Touch the Future: Total GC Control at Your Fingertips - Follow-up Discussion

Were you able to join us on February 15th for our Agilent GC Live session?  If so, we would like to hear your thoughts and questions.  If you missed it, please see the video below.

Touch the Future: Total Control at Your Fingertips
Questions and Answers

Time stamps refer to the above video.

(22:10) Why do I need the Browser Interface; Shouldn’t I be able to do all these things from my software?
• CDS Software is used for setting up methods, sequences, methodology, etc.
• Browser is helpful for diagnostics, maintenance, and accessing the help & information.

(23:10) Will I get emails from the GCs if EMFs are enabled?
• Early Maintenance Feedback (EMF) are counters to track time on consumables.
• Emails are not a feature of the GC system itself, but if you have SmartAlerts , that software package can be configured to send you emails when your consumables are approaching the service warning and service due times.

(23:50) Is the Active Method always on the “top line”?
(Note: we are not sure what was meant by “top line”.)
• A demo was given in the video.
• First, the Active Method refers to the method setpoints that are “active” on the GC system at any point in time. This method is displayed on the touchscreen and are the method setpoints that get executed when a run is started. The Active Method is different than CDS Methods (methods edited and stored within a CDS) or Browser Methods (methods edited and stored within the browser interface). A Chromatography Data System (CDS) or the browser interface sends CDS Methods and Browser Methods to the GC system right before starting a run, making those methods the Active Method, which gets executed during the run.
• The touchscreen displays and edits the Active Method only.
o Changes from touchscreen immediately take effect on GC.
o Uses the same navigation tree, which is the same layout you would see in Agilent software or in the browser interface.
• Browser interface methods and sequences have a series of icons where you can open and save Browser Methods.
o Can send browser methods down to the Active Method, or pull up Active Method from the GC and then be saved as a Browser Method
• Note that you can configure your GC so that under CDS control, the touchscreen gets locked out right as the CDS Method is sent down to the GC to become the Active Method.

(26:35) Is the Touchscreen locked or inaccessible while under CDS control?
• A demo was given in the video.
• You can’t do anything with the method while running except extend the final time.
• You can also set up the GC configuration to lock the touchscreen while under CDS control or during runs.

(29:30) Does the Browser interface work on a computer that is NOT connected to the internet, but can connect to the GC?
• Computer, iPad or phone must be able to “ping” the GC system in order use the browser interface.
• There’s a wide variety of network topologies.
o Direct connection: LAN cable runs from computer to GC, so Browser interface will only work from that computer.
o Isolated lab network: a small network that only connects the lab’s computers and GCs, then the browser interface will work from within that network. (Some labs add an access point for access from nearby locations.)
o Corporate Network, some labs put the GC systems directly on the corporate network to allow broader access (distant worksites, etc.) via the Browser Interface. (A PIN can be set from the touchscreen to limit browser access to authorized individuals.)

(31:05) If I only have a GC/MS, are there any benefits to using the Browser Interface?
• If you have a GC/MS, that means you have a GC.
• You still get all the benefits on the GC, diagnostics, maintenance, help & information, etc.

(32:00) Can you talk about what happens if a 3rd party autosampler is attached to your GC or GC/MS?
• The browser interface generally cannot control an external autosampler.
• Depending on how the external autosampler it might work – only if the external autosampler just needs the start signal from the GC system.
• You still get the same browser functionality, but it won’t be able to control the external device.

(33:20) My 7890 GC keypad stored methods and sequences, why do I have to go to the Browser for that now?
• A demo showing touchscreen sequence was given.
• You can build and store methods and sequences from the browser interface.
• If you have a workflow that needs to be able to start sequences from the touchscreen (e.g., technicians without browser access), you can enable “Touchscreen Sequence Menu” from the Browser interface settings menu.
o This allows you to load methods and sequences stored from the browser interface and start them.

(36:30) Why can’t I do exactly the same things from the Touchscreen and Browser Interfaces?
• Touchscreen is optimized for when you’re standing at the instrument. It also doesn’t have video capabilities.
• System settings is more extensive on the touchscreen (some things we don’t want you to do unless you’re standing at the instrument).
• Browser interface is easier to view complex content like logs, health report and help and information.

(40:10) How do I set up my GC so I can access the browser interface?
• See above discussion of network topology.
• GC is always ready to respond to a browser connection (your computer must be able to “ping” the GC).
• There is a PIN on the browser interface if you need it.

(42:55) How can we connect our GC system to our phone?
• GC needs to be reachable from your phone (e.g., no direct connections)
o Need access point or have your GC on the corporate network.
• Open phone browser, activate VPN if necessary… then just put in your GC’s IP address.

(44:30) Does the Browser Interface require any licenses?
• No. There is no charge for the browser interface.
• No need for an internet connection either.
• Note that you do need to be able to see the internet from your computer in order to access the “Online Resources” from the browser interfaces “Help and Information” section.

Additional Comments:
While the Browser Interface does not require an internet connection, some of the Help links are provided as ‘Online Resources’. These are active web links that will not be accessible with a direct connection to the GC. All other sections of the Help menu are stored locally on the GC, and do not require an internet connection.

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