OEM "Blends" Well with OPC

Blending equipment supplier CRG Logics uses OPC servers from Kepware to handle connectivity needs to PLC data, regardless of the brand of PLC.

Aw 4800 Kepware
CRG Logics, Inc. is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that supplies auxiliary blending and material handling equipment to the plastics industry. The company specializes in integrated, programmable logic controller (PLC) -based control of continuous loss in weight gravimetric blending systems. It has a line of Simplicity series vibratory feeder continuous gravimetric blenders, but also provide PLC-based control retrofits of blenders produced by other manufacturers. Whether it is a new system or retrofit, CRG Logics knows customers want reliable equipment that is simple to operate, yet accurate and affordable.

To meet customer needs CRG engineers chose to incorporate standards-based products in their software system architecture. This would improve performance, allow for integration with other systems, and provide reliable access for future expansion. CRG engineers identified the following technical needs for their search.

Application needs:
  • For quality assurance and verification of blend percents, customers need to log data and then turn that data into useful information using trending tools.

Connectivity needs:
  • New feeder and blender systems produced by CRG Logics typically use Allen Bradley ControlLogix or CompactLogix PLCs.
  • In retrofit applications, connectivity to non-Allen Bradley controllers is usually required.
  • Oftentimes, a PLC-based blending system needs to be integrated with custom OEM applications (developed in C++, for example) that are performing line control.

CRG wanted to incorporate the interoperability benefits of OPC, and it chose products from Canary Labs to meet trending and data logging needs. After reviewing their options, CRG engineers chose Kepware's OPC server to handle their connectivity needs.

The single server and driver plug-in design of KEPServerEX provides consistent access to PLC data regardless of the type of PLC used in the feeder/blender system. KEPServerEX also serves data to off-the-shelf OPC client products, such as those produced by Canary Labs, as well as custom applications developed in a range of programming languages. CRG Logics bundles the Kepware and Canary Labs packages together to provide a user-friendly and robust trending and data logging package for its customers.

For more information about OPC solutions from Kepware Technologies, visit www.kepware.com.

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