"MatrikonOPC solutions have enabled our implementation team to focus their time and energy on solving control and optimization problems at the plant instead of spending valuable time and effort on connectivity issues."
Engineering Manager for KnowledgeScape
KnowledgeScape, a developer and integrator of expert control systems based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was selected by the Phelps Dodge Bagdad Copper Concentrator in Bagdad, Arizona to provide an adaptive optimization and expert control solution. KnowledgeScape needed to provide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for five parallel grinding lines consisting of fully autogenously mills and ball mills, as well as a flotation plant. To do this, KnowledgeScape had to connect to the Fisher Provox Distributed Control System (DCS) already in place.
KnowledgeScape chose Matrikon's OPC Server for Provox (CHIP) to create the connection between their expert control system and the Provox DCS. "We have our own non-OPC driver, but OPC is our preferred method of communication because of its speed, quality and reliability," said Mike Hales, Engineering Manager with KnowledgeScape, adding that "We often choose MatrikonOPC products because their servers are dependable and easy to configure."
OPC integration was completed by Hales’ group and went smoothly, enabling the KnowledgeScape Adaptive Optimization and Expert Control system to connect to the Fisher Provox DCS quickly and easily. The plant-wide project reads 500 tags and writes to 50 tags, and since start-up in July 2003, there have been no reported communication problems between the DCS and KnowledgeScape.
"MatrikonOPC solutions have enabled our implementation team to focus their time and energy on solving control and optimization problems at the plant instead of spending valuable time and effort on connectivity issues," said Hales. "KnowledgeScape has been developing proprietary drivers for more than a decade. We still choose OPC solutions whenever we can. The cost of buying a MatrikonOPC server is small when compared to the time and energy spent on developing and maintaining a proprietary driver."
KnowledgeScape continues to integrate OPC and is currently upgrading an old, proprietary Foxboro I/A driver to a new MatrikonOPC server. In addition, they are added redundancy with MatrikonOPC’s Redundancy Broker, and are evaluating Matrikon OPC Tunneller for remote support over a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
"OPC is great! MatrikonOPC’s products always work – every time – and are easy to install. In addition to their drivers, I use MatrikonOPC’s free diagnostic tools like OPC Explorer for development and trouble shooting," said Hales.
KnowledgeScape is widely known as the pioneer in developing and implementing expert control systems within the global minerals industry. Their flagship product is the award winning KnowledgeScape Adaptive Modeling and Expert Control System, which they have applied to other important processing industries, such as water and wastewater treatment, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, power, and petroleum products.