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OPC Gains Traction in Tire Manufacturing

By using OPC and servers from Cyberlogic, a systems integrator cuts its delivery time in half to develop supervisory control and monitoring systems for tire manufacturing plants.

Aw 5394 Cyberlogic Photo

In 1999, the 11th most devastating earthquake of the 20th century hit a heavily populated industrial region in northwestern Turkey. Within minutes, thousands of lives were lost and hundreds of buildings collapsed. At the epicenter was the city of Izmit, a major industrial center and home of Turkey’s car parts, tire and petrochemical industry. As a result of the damage, countless factories and refineries were disabled. Taking an enormous economic toll—with a cost of as much as 10 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—the quake severely affected the industrial activity in the region.

Today, the telltale signs of the destruction are still visible, but the region’s industrial activity has largely recovered from the devastation. Production is now shifting back from the overloaded facilities elsewhere, as local factories rebuilt to more exacting construction standards are coming online and resuming activity.

The recovery process was aided by the rapid response of many companies, large and small. One such company is the Engin Muhendislik Hizmetleri Ltd., (EMH) a systems integrator that had been primarily servicing the automotive industry in the region before the catastrophic event. Recently, EMH has been selected by a major tire manufacturer to quickly implement a supervisory control and production monitoring system across several new facilities. Hakan Arihan, the president and a founding partner of the firm, says, “We were hit twice. First by the earthquake, then by the massive amount of work that was required of us in such a short period of time.”

EMH identified OPC-based tools as the starting point of its design. “A decade ago, we consistently developed proprietary systems based on customer needs,” says Emre Ozveren, an electrical engineer and the firm’s engineering manager, “However, this time we had to find ways to shorten the development cycle.” According to Ozveren, EMH engineers quickly evaluated several OPC client and server products to find the right mix of features they needed. “We are very happy to see that OPC has matured into an enabling standard,” continues Ozveren. “We were able to pick from a large list of capable products for our design and not be limited to a single company’s product line.”

Choosing a solid foundation

EMH uses the DHX OPC Server Suite from Cyberlogic, based in Troy, Mich., for data acquisition from 38 Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that are distributed throughout several buildings. “The reasons we picked Cyberlogic’s OPC software are several,” says Ozveren. “First, it is a complete product. Everything we needed came on a single CD. We did not have to look for missing pieces elsewhere. Cyberlogic’s OPC server has support for all the PLCs and networks we are using.”

“And second,” continues Ozveren, pointing to an array of test systems running in EMH’s development center, “Cyberlogic’s software works well—actually, amazingly well. When you are under pressure, it makes all the difference in the world to have such a solid foundation to build on. We did not have to worry about data acquisition issues and could concentrate on building our customer’s solution.”

According to Arihan, EMH was able to cut its delivery time by more than half with the use of OPC-based products. Arihan says, “When time is a crucial factor in healing a wound, that is good news indeed.”

Cyberlogic OPC Server Suites are integrated, all-in-one products. The built-in reliability features allow the configuration of an unlimited number of redundant networks and backup data sources. Cyberlogic’s OPC Suites include a Health Monitor that continuously verifies the operation of each network and data source, automatically switching to backups when there is a problem. The built-in unsolicited messaging feature allows the configuration of an unlimited number of nodes that can initiate unsolicited data transmission, eliminating the need for polling for data.

Find out more about Cyberlogic OPC Server Suites at www.cyberlogic.com.

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