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technology behind PAM

technology behind PAM


Conversational interface

Conversational interfaces provide a natural way for people to interact with computers and other devices—and for these devices to interact with people. So, while most voice recognition systems substitute sounds for menu commands, the Phone Automation Manager (PAM) conversational interface system enables extended conversations between people and equipment. This lets users zero in on problems and solutions with dialogs that can be easily tailored to the needs of a specific installation. If needed, PAM actually asks for more information to clarify instructions, and confirms instructions before taking action. PAM can also lead users through possible problem descriptions and resolutions.

The proprietary conversational interface technology behind PAM goes well beyond voice recognition to enable extended dialogues when things are unclear or require multiple exchanges of information. For example, if a maintenance supervisor says "Reset the turret punch temperature alarm," and there are several turret punches, the conversational interface might ask which punch the supervisor means—unless only one has a matching alarm.

PAM language technology

Unlike competing systems, PAM dialogs are generated automatically at run-time when ambiguity arises. There is no need to create complex dialogue trees or design specialized interactions during installation. The engine manages dialogue creation dynamically in response to changing conversational information.

Language libraries

You can augment PAM with libraries for a number of application areas. The device control language library is ideal for interfacing to machines made up of many subsystems. It has been applied to automobile interiors, NASA life-support systems, and factory cranes. It is also ideal for monitoring HVAC, lighting, and sprinkler systems in large buildings.

The messaging language library works well for dealing with collections of messages that need to be read and managed in various ways. It has been used to talk to email systems, network computer monitors, and factory automation alarm databases.

The factory alarm language library combines key aspects of both the device control and messaging libraries with a specialized customization language to create a simple, flexible interface to factory automation systems.

System installation

These specialized language libraries make PAM easy to install and customize. There are ready-to-use interfaces for a large variety of machine tools, factory automation systems, and order and warehouse information systems. A typical PAM installation using the factory alarm language pack is shown below:

Typical Installation

PAM is a separate system that sits between the user on the telephone—and the machine tools and databases that hold factory information. The factory alarm language library provides a conversational interface directly to machine controllers and also to ODBC databases holding information about alarms and other factory systems. The databases can be on the same machine as PAM or elsewhere on the network. PAM uses machine I/O and factory-defined stored procedures to make queries and take actions, and is thus able to integrate flexibly into a wide variety of systems.

When the user calls, PAM transparently queries the machines and databases for relevant information. This may include reading alarms, relaying production statistics, or resetting and controlling machines.

PAM ships with the alarm language library, which provides pre-built plans for querying and resetting factory automation alarms. This not only allows you to install and use PAM right out of the box, but enables you to add custom factory automation queries and commands as needed. I/NET also provides professional services for installation and customization.

System security

Because outside PAM connections are made by phone, there's no danger of compromising your network security by opening up access to critical data using the public Internet. Without the Internet connection other management systems require, PAM cuts out any route hackers can use to break into your company systems.

In addition, you can configure the level of access various employees have to your PAM system. This enables you to allow exactly the amount of access and employee needs to do his job. For instance, you might allow an equipment operator to check alarms, but not to reset them. The maintenance foreman, however, could have a full range of options from alarm resets to automated fixes.

For more information

For more information on PAM technology, download the PAM datasheet. Or read more about the I/NET Windows software development kit (SDK).


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