DATA INTERFACE APPLIED IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Easy connection to machines and facilities
28 October 2013: Alfred Adam, Ing.-Büro ADAM SOFTWARE
Many machines and testing facilities are unique and tailored to the requirements of the respective manufacturing process. Developing a suitable Q-DAS data interface for each individual solution requires a lot of extra programming effort in the plant of the machine manufacturer. However, this article shows that standard software makes it easier to connect machines and facilities.
In general, you integrate data with the objective of a high quality of data, reliability, quick and easy transfer, easy maintenance and enough flexibility for subsequent changes and extensions. It is of utmost importance to deliver high-quality data already while recording data since they are required for significant evaluations. The data recording software ADAM ProcessLink helps you to achieve this goal optimally – it allocates the raw data collected by the machine control system to the respective key fields of the Q-DAS data format and saves them in a well-structured way. It assigns all measured values and even any kind of additional data - such as events, serial numbers, order numbers and any test plan data, e.g. specification limits - to the suitable K-fields of the Q-DAS data format. Another major goal is reducing the data recording effort for a quick transfer of data. You can reach these goals by using standardized interfaces and data formats. The ADAM software tools provide a clear definition and link the entire data structure - from the machine control system to the Q-DAS data fields. Consistent design and transfer of data structures including clear descriptions, data types and plausibility rules for all tools and interfaces offer a huge benefit – they contribute to the expandability of the data recording system in the entire lifecycle of the machine and of the parts it produces.
It is often required that data can always be recorded, e.g. because data a very important in case of claims for damages. Depending on the respective hardware and software architecture, these requirements are fulfilled by means of handshaking procedures and redundant interpretation. If documentation is required, e.g. for safety-relevant parts, a stop of the entire production process will be compelled when the respective data set cannot be stored. In the past, you just put a simple office computer next to the machine to record data; however, nowadays, such computers are increasingly banished from the shop floor. Depending on the respective requirements, it is either replaced by a small and solid industrial computer positioned in the control cabinet of the testing facility or by a central server in the computer centre undertaking its task for several facilities. Since you can even use a virtual server to record data, this type of data recording benefits from the advantages of virtualization, i.e. little downtime when the server hardware fails...