatic import of production orders to get better insights into analytics per product.

Is it possible to measure multiple phases?

Absolutely, our offerings include solutions tailored for both single-phase and three-phase measurements.

How do MQTT clients work?

MQTT clients are the end users of the communication system. Clients can both publish messages on a specific topic and subscribe to topics to receive messages. Each client is identified by a client ID, which helps in distinguishing between different clients in the system. You can read more about it in our guide by clicking here.

How many accounts can we obtain to access to the software?

As many as you want.

What components are included in the Factbird hardware package?

The package includes, besides the device, the power supply and the power cable.

Can Factbird extract data from ERP systems and incorporate it into its analytics and reporting capabilities?

Yes, Factbird can extract data from ERP systems and incorporate it into its analytics and reporting capabilities. By integrating with ERP systems, Factbird can access relevant data such as production orders, material usage, inventory levels, and more. This data can then be used for advanced analytics, reporting, and generating actionable insights within the Factbird platform.

Can I customize the Digital T-Card System to suit my needs?

Yes, the Digital T-Card System is highly customizable. You can define your own color scale, performance criteria, and event frequency as per your organizational needs.

Can the Preventive Maintenance Module significantly reduce unplanned downtime?

Yes, by ensuring maintenance tasks are performed at the right intervals and by the most skilled operators, the Preventive Maintenance Module can significantly reduce unplanned downtime.

Can I monitor energy consumption in time through a KPI on my line's live page?

Yes, when a line is equipped with energy meters, one or multiple KPI representing energy consumption metrics can be visualized on the line overview page. For a comprehensive understanding or specific use cases, we encourage you to consult the user guide in the 'Download documents' or request a personalized demo.

Can Factbird provide support and guidance in setting up the integration with BI solutions or other data sources?

Yes, Factbird can provide support and guidance in setting up the integration with BI solutions or other data sources. Factbird's experts have experience in integrating various BI platforms and data sources. They can assist in configuring the Factbird API, mapping data fields, and providing best practices to ensure a smooth and efficient integration. Factbird's support team is available to help you throughout the integration process.

Can I customize the service intervals in the Preventive Maintenance Module based on my equipment's specific needs?

Yes, the Preventive Maintenance Module allows for customization of service intervals based on the specific needs of your equipment, ensuring optimal maintenance scheduling.

What happens if I forget my password?

You can reset your password on the log-in page.

Can I access my PLC data remotely with Factbird?

Yes, since Factbird transmits PLC data to the cloud, it can be accessed remotely from any device with an internet connection, providing you with real-time insights.

Does Factbird require an internet connection to function?

Yes. To get the data in the cloud you can connect via Wi-Fi or 4G through SIM Card.

How scalable is Factbird for large manufacturing operations with multiple PLC systems?

Factbird is designed to be scalable and can handle large manufacturing operations with multiple PLC systems. It can accommodate a high volume of data and supports the simultaneous communication of multiple clients with the MQTT broker. As the manufacturing operation expands, Factbird can scale to meet the increased data transmission requirements efficiently.

What is the cost of the Digital T-Card System in the Advanced package?

Digital T-Card System isincluded in the Advanced package. The Advanced package starts from €299 per line per month if billed annually. If you prefer a month-to-month billing cycle, the cost is €369 per month.

How accurate are the energy measurements?

Employing the clamp-on current transducer, our system delivers precise estimations of power consumption. However, accuracy is contingent on the specific transducer installed. For detailed specifications, we recommend consulting the component's datasheet that can be found in the 'Download documents' section on this page.

How many maintenance jobs can I setup?

You have unlimited number of jobs.

What businesses would benefit from exploiting the potential of OPC UA standards in their data transmission processes?

Any businesses looking to optimize interoperability and achieve seamless PLC data transfer would benefit from exploiting the OPC UA standards. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with diverse automation devices and complex data transmission processes.

Can I choose between a general or private Factbird cloud platform for storing my PLC data?

