Hello, today I'd like to share how the Windows 7 User Account Control (UAC) feature can
enhance the throughput of your factory operations.
In Windows 7, Microsoft has updated UAC to improve the user experience from Windows Vista.
UAC's aim is to improve the security of Microsoft Windows by limiting application software to standard
user privileges until an administrator authorizes an increase in privilege level. In other words, a user
account may have administrator privileges assigned to it, but applications that the user runs do not also
have those privileges unless they are approved beforehand or the user explicitly authorizes it to have
While the process of manually accepting prompts for this can be quite frustrating on a personal
machine, for machines running on factory floors, UAC provides an concrete way to prevent user
mishaps that might result in downtime and cuts in production throughput. Let’s take the example
of a production floor with 20 or so PC's running Instrument Control applications via a GPIB or
Serial interface. With UAC enabled, the end user, usually a technician, will not be able to make
changes to the GPIB address of a GPIB interface, or the hardware flow control settings of a Serial
card from within Measurement & Automation Explorer. This is a good thing as device parameters such
as the GPIB primary address and Hardware Flow control are usually hard coded into an application;
if changes were allowed to be made (even the little innocent mistakes), it could lead to substantial
downtime in operations.
You might be asking yourself, what if I need to change these setting to meet new demands such
as hardware changes or code upgrades? Fear not as you can raise (elevate) the privilege level of an
application by simply right-clicking on the application and selecting “Run As Adminstrator” from the
drop down menu at which point you will be prompted to provide the administrators user id and password.
Now all your changes will be applied.