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Aug 17, 2012

Cross-company database integration for production analysis

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Anytech|Industrial|Kuka Roboter|Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise|Safety|Screens|System|Column Store Indices|Automation Software|Data Acquisition Software Program|Equipment|Evaluation Tools|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Environments|Respective Equipment Infrastructure|Service|Ben Liebenberg|Harald Reif|Infrastructure|Microsoft SQL Server|SQL
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Real-time production reporting program Zenon Analyser enables users to integrate other databases – even from vendors – within a single database, says South African Zenon service provider Anytech.

Anytech supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) specialist Ben Liebenberg says it is relatively simple to use linked servers in programming language SQL statements. “This also gives users the ability to access different types of data from various database servers within a single database,” he says.

The Zenon Analyser is a module of the flagship Zenon automation, control and data acquisition software program. A mix of real-time data, directly from processes and historical data from a database, is its defining characteristic.

“The Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise version now offers highly increased query performance, using the new Microsoft SQL Server 2012 feature ‘Column store Indices’. This is critical for many of our customers in manufacturing environments,” says Austrian automation software and Zenon developer Copa-Data SQL development expert Harald Reif.

Depending on the respective equipment infrastructure, companies can construct their data sources in a decentralised manner, or gather all data centrally in an SQL database by using Zenon Analyzer.

“Historical data for use in evaluations, for example, can be obtained from many different sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server and other databases over a linked server. “The data is prepared by Zenon Analyzer and provided to the user in the form of tables or graphics. Users have the option to use modern tools to generate their reports, or even write their own statistics. Naturally, we also provide a comprehensive set of evaluation tools as standard,” notes Reif.

Further, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 has significantly improved performance, compared with its previous release, to meet current trends in the data technology world, he says.

For example, multicore central processing units (CPUs), which have become more prevalent, are used more effectively. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Release 2 was limited to four CPUs, whereas Microsoft SQL Server 2012 runs on up to 16 CPUs, with a limitation of four sockets. This means that 16-CPU-usage can be achieved by using four Quad-Core-CPUs, says Liebenberg.

Meanwhile, Copa-Data and industrial robot manufacturer Kuka Roboter have standardised on Zenon as the visualisation solution for the operation of Kuka robots in improving efficient industrial production and processing.

“The more complex production processes become, the more important it becomes to operate machines and equipment intuitively and efficiently. As part of their cooperation, the companies now offer the option of using Zenon as visualisation software to industrial and manufacturing companies for automated production; thus guaranteeing maximum efficiency and user-friendliness for the operation, control and monitoring of industrial robots,” he explains.

Further, Zenon Scada runs on the new PC-based KR C4 control platform. The control system is used to control robots, movement, workflows and processes. It also provides complete safety control.

“Its primary characteristic features are minimal hardware requirements, intelligent software function, openness and reliability. The operator uses the visualisation solution by means of the Kuka SmartPads, which are control units with 21-cm touch-screens. Users have all the functionalities they need and their tasks are available on a user-friendly interface,” he concludes.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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