WinCC or Wonderware for Data Acquisition


Thread Starter

Alan T

Dear List,
I'm involved in a production run time data acquisition project and am trying to decide between WinCC and a Wonderware product. I've been told that the WinCC is made for this type of application, (collecting data), and Wonderware is primarily for control purposes. Is my WinCC vendor just selling me a bill of goods or is there some truth to this concept. I would also like to hear about anyones experience with WinCC Vs Wonderware for this type of application.

Carel de Jager

It look like that the Siemens Vendor does not know his own product. WinCC is a Scada, and in Wonderware one of the products is Scada but also collecting data into MSSQL or in InTouch. I don't say that InTouch is better that WinCC but what he told you show me that he just want to sell something. Wonderware got a SoftPLC which alow you to do control as well. That is not always the best option of Control, depends on the situation. So basicly you must look at InTouch and WinCC as a Scada but Wonderware also allow you the abillity to do Tracking, Batching, Logging +- 40000 tags per Second into a MSSQL DB etc.etc.
Hope this gives you a better idea.

Ralphsnyder, Grayg

They are leaving a bit out. Maybe WinCC is a data collection only package but WW can do that (very well) plus offers many other functions. Call WonderWare or check their web site. They offer a complete line (FactorySuite2000) that covers both process and business requirements. We have easily and successfully migrated from the Win3.1 to the NT4.0 version. We have 36 WW
workstations with over 17,000 tags at my plant in a single application. In the company there are several hundred (200-500) workstations. We run on a Dell platform. I have used it at this plant for almost 5 years and am very happy. I dont think anyone in our company has any problems with it.

Grayg Ralphsnyder
Process Control Engineer

Anthony Kerstens

I can't say anything about WinCC, I've never used it. But, I have used Wonderware extensively. It is a great collection of packages, but if all you want to do is collect data and have no need or desire for extra control ability, it may be overkill.

Check out the site. Get a feel for what Wonderware's about.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.
I think the salesman is going for the gold,
If fact I think that Wonderware might have a better solution , they have an integrated package called Maintenance suite. What PLC are you connecting to.

Mark Massa
I think "bill of goods" is exactly what you are being sold. Both packages will do well for collecting data. The big thing is to get all the info into one place where it can then be recorded as desired. Both packages will do this nicely. WW is a more mature product, and has a good reputation for its drivers. WINCC has a reputation for less reliable drivers (unless you are using siemens PLCs).

Michael Griffin

May I ask what a "production run time data acquisition project" is? Is this a production statistics system? I consider a production statistics system to be a system intended to automatically collect and analyse production system data to help improve production efficiencies (down time, cycle time, fault counts, etc.). Or are you referring to something else?

I have been working on implementing a production statistics system. If this is what you are doing then I may have some other suggestions as to
how to implement this. I have put a lot of work into this subject, and have received some very good advice from other members of this list which has been of very great help to me. I am about to start the implementation of the first phase of my project.

My own experience with Wonderware and WinCC was limited to evaluating them to see if either would be suited to my purposes (my conclusion was no). However, the WinCC rep seemed to be of the very firm opinion that if I had a problem of any sort, then WinCC was the solution to it. If WinCC didn't do what I needed, then the answer was to redefine the problem. Perhaps the fellow you were dealing with was cast from the same mould.

Both WinCC and Wonderware are probably very good MMI systems. There are other rather good MMI packages around as well (Citec, Fix, etc.). I am
sure they all have their relative merits. Which one is "better" probably depends upon what your application needs (if in fact you need any of them). Neither can really be held to fault if they were used for something they were not intended for.

If you can give me a better idea of what your application is, I might be able to offer some suggestions. I am sure that there are plenty of
list members who have experience with all the particular MMI systems available to answer your questions if they are specific enough.

There are also other means of collecting data. In fact, I found that getting the data out of the machine was going to be the easy part. The hard
part was what to do with it after.

Perhaps you could answer the following questions:
1) Where is the data coming from (PCs, PLC memory, instruments, operators)? Is there a wide variety of hardware from different vendors?
2) How are you connecting to the equipment (if this is what you are doing)? Profibus, Modbus, some sort of Ethernet?
3) What is the form of this data (binary states, times, counts)?
4) What does the data represent? Is it times, machine states, counts, etc.?
5) What sort of industrial enviroment are you working in? Is this a continuous process, assembly manufacturing, or something else?
6) How much data is there? How much is being collected per device, and how many devices are there? At what rate are you polling the devices for data?
7) What is supposed to happen to the data after it is collected? Is it just going to sit in a big database until somebody someday figures out
what to do with it, or is it being used to feed an existing application (or one which is currently also under development)? If the latter, what is the format this data needs to be in?
8) Who is going to use this information? Where and how is it to be used? Is it intended to be used at a central "control centre" (traditional
MMI application), or is it intended to be widely available to whomever may need it, wherever they need it, however they need it (not a traditional MMI application)?

Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
[email protected]
Wonderware is mostly HMI control isn't it?
Are you trying to interface to a corporate data base? rockwell automations Historian and RSSQL include MSSQL 7 and allow you to present the info through a variety of clients including an active X for web pages. RSSQL can also collect information from RSVIEW or any other OPC compliant server as well.

I think Pi has something similar. too..


Richard A. Higginbotham, II

From personal experience, Wonder Ware will be the easiest to use (if you haven't used either system) and will give the fastest development time. WinCC will be the most powerful when it comes to polling data (and probably more flexible as well, in this case felibility==complecated). Last time I checked the scripting language in WinCC was C, so be prepared. If you have a huge
database of tags, use WinCC (just remeber its going to cost more for your time to get up to speed) otherwise WonderWare is probably the way to go.

