Mark VI Trend Values

Trender can perform a few simple statistical calculations on the data in the trend. There are two vertical lines on the chart, the "left" and "right" line, movable by dragging the diamond symbol on the top of the chart. The left and right values for a trace correspond to the samples on the left and right lines. You can also right click and "organize columns" to add statistical information like the average and standard deviation of the points between left and right for each trace.
>In the trend has a reading Left value and right value. What
>its meaning please explain?

There are two "cursors" which extend vertically from the top of the window to the bottom of the trend window (or, I guess from the bottom of the trend window to the top). One is on the right side of the window, and the other is on the left side of the window. They are usually faint, vertical lines.

You can move the mouse cursor over either of the cursors, and hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to the left or right. When you do this, the values in the table under 'Left Cursor' and 'Right Cursor' will change. The values are for the signals directly "under" the cursor at that instant in time. (The values will also change if you scroll the trend left or right using the scroll bar at the bottom of the trend window.) You can even drag the left cursor to the right of the right cursor; it will then become the left cursor. And vice versa with the right cursor.

Once you have selected a cursor (and you do that just by left-clicking on it, or by dragging it and releasing it), you can then use the left and right arrows on the keyboard to move the cursor, also.

Using the cursors is a very good way of seeing data at different times on the display. Usually, at the bottom of the window, you can also see the time associated with each cursor, so you can use the cursors to see what is happening between two different times (graphically).

One more tip. Trend Recorder captures data at regular intervals (defined in the set-up of the .trn file). But, it draws line between the intervals which appear to be actual data points at intermediate times.... This can be very confusing. HOWEVER, Trend Recorder lets you know when the cursor is over an actual data point and when it's not. Values with a diamond next them are actual data points; values without diamonds next to them are "interpolated" data points.

You can also use the cursors to "bracket" a region of the trend (by that I mean to form a boundary on the left and right of an area of the trend), and then using a selection under 'View' on the Menu Bar you can expand the boundary area even more. So, you can get more "resolution" by bracketing and expanding an area you wish to analyze more carefully.

Trend Recorder is a VERY powerful tool, with many features that make it so powerful. This is a GREAT question--and I'm glad to be able to answer it. Hopefully, more people will use Trend Recorder and get familiar with it. It's one of the best features of Toolbox or ToolboxST (since it's used for both the Mark VI and the Mark VIe). It really is better than most any other trending and analysis tool out there, and it doesn't get used as much as it should.

One of the ways Trend Recorder can help with plant operations and troubleshooting is to use it to record normal operating conditions. Those trends have two very valuable uses. First, they can be used when there is a problem later to compare against trends recorded during the problem to understand what isn't or is happening that should or shouldn't be. Second, they can be used for training purposes--two training purposes. The people setting up the trends will get experience in doing so, and operators can review the trends to try to better understand what happens during normal operations so they can better help understand or discuss what is happening when there is a problem (real or perceived).

Finally, it's is very difficult to "trash" a Trend Recorder data file from within Trend Recorder. Play with it; try different things--you're not going to trash the file (unless you try REALLY hard to trash it). And, when you're through--or you think you might have done something to damage it--just close the file and do not save any changes! As you get better and better at using Trend Recorder, you will want to save changes! Make copies of Trend Recorder files you are worried about damaging, and then open the copies and try different things and make changes to make it easier to read and analyze. There are LOTS of ways to safely "play around" in Trend Recorder--and if you do, you will learn a lot and become a MUCH better user and become a much more valuable resource, also, because Trend Recorder is such a powerful and useful tool (It doesn't do EVERYTHING, but it does do a lot. It can even be configured to start automatically on some "trigger"--and that can be very useful when troubleshoting intermittent problems.)

Thanks for the question! Hope I was able to help! There should be files on your HMI that can provide information and help for learning about and understanding Trend Recorder. Unfortunately, GE uses the publication number as the file names for these documents. So, you have to open each one to see the title page, but if you do you will be AMAZED at how much documentation there is available. I recommend when you find a file you want to refer to again, you save the file in a different location (some place you created for this purpose) with a filename that is more descriptive (like TrendRecorder.pdf). That way you can quickly find what you're looking for in your own folder (it may be on the Desktop, even).

Thanks for all your great responses! I forgot that in some versions of Trend Recorder you had to left-click on the diamond at the top of the cursor lines to drag it.... And, while I rarely use the statistical analysis feature of Trend Recorder, it's great to know they're there and just another powerful feature of Trend Recorder. (I just wished more people used it....)

Now for a question: How does one obtain the stand-alone version of Trend Recorder? I used to have one, but that computer suffered a horrible tragedy, and I didn't have a back-up of the hard drive. Is the stand-alone version of Trend Recorder publicly available, and if so, where? Or could you post a link to a location where it can be downloaded from?

It would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!!
The stand-alone Trender.exe is now installed with WorkstationST. For a while there was a separate "HMI Viewer Tools" package that included it for installation on non-engineering workstations, but I'm not sure when that product died off. Stand-alone Trender is also included with recent versions of the former GE PLC tool, Proficy Machine Edition, now owned by Emerson.

The "stand alone" trender is limited to WorkstationST/OPC DA/OPC UA sources for live data and cannot connect directly to a Mark VIe and get to "local" variables. The "full" trender is installed with ToolboxST and can trend all intermediate and local variable values, plus alarms and events, directly from the controller via a proprietary protocol. Both versions can load static data and historical data from several historian products, including automatic historical backfill on live trends.

