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Data Collection Methods

Data Collection Methods

Data Collection Methods

I'm pretty new to some of the ideas here (my background is in Cisco and Microsoft) so please be patient with me...
We have Allen-Bradley SLC-500 PLCs on our floor, we would like to collect all the info we can about our processes, but not sure how to do it. We have some software that we can dump raw data into to build reports, but how do we get that raw data, and how much can we collect? Also we would like to build graphs based on current drawn by motors during a mixing cycle.
Thank you in advance for any insights you can offer.

RE: Data Collection Methods

We make a frozen bread product, also cookie dough, and fruit fillings. Our ERP is Greatwinds Dynamics which uses SQL Server and Crystal Reports.

RE: Data Collection Methods

I would suggest hiring a company to make some suggestions on this. There are a lot of different software packages out there that can turn your raw data into usefule informtation, not just in the forms of reports, but also trending, data filtering, intranat data access, customizeable alerts (to email/pager/celphone), and on and on.
You will probably want to look into several differant information storage products than look for a company that has experience with both those products and Allen Bradley PLC's.

Another option is to find a product you like and try to get the company to send a representative out to talk to you. This way you can collect more information (even if it is from a sales person) on a system before trying to make a decision.

I have replaced a couple Wonderware installations here and there, but have otherwise heard good things about it. OSISoft makes a product called the PI System (Plant Information System) which collects, compacts, and archives the data. This system is not SQL Server based, so you don't get the easy driver tie-ins that you do with a SQL Server based system, but you do get the efficiency and so on of a system designed to store manufacturing data. Another SQL Server system that I have seen in use (though did not actually work with) was Mole. Several Georgia Pacific Sites were using this product and had managed to build a very large group of tools for it, but they have since made/started to make a corporate wide move to another product.

I would supply more specific information if I could, but I'm on theend-uswer software engineering side of things rather than the PLC side, so I try to run away when anyone starts talking about things like Alen Bradleys and data highways and such :)


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RE: Data Collection Methods

I know of a Canadian company, Shoplogix Inc., that specializes in machine data acquisition.  Their product can monitor any of your signals, and produce reports.  Sounds like it may be something you would want to investigate.

RE: Data Collection Methods

I would also recomend that you seek advise from a full service provider to determine what would best suit your needs.  I am very familiar with Wonderware's products, and I would highly recomend them if they meet your needs.  One of the products from WonderWare is InSQL server.  This is an industrial add on to SQL, created by or for WonderWare.  Using it and Active Factory you can process your data quite easly. Visit their site at www.wonderware.com

Wonderware is good but it is not cheap.

RE: Data Collection Methods

I would agree with the other posts that your first step would be to talk to a couple of the leading automation software manufacturers about a possible solution.  To have a distributer come out and visit and talk about their products on costs you your time and can be very educational.  Plus, they can recommend several quality integrators if it is determined that you need they type of help.

Good luck!

RE: Data Collection Methods

To get your raw data, yo uneed a network to your slc's, and a program that can grab that realtime data

WOnderwares SQL offering is fast and reliable, but there are equivalents from all the manufacturers

I would suggest that first you identify all the data you want to track, and which slc's it will come from. (or if you have devicenet, which motors it will come from)

Personally, I would move all the data into a single contiguous file in each slc, and grab it using something like rs-linx. (All major suppliers should have a driver to connect to the linx protocol)

if u have no experience, then u need to talk to an SI

how much per hour will downtime cost u if you mess up your factory networks, or crash an slc?

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