Good luck,
Richard Higginbotham

Rupacher Horst

About two years ago, we were forced to change our automation concept because of the inability of WinCC to supply our PC-based program with 100% of needed data. (soem transactions where lost,
about 1%!!!) Instead of WinCC via DDE we used Wonderware also via DDE. The result:
Wonderware was not only able to transfere the data correct, I was also astonished about the speed. Wonderware was more than 10 times faster than WinCC! We also choose Wonderware instead of
WinCC at two other customers.

In my opinion it is a good Idea to use WinCC (nowadays via OPC) if it is already use to satisfy another request. In this case You save
some money, time and complexity. Otherwise I would prefer Wonderware. I believe: Wonderware is 'the' specialists in data transfere. Another aspect is: if you exchange data with an PCS7
project, the advantage in using WinCC is, you do not need to know the DB address of your data. On the other hand it is also a risk - because of fragmentation there will be no possibility to package data - this could dramatically decrease performance. So if you need a short scan interval and a lot of data tags - be careful!!!

mit freundlichen Gruessen
Horst Rupacher
mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]
It is my opinion that WinCC has better performance in general than Wonderware. I would typically recommend WinCC anytime that you have a larger system with more than half a dozen nodes. I also believe that WinCC has better performance when writing data to a database. However, Wonderware offers the Industrial SQL Server product that I have not used, but I know that it is an add on to the Microsoft SQL Server product that compresses the data so that the databases do not grow to large as a normal database might in a production system. Then Wonderware gives you special SQL calls that allow you to query on that compressed data to get, for example, one sample for each 20 seconds from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. This may be enough to sway things towards Wonderware for your solution. In general though, I think that Wonderware Intouch is easy to configure for small systems, but awkward and slow for bigger, higher performance systems as compared to WinCC.

Ralphsnyder, Grayg

Tim Archer said
> In general though, I think that
> Wonderware Intouch is easy to configure for small systems, but
> awkward and slow for bigger, higher performance systems as
> compared to WinCC.

What do you consider to be a bigger, higher performance system? I have a 36 WW node (identical) + 18 PLC node 10BT system with over 17,000 tags. The system performance has been satisfactory for 4+ years now. InSQL does a good job of collecting the data that we need.

Grayg Ralphsnyder
As you may have noticed, I specified that I have not used Industrial SQL server, and I stated that I am not aware of its performance. Except for Industrial SQL Server, my experience has been that
database access is slow for Intouch. Also, large and complex are not the same thing, so I apologize for saying "bigger" when I mean more complex. Wonderware is fine for showing the tag information on the screens, but if you start having to do things that require a lot of scripting, it slows to a crawl. WinCC uses C as its scripting language. You can write better structured code with C. In addition, WinCC processes the scripts faster. To give Intouch
some credit, you can accomplish basically the same results using the Intouch Extensibility Toolkit, but the major drawback is that the API set is limited as compared to that available using WinCC approach.

So simply, I call it "bigger" when you have 17000 tags, and 200 scripts, when you need complex scripting, when you are using a lot of database information, and when you need professional

Let me add, this was a discussion of WinCC as compared to Wonderware Intouch. I have different opinions about WinCC as compared to Intellution's FixDynamics and Object Automation's OAEnterprise.

Kim Gutierrez

In my experience, Wonderware is fine for automation controls, but for Data Acquisition, you're right, it does get bogged down. Our
clients tend to prefer the Intellution products for data, though running reports can still be very time consuming. (By the way, there is a product called OPsCon that's available as a Bailey operator console replacement that has some really neat features...but if you don't use Bailey, then its a mute point.) Where demand and budget allow, there is always OSI PI for a data
historian. With PI, even polling several thousand real-time data points usually takes only a couple of seconds and it is extremely efficient in storing data. In other words, the "best" solution ideally may not be one product, but a combination of the best features of one or more.

Kim Gutierrez
SE-ACE Innovations
[email protected]

Horst Rupacher

You are right, OSI PI is 'one' of the products to choose if the budget is not the problem. Another alternative, we also used several times, is InfoPlus.21 from AspenTech. Because of the budget problem, I am interested in some experience using RapidHistorian from Automsoft. I already have a demo version, but up to now I don't use this product at my customers. If you already use this
product please send me your short report about your experience. Thanks in advance

mit freundlichen Gruessen
Horst Rupacher
mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]
I'm currently working on a data aquisition project, which to my knowledge is the largest WinCC configuration to date. WinCC is being used for the Main Control System for a large rail project in Hong Kong. The system monitors and displays data from the railway traction power, station building services (10 stations), tunnel and station ventilation. The system consists of 25 redundant server pairs (WinCC V 5.0 SP1 with redundancy option), and approx. 30 clients.
The server pair in the operation control centre (OCC) of the railway polls a total of 20,000 I/O points. Most data comes from 3rd party systems via OPC (63 connections), AB CLP and pure COM/DCOM. The OCC WinCC Servers also poll 160 Simatic S7 PLCs. Reaction time is less than 2sec from field to display on client.
Did you ever get a sufficient reply to this?

wonderware is a software publisher.
Intouch is their SCADA product. All SCADA software does store data.
InControl is their Soft PLC Control product.

Siemens has WIN CC for HMI and WIN AC for SoftPLC Control. They also have ProTool Pro for HMI screens.

SCADA stands for Supervisory Control ( setpoint changes) And Data Aquisiton. The data aquisition part is that they also can store the measured values into some kind of database and reply history charts for you. Some also include report generation.

The vendors left you with the exact incorrect impression.

Grayg Ralphsnyder

What do you consider to be a bigger, higher performance system? I have a 36 WW node (identical) + 18 PLC node 10BT system with over 17,000 tags. The system performance has been satisfactory for 4+ years now. InSQL does a good job of collecting the data that we need.

Grayg Ralphsnyder