1. Process historians have prebuilt analysis equations, data visualization icons, and data sheets that are like figures from a process engineering textbook. They have a variety of options for efficiency equations, power equations, steam table charts, industrial equipment icons ready for use, and other features that are very relevant in the industrial world.
2. They are very compatible with industrial software packages typically used in process control, such as human-machine interfaces (HMIs), distributed control systems (DCSs), and other drivers and controllers.
3. Process historians use specialized algorithms to compress data and save disk space. For example, if the user has a value 1 at time1 and a value of 1.0001 at time2, in most cases the user doesn't need to store 1.0001 because it won't affect the analysis much. Over time, that saves a lot of disk space and resources, and the compression can be disabled if it isn't needed.
4. Process historians often come prepackaged with "interfaces," which are separate pieces of software that can be deployed to the field to closely monitor the small sensors and controllers while the historian sits at the data center or the cloud. It isn't practical to install the process historian at each sensor since it is a very heavy piece of software. Instead, the user should install the interface, which is light and can communicate with the sensor or the controller before relaying the data to the central historian.
5. Store and forward is vital for process historians because a missing piece of data can result in an incorrect analysis, which can lead to a wrong decision with dire consequences. What store and forward guarantees is that data will not be lost even if the central historian loses the connection with the remote interface. The remote interface will detect that the historian is not taking data and then it will start storing the data it collects in an internal local buffer. Once the connection to the historian opens back up, the interface will forward this data up to the historian.
6. Process historians usually cache recent data directly in computer memory before it's permanently stored on the hard drive. This is very efficient for analysis and calculations performed on newer data, which is usually used to detect any sudden surprises in production before they become big problems