Our client is part of a major international group in the agriculture sector. The group operates plants located in several territories across Europe. Denca was working as part of a project to install a new conveyer line in a UK plant. The project included an integrated machine vision system to facilitate effective production control. In addition, the production tracking data, showing details of every package carried by the conveyor is automatically fed from the local control system to a central process management system hub located overseas. Naturally, data integrity and reliability is key to the effective management of the overall process operation. Any package data missing from the feed could cause issues for internal reporting and control. Furthermore, any unreliability in the data connection, the system could miss records should the PC reboot or otherwise go offline.
Fail-safe implementations for data integrity
Open Platform Communications is recognised as the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space
Denca proposed a Windows application that would read the values out of the conveyor PLC via OPC. In addition, a double buffer in the system ensures there is no missing data. Furthermore, a rolling 100 record buffer within the PLC ensures no data compromise during any PC and/or software reboot.
First, the system reads data over OPC and saves it to a local database. Our bespoke software system then periodically connects to the remote database at the overseas system hub and synchronizes any records that had not yet been transferred.
We recognise that, particularly in a process environment, real-world system performance with consistent reliability over extended operation where the production team has confidence that systems will perform to specification, is the true measure of a project’s success.
Denca Controls developed and installed the data management system on time and on budget. It has now been running continuously for more than two years. The system consistently delivers line data from the local production line to the central product tracking database overseas within 60 seconds of a package leaving the conveyor.
The system performs. Our customer is happy. Denca Controls has delivered.
If you wish to discuss how Denca Controls can help find a solution for your project, you are always welcome to contact us.