Panorama vs. PlantStar 4.0

With over 50 years of industry experience, we have developed many different versions of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).  Many of our existing customers have upgraded their system from a PlantStar legacy system such as Panorama to our newest system, PlantStar 4.0.  Below you will see some of the comparisons in terms of features and benefits between these two PlantStar MES systems. This does not include many custom features that we consistently complete for our customers so don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly with any questions.

  Panorama PlantStar 4.0
DCM’s Up to 20 analog / 16 digital inputs, 8 digital outputs with multiple machine protocol interfaces. Up to 24 analog / 16 digital inputs, 8 outputs and/or multiple machine protocol interfaces.
Server Specs 2 Core / 8GB Max, 1TB HDD 3.8Ghz 12 Core / 24 Thread, 64GB 
Email, Text, and Voice Alerts Available; messages must be prerecorded Available with text-to-voice messaging
Included User Licenses 4 Unlimited
Pricing Structure Legacy hardware pricing, some relatively basic features are sold at extra cost Reduced hardware costs, more included standard features, 
full trade-in value on existing software
ERP integration Available Available
Customizable reports Requires knowledge of Crystal Reports or Engineering time Reporting tools included for creation of Reports, Spreadsheets, and Charts
Complete record of all User Action Events No Available
Modern looking UI, web-based interface Windows based software and maintenance required, including separate applications for some functions. Web based unified interface - no additional software required
Dashboards No Included
Fully browser based No, several different client programs requiring installation Standard
Ability to add planned Idle periods No Idle time scheduling
Tool management and scheduling Limited Flexible setup and scheduling for tool types vs. individual tools
Tool Life Tracking Not available (3rd party option) Available
Start-up speed Requires long time to launch application Application available immediately in browser
Schedule changes Static view until schedule is saved; must schedule new jobs immediately following current jobs Live updates during changes; ability set specific future start 
Configuration changes Single user locked Multi-user enabled
Application responsiveness High latency - responsiveness can vary Highly responsive - low latency
User access control and security Very limited permission levels. Admin vs. User only. Very granular permission control available.
Active development (more frequent updates, customer requests can be fulfilled) End of life - limited support Ongoing development - future feature roadmap
More robust database (much more integrity) Database collisions can sometimes cause data corruption Robust database merges multiuser changes without corruption
Software upgrades Upgrades at additional cost, must be done with onsite support. Upgrades included with standard software license and support and available with remote support.
Built-in help chats Not available In development
Built-in Alerts Separate Windows machine and application required for PA announcements. Standard browser-based 
system can be used for PA 
announcements. No extra software is required. 
Granular production data (not just by job and shift) Production data limited to entire job / entire shift Production data can be sliced and analyzed by any time period down to individual cycles.
More flexibility with Shifts (i.e., can now schedule each machine independently) Single shift definition per work center / DCM Flexible shift scheduling independently per machine
New kinds of alerts Limited predefined alerts conditions and messages More alert types and conditions, 
more flexibility to customize messages
Down, Assist, and Reject reasons and features Limited down/reject reasons; expansion requires additional license Job specific reasons and additional configuration options
Downtime Auto-Up flexibility and configuration Fixed Flexible
Unlimited Process Variables per Job Limited Unlimited
Built-in convertible unit system Fixed units only Flexible convertible measuring units
Operator interface options Basic Expanded
Voice Alerts Messages must be pre-recorded by customer in fixed format Dynamic message with text-to voice automated announcement 
Process Variable and profile data storage Shot tracker available as extra cost feature with limited Profile Points / Storage. Shot tracker is no longer necessary. Every cycle is collected, and thus unlimited shot tracker data is available with standard Process Monitoring.
Process Variable analysis configuration All process variables configurations, profiles and X-bar R analysis must be predefined prior to data collection and can’t be retroactively changed Process Variable data can be manipulated, and historical data can be parsed and analyzed without re-collection.
Default Weight Unit for Material Usage  Not available Standard
System architecture Built on PlantStar distributed and resilient DCM architecture. Interface to APU and DCMs requires Windows based applications. DCM-APU data transfer is done sequentially Built on PlantStar distributed and resilient DCM architecture. Interface to APU and DCMs from any device with Chrome browser. DCM-APU data transfer takes place in real time
Process Variable Chart Viewer Limited Enhanced
Multi-Process Variable Chart Overlay Limited Enhanced
Chart Data Table on Process Variable Chart Viewer Not available Included
Save and Load Profiles Extremely Limited Universal
Machine Interface Support Available Available (Virtual Device Interface)
Analog Input Thermocouple Option Available Available
PA Page  Not Available Included- PA announcements using text-to-speech
Process Journals Available Enhanced
Label Printing Available Upgraded and expanded


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