The production engineer at a large South American mining operation was tasked with optimizing the expert systems for the company’s mineral refining process. Management wanted to optimize the functioning of the plant’s DCS by integrating data from the flotation and grinding expert systems, along with two banks of video cameras. The DCS, expert system software, and video camera systems all supported OPC DA, so the most logical approach was to network the data coming from the various OPC servers and clients.
Since OPC DA does not network well, the engineer chose the Cogent DataHub to tunnel the OPC DA data between the networked machines. He was also able to make OPC server-to-server bridges, using the DataHub’s Bridging feature. With all the connections made, the plant data flows from DCS to the grinding and flotation expert systems. These continuously and intelligently adjust the values of the set points, and send them back in real time to the DCS, which passes them along to the relevant process. To make its calculations, the flotation expert system also takes into account the real-time data that is streaming in from the two video camera systems.