Blog > Automation > FAQ: Ask Shelby

FAQ: Ask Shelby

8/22/19  |  Seth Pratt, Rexel Technical Consultant

The technical name for “Shelby” is  FactoryTalk® Analytics for Devices , but no one names a dog that. Yes, Shelby is named after a dog, which is why the symbol for Shelby is a dog. So, you may ask yourself, why ask Shelby?

So, What is This Shelby?

Shelby is a hardware device that allows users to monitor and maintain the health and efficiency of all network-connected devices. A network is a local system of devices, such as in a factory or a laboratory, and does not require Internet or cloud space. It takes data that might not make sense in its raw form and convert to a more understandable format, just like a fitness tracker will do. So, you don’t even have to ask Shelby; it automatically gathers valuable information.

What Makes Shelby Worth It?

What makes it stand out from other products of its caliber is that it is very easy to set up and maintain. It takes less than five minutes to set up! All you need to do is connect it to a power source and the network of devices via an ethernet/IP connection. Shelby can monitor up to 100 devices on a network.

So How Does It Work?

Once connected to the network, Shelby will automatically send a small electrical current that does not affect the devices, through the network that allows it to recognize all the devices present. It will then connect and monitor all the devices within the network in a matter of minutes following connectivity and will autogenerate a dashboard on the monitor for ease of access.

Dashboard, Huh?

This dashboard will allow users to view the operations of devices, including the output current, BC bus voltage, and many more. This system-level insight feature is all done in real time. Think of it as a place to get answers to questions you might ask Shelby.

Will My Device Work with Shelby?

In two short years, users have been able to ask Shelby about thousands of products with more to come. Within Shelby is an internal library of over 2,000 Rockwell Automation® products. With each of its updates, there will be more and more products added to that list. And the list includes more than Rockwell Automation products, there are also third-party products, as well. Some third-party products in the upcoming update may include Canon products or even Festo products. Currently, it is on its seventh update since its first run in June 2017.

Is Shelby a Complicated Software Code?

Shelby runs JavaScript Object Notation, allowing easy communication to the connected devices and for easy conversion of internal data to readable content. This also makes it easily compatible with a wide range of devices.

Oh, So All It Does Is Monitors Devices?

No, it does much more than that, with collaboration with Microsoft®, Shelby is using Microsoft Cognitive and Microsoft Cortana. Microsoft Cognitive is a learning ability for programs and bots. The longer it is connected, the more it will learn and adapt to what devices are most important and their functions as individuals and as a whole. It becomes not only self-aware but also system aware. It can use the data it collects to formulate patterns. And it can predict when maintenance is needed or when a drive or other device will potentially fail down the line. With Microsoft Cortana, the user can verbally speak to Shelby about the devices it is monitoring, and it will verbally respond. If the user does not want to or cannot speak, they can type in the question and have her respond via text.

Okay, That’s Cool, But What If I’m Not By a Computer?

You can ask Shelby anywhere. Well, there is a cool app for iPhone and Android called FactoryTalk “TeamONE,” making it portable. The TeamONE app is a mobile way to communicate with Shelby. TeamONE can have multiple teams, each with different members involved. For example, maintenance won’t have to deal with the automation team’s gibberish. If it detects something, it will alert all on the team(s) that have tagged that device. And they can communicate via the app to fix the problem with Shelby’s help. Just like the computer platform, you can view the autogenerated dashboard. On the app’s dashboard are “action cards.” These cards are up to date with maintenance issues or health warnings to a device. If an issue appears that the user does not deem important, they can swipe the action card to the left, and Shelby will eventually understand not to send that type of warning for that specific device again. If the user swipes the card to the right, Shelby will send that issue with that device to the user.

We Can Help You Ask Shelby

Minimal setup time, self-learning, predicts and reports problems, quick, accurate decisions, keeps users up to date—what is not to love about Shelby? Our Automation Specialists can help you incorporate Shelby into your network. Contact us today!