"MatrikonOPC connectivity helped us to automatically configure the gauges for the next production run, thereby reducing the operator workload and possible chances for errors. The people at the plant are very happy."
Control Systems Engineer, Major Manufacturing Company
A major manufacturing company needed to transfer manufacturing data from their plant in Detroit, Michigan to a process data storage system in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Control Systems Engineering Group chose OPC technology as the communication medium.
The plant housed a NDC Pro.Net system for gauging material properties, including diagnostic and recipe information. The data from each scan by the NDC Pro.Net had to be stored in a plant-level data collection system, an Intellution iFIX HMI using Intellution’s Classic Historian. Additionally, the company wanted to store the same data in a process data storage system located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The data would be used to display crossweb and machine direction variations and trending. To make the NDC Pro.Net data available, MatrikonOPC’s Server for NDC Pro.Net was configured. This enabled any OPC-compliant client application to read and write to the NDC Pro.Net.
Instead of using the OPC client that comes with Intellution’s iFIX HMI, the company opted for a more robust solution and integrated MatrikonOPC’s Client for Intellution iFIX. The MatrikonOPC client provided a more reliable solution, eliminating the need to re-boot the Intellution iFIX server node whenever the system would arbitrarily stop updating values. Testing of connections was done using MatrikonOPC Explorer, an OPC client used to test and configure any OPC connection.
The process data storage system in St. Paul was already equipped with an OPC client. To test the connection between St. Paul and Detroit, Matrikon OPC Tunneller was used. Tunnelling technology bypasses DCOM and uses TCP/IP to transfer OPC data. Once a connection between the OPC client and server was established, DCOM settings were configured and the Matrikon OPC Tunneller was removed. The result: data from NDC Pro.Net in St. Paul was available to decision-makers in Detroit.
The project was a success. The company is now able to reliably collect data without arbitrary data collection interruptions. “Since the installation of the MatrikonOPC Client for Intellution iFIX, we have not seen any of the random tag data losses like before, and we have not had to re-boot the SCADA server for any reason,” says the project manager.
Seventy data points are read from the Intellution iFIX system and the St. Paul system reads 30 points at a frequency of once every second. Recipe number values are written to the NDC Pro.Net system when products are switched.
"MatrikonOPC connectivity helped us to automatically configure the gauges for the next production run, thereby reducing the operator workload and possible chances for errors. The people at the plant are very happy," says the project manager. "MatrikonOPC’s Client for Intellution iFIX provided us with the benefit of being able to browse server tags. In the old system, we had to know the exact name of the item. Now we simply click and in our tag entry dialog we get a live list of items from the OPC Server. The maintenance guys really like this feature -- it's so much simpler and quicker."
"I am very satisfied with the solution and am much happier using MatrikonOPC’s client. Technical support was great and was available whenever needed."