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Historian / Data Storage

Learn how the United Manufacturing Hub’s Historian feature provides reliable data storage and analysis for your manufacturing data.

The Historian / Data Storage feature in the United Manufacturing Hub provides reliable data storage and analysis for your manufacturing data. Essentially, a Historian is just another term for a data storage system, designed specifically for time-series data in manufacturing.

When should I use it?

If you want to reliably store data from your shop floor that is not designed to fulfill any legal purposes, such as GxP, we recommend you to use the United Manufacturing Hub’s Historian feature. In our opinion, open-source databases such as TimescaleDB are superior to traditional historians in terms of reliability, scalability and maintainability, but can be challenging to use for the OT engineer. The United Manufacturing Hub fills this usability gap, allowing OT engineers to easily ingest, process, and store data permanently in an open-source database.

What can I do with it?

The Historian / Data Storage feature of the United Manufacturing Hub allows you to:

Store and analyze data

  • Store data in TimescaleDB by using either the _historian or _analytics _schemas in the topics within the Unified Namespace.
  • Data can be sent to the Unified Namespace from various sources, allowing you to store tags from your PLC and production lines reliably. Optionally, you can use tag groups to manage a large number of tags and reduce the system load. Our Data Model page assists you in learning data modeling in the Unified Namespace.
  • Conduct basic data analysis, including automatic downsampling, gap filling, and statistical functions such as Min, Max, and Avg.

Query and visualize data

  • Query data in an ISA95 compliant model, from enterprise to site, area, production line, and work cell.
  • Visualize your data in Grafana to easily monitor and troubleshoot your production processes.

More information about the exact analytics functionalities can be found in the umh-datasource-v2 documentation.

Efficiently manage data

  • Compress and retain data to reduce database size using various techniques.

How can I use it?

To store your data in TimescaleDB, simply use the _historian or _analytics _schemas in your Data Model v1 compliant topic. This can be directly done in the OPC UA data source when the data is first inserted into the stack. Alternatively, it can be handled in Node-RED, which is useful if you’re still utilizing the old data model, or if you’re gathering data from non-OPC UA sources via Node-RED or sensorconnect.

Data sent with a different _schema will not be stored in TimescaleDB.

Data stored in TimescaleDB can be viewed in Grafana. An example can be found in the Get Started guide.

In Grafana you can select tags by using SQL queries. Here, you see an example:

SELECT name, value, timestamp
FROM tag
WHERE asset_id = get_asset_id_immutable(

get_asset_id_immutable is a custom plpgsql function that we provide to simplify the process of querying tag data from a specific asset. To learn more about our database, visit this page.

Also, you have the option to query data in your custom code by utilizing the API in factoryinsight or processing the data in the Unified Namespace.

For more information about what exactly is behind the Historian feature, check out our our architecture page.

What are the limitations?

Apart from these limitations, the United Manufacturing Hub’s Historian feature is highly performant compared to legacy Historians.

Where to get more information?

Last modified July 2, 2024: Fix ENG-919 (16e32ef)