Over 50 people attended the 2012 CiSCO CEMS User Group Meeting

On September 18 CiSCO hosted its second annual CEMS User’s Group meeting in Englewood, CO.  The meeting was attending by about 50 CiSCO CEMS users who listened to presentations about CiSCO CEMS and DAHS software.  Presentations included the Life Cycle of CEMS Components, new software features, EDR issues and resolution, an analysis of CO2 monitoring, general CEMS Maintenance activities and a comparison between HMI touch screens and computer based RealViews (see separate article for this comparison).  Discussions were enthusiastic and many questions provide an informative and extremely productive day.  Below are some of the highlights of the discussions:

CiSCO announced the addition of the FAQ section to their website.  This is a great section that can be easily searched for solutions and commentary on commonly asked questions.  Go to the CiSCO website at www.ciscocems.com to check it out.  While you’re there, you may also want to look at training class offerings and schedules.  CiSCO offers training on software as well as many of the analyzers we supply.  If you don’t see a class offering that meets your needs, contact CiSCO to make a suggestion – we are always looking to improve our service and course offerings.

Len Richter, CiSCO President, discussed the life span of many CEMS components with an emphasis on what analyzers have lost or will soon lose support from the manufacturer (see separate section of this newsletter for analyzer obsolescence).  Several people asked how long you can expect a sample line to last – unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that.  Today’s sample line can be regulated more accurately and therefore systems that cycle can have the sample line temps reduced during periods of non-operation and thereby possibly lengthening the life span.  Many sites reported sample lines that are over ten years old performing just as they did when they first installed. We suggest inspecting your sample line annually and adjusting your maintenance plans accordingly.

Kevin Batchelder, Lead Programmer for CiSCO, gave a presentation on the new features in CeDAR and announced the release of CeDAR 5.  CeDAR 5 uses SQL Server as its database and allows for much better remote connectivity for ViewNode computers.  CeDAR 5 also allows for user logins, can run as a service in the background when no one is logged onto the computer and has some added report generator features.  Customers interested in making a transition to the new CeDAR 5 can contact CiSCO’s software department for information and pricing.  Kevin also discussed some upcoming features that will be added soon – one of the most popular is the Bottle Management Utility (more information on this utility will be announced when it is closer to release).

There was a great deal of discussion on software features that people would like to see or would like to see changed from the current version:

  • Initiation of calibration checks from CeDAR
  • Data Summary Screens with Max and Min values
  • A Tree structure for report listings (some sites indicated there were too many reports to go through using a standard list)
  • Cylinder management from the HMI screen
  • The ability to combine SCR calibration reports onto the daily calibration reports for the stack
  • The addition of the Cycle Time Test into breez75x

Some other request for additional services or functionality outside of the software included:

  • An abbreviated linearity button the HMI (or RealView)
  • A Fuel Meter Calibration procedure described in CiSCO’s QA/QC manual

CiSCO also demonstrated their new online training option – CiSCO University.  The current training offerings are for the CeDAR software with modules being developed for breez75x in the near future.  CiSCO will release the University offering in 2013 and will be sending out information on subscription service offerings in the near future.  You can look at a sample of the courses on the CiSCO website by selecting the CiSCO University tab.

There were lots of questions related to individual site issues and ideas that allowed users not only to share their own comments, but to also hear from others who may have found solutions, workarounds or other features that many may have been unaware of.

We are looking forward to next year’s user group meeting (it will be held the week of September 16, 2013 in Englewood, CO) and we are hopeful that many more of our users can attend.  Final plans for the 2013 User’s Group Meeting are being discussed and more information will follow as details become available.  Should you have any ideas or comments on items that you would like to see as part of next year’s event, or just comments about CiSCO in general, please let us know.  We are committed to having the best products and service in the CEMS industry.