Sorry, I don't know a legal place to download just Trender; it uses the same Proficy License keys as the rest of ControlST, so you'd have to have a valid ToolboxST/WorkstationST/PME license anyway.

Thanks for the information. The "stand-alone" version I'm talking about was one that could be used to look at Trend Recorder files without having Toolbox or WorkstationST running. (I believe it was developed primarily because the M&D Center needed to be able to look at Trend Recorder files without the exact version of Toolbox Trend Recorder used to create the file(s).)

It was more of a "viewer." It couldn't be used to collect data (well, maybe it could--but it was more useful as a means of viewing data which had been collected and needed to be analyzed). I think you need Toolbox or WorkstationST running to collect data, and since Trend Recorder was started from Toolbox/ToolboxST that makes sense it would be running on a PC which was capable of getting data from the Mark VI.

I ran (Legacy) Toolbox on wireless hand-held PCs and used Trend Recorder to gather data without having to be at an HMI in the PECC or the Control Room. (It required a wireless access point to be installed on the UDH, and that was a project of GE Power Systems back in the Mark VI days. Using a wireless hand-held PC for start-up loop-checking and commissioning was absolutely a fantastic productivity enhancer!)

So, I'm really looking for the "viewer" version of Trend Recorder that doesn't have to be able to collect data, but can be used to analyze Trend Recorder files without having Toolbox or ToolboxST running in the background.

Thanks! Sorry I wasn't more specific.

I have one more, semi-rhetorical question, please.

Why does the File Save icon in Toolbox or ToolboxST go red when you create a Trend, and why when you save the Trend does the equality change to Minor Difference?

Is there a way around this? It just FREAKS people out--and a LOT of people won't use Trend Recorder because they think they are possibly causing problems and need to do on-line downloads.

If there's some kind of work-around for this, it would be so great if you could share it!

Thanks! VERY MUCH!!!
Both versions can act as a viewer without ToolboxST running. ControlST puts two Trender icons in the start menu, one simply "Trender" for the one that is installed with ToolboxST, and "Trender for HMI" for the one installed with WorkstationST. You can also simply double click the trend file and it launches the stand alone trender (and figures out the right one to run automatically depending on what types of traces are in it).

If you open a trend from inside ToolboxST, it runs in the ToolboxST process but is for all intents and purposes identical to the stand-alone Trender.exe.

I'm not being specific enough again; sorry!

It's an occupational hazard, made easy by GE's well thought out decision to use Mark VIe after Mark VI. The subject of this thread was (allegedly) about Mark VI, but the description mentions Mark VIe.

Personally, I have a need to work with both--Mark VI & Mark VIe, and with Trend Recorder from both. At the present moment I'm sat in front of an HMI running Mark VI (Legacy) Toolbx 11.4. And I've tried searching for trend.exe and trender.exe and trend*.exe--all with no luck....

Actually, after 10 minutes Windows Explorer just found Trendexe.exe in the C:\cimplicity\hmi folder.... But. It's for STUPIDITY, not Mark VI.

I also have access to a Windows 7 HMI running ToolboxST very. 4.07.05c, located trender.exe, copied it to the desktop, double-clicked on it, and was told "A problem caused the program to stop working. Please close the program." I even tried stopping WorkstationST, and that didn't work, either.

Are there other files that need to be present for Trender to start, and then to be able to view a .trn file? And a .dca file?

Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks for trying to help!
No problem; the subject is a bit ambiguous, as the subtitle for the thread says "Mark vie trend reading values". I also think I'm still confused and probably still not answering your question, but I'll try again. :)

Unfortunately, I can't remember much about the "classic" Trender; I know there isn't a stand-alone Trender installed with Toolbox. Maybe there was one as part of the TCI tools--I don't have an old HMI to look at or access to a TCI CD.

The ControlST stand alone trender has a lot of dependencies on DLLs and registry settings. Copying the exe won't be enough, you'd have to run the ControlST installer for it to setup all of the dependencies. Plus, you'd need a ControlST license for whatever PC you move it to.
Adding or saving a trend shouldn't do anything to the controller configuration--they are separate files in both Toolbox Classic and ToolboxST. The runtime has no knowledge of Trends. If you're getting an actual minor difference after changing a trend, that sounds like a bug that should be reported to GE.
This is a shortcoming of what, otherwise, is a fine application.

I would LOVE to know if someone has found a workaround for this!

I know one can export a trend (File | Export) to a .csv file, but I haven't found an Import utility.

SOMETIMES one can find the executable for the application and then run it from a command prompt followed by a /? (so, for example, E:\MASTER\UNIT1\USER> TRENDER /? ) and a little Help utility will pop up, and the sneaky software people at GE sometimes embed little "extra" utilities that can only be accessed from the command prompt by passing a switch and some information (for example--and this is ONLY an example: TRENDER /i test.csv where test.csv is a .csv file where the unit name was edited from, say G1, to GT2, or something like that (so, someone took a trend file from G1, exported it to a .csv file, then edited the file using MS-EXCEL to change every occurrence of G1 to GT2, then saved the file as test.csv).

Again, the software people at GE quite often do little things like this. I don't currently have access to a Mark VI or Mark VIe so I can't test my theory--and I often forget about this little "Easter egg" that is very often available to GE applications (and to other software applications as well! software people LOVE to hide these little things, sometimes from their managers and so don't widely publicize the utilities).

Let us know if you find a way to make this work, please! It is a shortcoming, but it really doesn't take that long to create a new trend file (if you have time!).