Battery Production Facility

DataHub Use Case

The project leader at a large battery manufacturing facility in North America was given a seemingly impossible task.  He had to pull data from over 200 devices, and feed it to the company MES system.  The problem was, the MES required a fixed, always-present data set, whereas the devices were continually coming online and going offline, and would occasionally add or remove a tag from the data set.  Adding to this complexity, the data had to be networked securely on the company network, without the hassles of DCOM.

Use Case - Battery Production diagram

Addressing the last problem first, the project leader used DataHub software to tunnel the data from OPC servers for each of the devices, and bring it all to a central DataHub instance that was connected to Citect.  Once all of this was configured and running, it became clear that the DataHub program resolved the fixed data set problem as well.  When a device goes offline, the tag remains in the DataHub instance, and the quality changes from ‘Good’ to ‘Not Connected’.  So every member of the data set was always present in the MES system.

The only problem remaining was handling the tags that the devices occasionally added or removed.  For this, the project leader worked with Cogent to come up with a custom solution.  First they modified the devices to limit the time to add or remove a tag.  Then they wrote a DataHub script to monitor a few tags, and when these change, the DataHub instance waits out the time limit, and then refresh the data set.  This approach works very well, and DataHub software has become an integral part of the company’s MES system.