The HMI view of an operator interface terminal, whether on a local display, mobile tablet, supervisory panel PC, or remote workstation, is only one view of the important data in an automation system. There are also; alarm and data logging, database integration, recipe management, protocol translation and more. cMT Series Products prove to be a flexible tool in these areas as well. Let's tour a few features available to manage your data on the cMT products:
In an ideal world, every machine vendor and systems integrator would use the same protocol and all equipment would seamlessly communicate with everything else on a plant floor. More often than not, this is far from the case. As a plant grows over time and different systems are added, little thought is given to the process as a whole. You'll often find different systems, from different manufacturers, speaking different protocols, on different serial busses. Fortunately, cMT products speak many languages. cMT Series Products can use over 300 protocols on any of the available com ports, and translate them to the default industrial standard protocol: Modbus TCP/IP. The cMT device becomes a transparent protocol translator, allowing upstream SCADA systems to connect to PLCs as if they were all using the same protocol on the same bus.
Modbus Communication Gateway
Increasingly, data that machines produce needs to be recorded and preserved. The data may be useful in process improvement or may be required by regulatory agencies. The cMT products have an object which allows them to log a data sampling object or an alarm log directly to an SQL database server over an Ethernet LAN.
This eliminates the need for manually retrieving and entering log files from each machine independently. Data from many different sources can be aggregated and stored in one central safe and secure location, automatically.
Databases and Recipes
Recipes are a collection of parameters stored in the HMI that can be transferred to a machine with one press of a button. Different parts may require different amounts of material, different cook times and temperatures, or different processing steps. This data often needs to be shared across multiple machines that may be at different steps in the process, or may be redundant production lines working on producing the same or similar products.
SQL databases can act as a storage tank for all machines sharing a particular recipe database. cMT HMIs can query the database for current recipe data before sending those parameters to the PLC. This way, changes only need to be made to this central database, instead of manually changed in each HMI.
This feature saves time in systems that have many machines sharing many recipes. The changes, additions, and deletions to the database only need to be made in one place and are then automatically updated throughout the system. This ensures production uniformity throughout the system. A single machine will not get stuck using an outdated recipe simply because someone forgot to update it.