Flink vs Wonderware Connected to a SLC5/05


Thread Starter


I'm not familiar with FactoryLink 7.0 but will have to use it on an upcoming project. Is it difficult to animate say a flow display with a range of 0 to 600 gpm? In Wonderware this would be simple. Set up the I/O server and them with a unique HMI tag you double click and then assign the valid Allen-Bradly register address...say N7:0. I have heard that it is just not that simple with FactoryLink.

I just got the package and the online documentation seems cryptic. Can anyone help me here.

Tony R. Gunderman

I've never used FactoryLink 7.0 or the AB driver, but with 6.6 and the Siemens drivers, I thought it was reasonably easy to add and animate objects with the application editor. If used as designed, you could create tags at the time
objects were added to the graphic and populate the data type, PLC address, etc. at that time. The comm driver still had to be set up in advance. However, we did not use that method because it was more efficient in runtime to use
pre-configured tag arrays to help gather data more efficiently and allow for power objects that used common control block displays and code. This required more up-front work, but, once that was done, we were able to pump out additional systems and make changes much more easily and quickly. Just drop the power object on the graphic, fill in the index, fill in the data that the PLC does not have (engineering units, security level, alarm group, etc.) and go. Gave it more of a DCS feel.

This method has worked well for us with fairly large systems (800+ physical analog I/O points, 1900+ physical discrete I/O points, plus recipes, dummy switches, etc.) using Ethernet communications to the PLCs.

FactoryLink 7.0 appears to have improved tools for this, but I think a lot of the table configuration still works a lot the same. It has the capability of using the application editor for backward compatibility, but the MIMIC graphics
it is designed to use are a bit different. So, I won't even try to comment on them.

When I was evaluating systems several years ago, Wonderware was definitely easier to configure, but (at least at that time) did not have the horsepower (especially with DDE drivers) to do what we were trying to do. I hear it has now caught up.

I would be interested in hearing others' comments on FactoryLink 7.0.

Tony R. Gunderman


We use Wonderware's Intouch 7.0 SP2 to communicate via Arcnet (8-bit COM90C65 Thomas Conrad card, no less!) to 8 different PLC's (SEMS 11000 IMS's) with 5000 tags.

One of the nice things about Wonderware is the availability of I/O servers. What Wonderware doesn't provide free for download on their site, they have listed and available for sale. They also have a server toolkit for those who wish to roll their own. Graphics and animation capabilities are very nice and user friendly.
They have quite an extensive training program, and system integrators are just about everywhere when/if needed.

One fault I would mention for Wonderware is the upgrade path. We went from Version 4.0 to Version 7.0 and it wasn't exactly a walk in the park, but we accomplished it with no loss of data. Are they the cheapest around? No. But it sort of falls into the category of you-get-what-you-pay-for.