Operator MES & OEE | Machine PLC connection using OPC
Operator OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) software monitors machine PLC using OPC & OPC UA standard. It improves the performance of the factory, maximizing your production output.
Operator Systems, OEE, OPC, PLC, Machine Status, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Production control, Machine integration, Machine monitoring, Production optimization, LEAN, Key performance indicator, Production KPI, Manufacturing KPI, KPI, Continuous improvement, Mobile OEE
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Machine (PLC) integration through the OPC / OPC UA

Seamless connection with machine PLC through the OPC and OPC UA service

The “Operator DataLogger” tool provides the possibility of quick and easy communication through the OPC and OPC UA standard with all main PLC providers.

The Operator Datalogger delivers seamless integration with machines (through OPC and OPC UA standard) and a wide range of devices and equipment of the shopfloor, enabling a high degree data exchange during production process execution. Thanks to the use of the OPC standard, we can exchange messages with almost every PLC controller, not only machines but also other devices operating on the shop floor. Operator offers standardized integration – regardless of equipment vendor, which allows standardized visibility of production process execution across the whole enterprise on a global scale.

OEE – OPC – OPC UA – PLC – Machine Monitoring – Machine Status

Proven, fast and easy connection with machine

The Operator Datalogger (ODL) is a Windows Service that is intended to run in the background on the computer hosting an OPC server. Its purpose is to create OPC / OPC UA subscriptions configured in the Operator Database. Based on these subscriptions the service will conduct reads and writes between the OPC Server and the Operator Database. As ODL runs independently of Operator, it can be installed on the OPC server – which should be installed “close” to PLC’s, while Operator runs on another computer within the same network. This is advantageous, as this does not give DCOM configuration issues that can be troublesome when connecting to an OPC / OPC UA server remotely.

The Operator Datalogger supports the following communications:

  • OPC DA – An old standard for real-time data connection with Machine PLC. As ODL in this case can be installed on the OPC server, while Operator runs on another within the same network. Unfortunately, this standard is becoming old and DCOM protocol (which is used) is being retired by Microsoft.
  • OPC UA – If using the UA protocol, there are no DCOM issues. The ODL can be installed on any PC. The only requirement is that the port for communication is not blocked by firewalls on either side.
  • Socket – Using the socket protocol is like UA. The ODL can be installed on any PC. The only requirement is that the port for communication is not blocked by firewalls on either side.

The ODL can run two subscription types – synchronous and asynchronous (SYNC / ASYNC).

  • Synchronous reads are done with a configured frequency independent of the actual values. ODL creates one job per frequency and reads all items from the OPC server with this frequency and writes the data into the before mentioned table.
  • Asynchronous reads are event driven. This means that the subscription generates an event at the time the subscribed OPC item’s value changes. ODL handles this by queuing the pending write to Operator. ODL has a running job that empties the queue with a configured frequency.

The Operator DataLogger (ODL) is designed to take advantage of multithreaded design. This means that subscriptions are grouped, and each group is handled by a thread. Thus, the overhead introduced when e.g. multiple subscriptions are to be handled at the same time is minimized. The operating system ensures an even distribution of system resources to the threads. In the following illustrations each “job” is handled by its own dedicated thread.

With this approach allows Operator system can handle large amounts of data changes from OPC & OPC UA with a minimal performance impact.


OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a communication protocol designed to enable different types of industrial devices to communicate with each other.

The basis of OPC UA is OPC Data Access (OPCDA) and Universal Architecture for Data Access (UDA). The former provides an abstraction layer for data to provide a unified view of data, while the latter provides a mechanism for transferring that data.

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a communication protocol developed by the OPC Foundation that can be used for machine monitoring. This protocol uses different data formats to provide a universal way for machines and devices to communicate in a production environment. The goal of this protocol is to create an interoperability layer that allows communication between different types of equipment with minimal human intervention.

What are the different types of networks in OPC UA?

OPC UA is an open, scalable, secure industrial automation platform that facilitates the interoperability of plant floor operations. The OPC UA specification defines a set of common interfaces to synchronize industrial data between all levels of automation. It enables devices to communicate with one another across disparate networks, providing a single view of processes and equipment for operators and providers alike.

OPC UA provides all kinds of networks for different purposes. The following are the different types:

– Device networks – these are used to connect devices together in order to transfer data between them. They are typically low bandwidth networks that operate at speeds up to 1 Mbit/s

– Process networks – these are used communicate information about production processes between controllers and other control systems

– Device server network – this is used for installing

PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

A PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is an automated system that controls an industrial process through a physical interface. With this device, a person does not have to be around to do the work. It automatically manages production without the need for human interaction. One of the biggest advantages of using this type of system is that it speeds up production while giving people more time for other tasks within the company or organization. In addition to speeding up production, there are also various ways in which these systems can help your business improve the overall efficiency of producing goods or services.

The name Programmable Logic Controller comes from the fact that the controller consists of programmable logic in the form of code that is stored in its non-volatile memory. For an engineer or technician, a PLC is an essential tool for daily work. It provides safety, accuracy and efficiency for manufacturing plants.

How does PLC work?

Programmable logic controller (PLC) is a computerized device that control industrial processes in factories, power companies, water and sewage treatment plants.

The PLC is programmed to receive data from various sensors and use the data to determine the appropriate control action for a given situation. By programming instructions in advance, they can save time when compared to human decision-making.

Programmable logic controllers are widely used in industries like mining, food processing, pharmaceuticals and pulp & paper.

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