Headquartered in Collierville, Tennessee, AOC is a leading global supplier of resins, gel coats, colorants and additives for composites and cast polymers. AOC products are manufactured in facilities strategically located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia that are certified as meeting ISO 9001:2000 standards for quality control.
Already known for producing resins of exacting consistency with its proprietary manufacturing program, AOC sought to achieve even higher levels of consistency, efficiency and production control in its process throughout all of its five manufacturing locations.
Before the optimization of the AOC production process, AOC operators manually entered production recipes at application stations, and operational data into AOC’s business systems. Danny Cox, AOC’s corporate process control supervisor said, “We needed a solution to link our Provox and DeltaV [process control] systems to our Oracle-based business system. We needed a simple, consistent method of accessing field data from plant-floor devices that was able to communicate with multiple systems.” Overcoming these deficits would help AOC meet its primary production needs and optimize its manufacturing program.
Flexible optimization standards
AOC had two options. One option was to keep its existing infrastructure and develop the custom applications needed. The other was to find a flexible, more cost efficient solution. AOC decided to build its architecture on OPC standards-based industrial connectivity technology.
After doing product evaluations, the company selected solutions from MatrikonOPC, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, because MatrikonOPC was able to change and develop the product as needed to link the AOC systems to the company’s Oracle business systems. AOC had found that custom programming via Microsoft .NET was not as flexible as OPC, and was much more expensive.
AOC used the MatrikonOPC Server for General Database Access (GDA) and MatrikonOPC Data Manager to read and write data to and from the Emerson DeltaV system. The MatrikonOPC Data Manager (ODM) is a software application that transfers data from one OPC server to another. With this standard, off-the-shelf software and MatrikonOPC Server for GDA, connectivity was easily accomplished. Eight hundred points were connected and are updated every second. AOC could now read and store production data and convert Oracle procedure variables to OPC tags.
Value from MatrikonOPC
“MatrikonOPC supplied a manageable method to integrate our Oracle business system with our process control systems. It was the most cost effective approach to a complex issue,” said AOC’s Cox. “Our manufacturing process now gets recipe data directly from Oracle and that has given us the ability to use a single entry point for recipes.” This raises the level of production consistency while eliminating the potential of human data entry errors.
Cox continued, “The Oracle system also uses the data to build reports on our manufacturing process.” Trending and analysis reporting facilitates timely and accurate decision making, which improves AOC’s overall business performance.
MatrikonOPC’s solution met AOC’s criteria for being modular and transportable to all five of its locations. AOC has one of the five plants running, and work on the second plant has begun.
For free downloads or more information about MatrikonOPC, visit www.matrikonopc.com.