Factbird offers the flexibility to choose between a general or private cloud platform for storing your PLC data. The general cloud platform allows you to leverage Factbird's infrastructure, ensuring ease of use and scalability. If you have specific security or compliance requirements, Factbird also provides a private cloud platform option. This enables you to have dedicated and isolated cloud resources for enhanced data privacy and control.

What temperature range can Factbird be installed in?

Please see Data sheets

I require the utmost precision in energy measurements. Does your system cater to this?

Yes, we offer a specialized solution employing a power meter designed to furnish the highest level of accuracy attainable, complying with accuracy class 1, for precision-critical applications in energy measurements. For further information or specific use cases, we encourage you to consult the data sheet of the energy meter or request a personalized demo for guidance.

Can I access the cloud on smartphones or tablets?

Yes, you can view the data directly from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

How do I know if I can use a Factbird for my production line?

Factbird only requires a small amount of space and a power socket. It requires 3 mm distance between the objects that run on the production line to be able to sense them.

How can I provide instructions for maintenance tasks using the Preventive Maintenance Module?

In the Preventive Maintenance Module, instructions for tasks can be provided directly in a text format. You can also link to external resources for task instructions. For example, you can include a link to an instruction document stored on a shared internal drive, such as Microsoft SharePoint. This allows for comprehensive instructions that may include diagrams, images, or longer text.

How does Factbird ensure the smooth integration of PLC data into the cloud?

No matter which data transmission method you choose, Factbird works closely with you to ensure a smooth cloud integration process. We configure the AWS cloud service to effectively receive and store your data from the MQTT broker or the OPC UA client.

Can I access the cloud remotely, even when I'm not on-site?

Yes, you can access the cloud at anytime from anywhere.

How will I be notified about a maintenance job?

You will receive notification in the application.

Can the user install Factbird? Or does it need to be installed by a service engineer?

Factbird is user installable, no technical assistance is required.

How does Factbird mitigate the impact of network disruptions on data integrity and reliability?

Factbird incorporates features to mitigate the impact of network disruptions on data integrity and reliability. MQTT supports Quality of Service (QoS) levels that allow for different levels of reliability in message delivery. Factbird can configure the appropriate QoS level, ensuring that messages are reliably delivered even in the presence of intermittent network connectivity. MQTT's built-in mechanisms for message persistence and retention further enhance data integrity and reliability.

How is the collected data secured?

We use SSL encrypted connections which is the same level of security used by online banks. Factbird never sends or receives sensitive information in plain text.

How long does it take to install a Factbird?

It normally takes less than one hour from opening the package to being able to see data.

What are the benefits of using MQTT for PLC data transmission?

MQTT is a lightweight protocol, meaning it uses less network bandwidth and is efficient in environments with network constraints. It provides a reliable, flexible, and efficient method of data transmission, ensuring that your PLC data is accurately routed to its intended destination.

What is the notification delay?

There is a notification delay of up to 5 minutes.

What kind of power supply does Factbird require?

100-240V, 50-60Hz.

What kinds of sensors can be connected to a Factbird?

Factbird can connect to both analog and digital sensors. Factbird was developed to allow the use of many types of sensors depending on customer's specifications.

Does Factbird come with its own sensors, or do I need to connect external sensors?

Factbird works with off-shelf external sensors, you can use your own if you have any, alternatively, we can provide them.

How do I purchase a Factbird?

If you want to purchase a Factbird, you simply contact us and we’ll help you through the process, making sure you get exactly what you need. You can either fill out a contact form or send an email to a member of our staff directly. You are also welcome to call us. You’ll find all of our contact information under contact.

How do I install Factbird

This video shows how to install Factbird hardware. It is easy and fast to install Factbird, production data collection IIoT device. Factbird can be up and running in 5 minutes. Experience the true plug-and-play installation.

What kind of support is available for troubleshooting and technical issues with the hardware?

Our support team is always available to help you. We also have a troubleshooting hardware guide that you can access here.

Manufacturers turn to Factbird to gain factory floor insights in real time