Lead Engineer: Terrance Brinkley
We're ready to help with your needs! Let’s talk about your project.
A container industry manufacturer was struggling to bring data from their equipment into the cloud. While their Siemens WinCC SCADA platform gathered the needed data, setting up communication to their Microsoft Azure cloud was difficult. They attempted to work through the solution and hired another company to write a driver to establish communication. Still, the WinCC platform needed more flexibility, and all efforts to integrate the two technologies had failed.
The deadline for connecting the data to the cloud was looming, and with limited internal resources, the manufacturer looked to their trusted advisor Patti Engineering, their trusted advisor, for help. After reviewing the scope of work, Patti Engineering quickly saw that the functionality required aligned well with the Ignition SCADA platform. The previous success of an Ignition project for another facility, coupled with the fast turn-around time, made this the ideal solution.
The international company implemented the Siemens WinCC SCADA platform as their standard many years ago. While they were able to collect the data that they needed, they desired the ability to add more advanced features. Since the future of the WinCC line does not appear to be working towards these desired functions, they first looked at creating their own solution and developed a driver to connect it to the company’s standard cloud, Microsoft Azure. They were met with a multitude of complications preventing communication and needed to find another option fast in order to make up lost time.
The goal was to pull a total of 2,000 data points across eight PLCs in one production zone. The data would then be sent to the Azure Event Hub to make real-time decisions to prevent downtime and product loss and analyze the production data to fine-tune the optimal working conditions and setpoints. The real-time decisions also included insight into possible unsafe working conditions to trigger the shutdown of operator access to specific work zones.
Patti Engineering had previously completed a relevant Ignition project at a different facility, which included rewriting the entire SCADA platform as well as getting data into the cloud. This helped solidify Ignition as a timely solution with the flexibility they required.
The Patti Engineering team quickly got to work implementing an Ignition solution. The vast array of Ignition tools and modules meant Patti Engineering could easily create a custom solution. While the main focus of this project was to transfer data into the cloud, a long-term goal was to implement SCADA screens as well. Special care was taken to ensure the company’s future needs could be met.
Ignition gateways were configured to the eight PLCs, the Azure cloud, and MQTT connections. The company had already identified the necessary data points when they first attempted to connect the data. However, the tag names for those data points were technical, and only made sense to the programmers working in that area. Patti Engineering assisted with developing user-friendly tag names that could be understood by both operators and technicians.
Patti Engineering completed their efforts by successfully pushing production data into the cloud. The interface and connections matched the style of the previous project to simplify the transfer back to the company’s internal controls team. The company can now finalize their programming in the cloud and begin the verification process.
Yet again, Ignition has proven to be the right solution for the client’s current and future goals, and they are looking at updating their standards.
These are the days of digitalization – for manufacturers, digitalization means using digital tools such as IoT devices, AI, and edge/cloud computing to gain better...
Take the first step towards optimizing your business operations and staying ahead of the competition.