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Michelin Gains Real Time Views

Tue, 01/24/2012 - 10:57am

Michelin Tire in Sandy Springs, SC is just one of the production facilities that manufacture rubber compounds for use in Michelin’s tire manufacturing plants throughout North America. This facility maintains the highest quality of standards and is listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Performance Track member.

Michelin Tire has implemented an automated system throughout its plant for HMI, trending, data logging, alarm logging, and recipe management. The company chose OPC Systems.NET because it is easy to do networking without the need for DCOM, and provides reliable performance to log process and alarm data with no data loss.

Michelin Tire uses the process automation system on the rubber compound mixing system to monitor and log process and production data. Each mixing machine’s cycle and efficiency data is monitored for analysis along with process data such as temperature and energy usage.

Stephen Smith, an automation engineer for Michelin Tire, has implemented OPC Database.NET for data logging, OPC Trend.NET for real-time and historical trending, OPC Controls.NET for real-time display, and OPC Route.NET for data verification back to PLCs through an OPC Server. Smith describes their application: “We log to 36 different tables in a remote SQL Server node from our rubber compound production. This data is then displayed through our company’s web application for production analysis. We use the OPC Systems HMI container with OPC Trend.NET to display data on 10 to 12 remote systems for real-time charting and historical data.” The same central OPC Systems.NET system also logs data to CSV files for easy history files. Smith has also implemented a second OPC Systems.NET Windows Service to log data to CSV files containing process temperature and energy consumption data.

The system communicates to 13 Allen Bradley PLC-5s through Kepware’s KEPServerEX OPC Server. This data is then made available through .NET communications to the client applications to log and view the data. The configuration can be modified locally or remotely. Smith utilizes the CSV import feature to setup the tags and data logging configurations.

The system offers a database where data is logged via a remote SQL Server system. Data will be buffered if there is a network failure or if the SQL Server database engine is stopped, so there is no loss in data as long as the local OPC Server can communicate with the PLCs. “The automatic database management makes the setup and support of the SQL Server database easy,” Smith notes. “The historical query feature in OPC Trend.NET is nice for bringing up archived data. We really like the ability to centralize all data in the OPC Systems Service to provide data to our remote terminals.”

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