OPC Allows Historian Software to Improve Productivity

April 25, 2008
With an OPC server connection to PLCs, Canary Labs historian software improves productivity by providing monitoring and trending tools to a Xerox manufacturing plant’s engineering and maintenance staff.

The Xerox Supplies Development Center of Canada, located in Mississauga, Ontario, is a reprographic materials manufacturer supplying Europe and North America. This plant starts with the raw materials, such as polymers and chemicals, and develops the different color toners, which are black, yellow, magenta and cyan, in bulk. The product is then shipped to a sister plant in Oakville, Canada, for further processing and packaging. The Mississauga plant is approximately 50,000 square feet and employs about 60 people.

As part of the manufacturing process, the plant uses Reverse Osmosis and Deionized water purifying equipment as well as a wastewater facility. Currently in place is an ABB process control system and Allen Bradley programmable logic controllers to control some process equipment and all the facility equipment. Xerox is using the Kepware OPC server to connect its PLCs to historian software from Canary Labs, a provider of trending tools and services based in Martinsburg, Pa., while investigating using OPC to connect to other types of equipment.

Xerox started using the Canary Labs Historian and trending software in November, 2007. The company needed a better method to trend and store historical data from the real-time PLC data, as a replacement for less flexible and obsolete software. The Canary software is presently set up as a monitoring and data trending tool for the engineering and maintenance staff. It is used extensively with water production and wastewater processing as a troubleshooting and preventive maintenance tool. Future plans will include monitoring and archiving data on additional facility equipment such as chillers, boilers, etc, as well as some process equipment.

Frank Teixeira, Electrical Engineer at Xerox, states, “Through Canary Labs, the added access to historical data trends of plant equipment by Maintenance and Engineering staff has improved troubleshooting methods and enhanced the ability of predictive maintenance. The final outcome is that the Canary software has improved our productivity.”

For more information about historical trending solutions from Canary Labs, visit www.canarylabs.com.

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