ProtoLink developed a data collection and reporting system for the purpose of monitoring the performance of high-speed packaging-machines used in food processing plants.
A primary system requirement stated that the system must provide flexibility with regard to ever-changing machine types and tag lists.
ProtoLink addressed the client’s requirements by developing a Packaging Machine Monitor system consisting of a relational database and two client applications: a data collection service and a configuration/reporting utility. The database consists of roughly fifteen tables and associated stored procedures. It serves the dual purposes of describing the packaging machine types and plant configurations as well as holding the collected data.
The data collection service, which we implemented in C++, queries the database for plant configuration information on startup. On a periodic basis, it reads statistics of interest from the packaging machines through one or more OPC servers located throughout the plant network. The service then logs the collected data to the database.
The configuration and reporting application exposes several dialog boxes which allow authorized users to configure the system for a given plant. This application, which was also implemented in C++, provides on-screen and hard-copy reports covering configurable time periods. The report formats are data driven, so authorized administrators can modify the reports by simply editing the relevant tables in the database.