|Quamatic Distributed Automation Platform Overview
Our Quamatic technology addresses distributed automation needs and is a standard feature of all our products with network connectivity. Quamatic communication is based on an open, freely available, double-DLE, byte-oriented and easy-to-implement protocol.
Its architecture reflects the reality of industrial and commercial plants. Every plant is unique in organisation, function and people. In all plants however, information (in the form of data and messages) is produced and consumed all over the place concurrently.
Quamatic functions are distributed in a chain of 'nodes', each controlling a RS485 multidrop line of 'satellites'.
Each Node performs the data processing and message passing associated with its satellites, while each satellite performs a specific local role as required by the plant organisation.
The characteristics, functions and parameters of each Node and satellite are coded in the form of a locally held 'Configuration File'. Specific and overall control is performed by any serial data device, usually a PC running relevant application software.
It is this architecture which makes a Quamatic system an effective and efficient tool offering:
- Structured organisation. Each Node is employed to handle tasks characterised by, for example, location, plant function or production line.
- Customization. Each satellite is designed and employed for a specific function in the plant. This can be, among others, communicating with a PLC, monitoring of machines (production and consumption volumes, downtimes and their causes etc.) or programming NC tools.
- Flexibility and adaptability. The system is adaptable because all customisation effort is concentrated on the design of the satellites. Flexibility is ensured by the software nature of the Configuration File. The data format of each satellite and the procedures to be performed based on the data are coded in this file. Thus the system can be updated, upgraded or extended at minimum effort.
- Minimum custom hardware. The Node is a standard piece of hardware and only the satellites have to be designed specifically for a function. In addition to Quamatic-ready products, Quamatic functionality can be readily implemented using widely available PLC byte-oriented communications.
- Simple installation. The multidrop nature of the RS485 line calls for a simple, inexpensive cable to connect all satellites. Nor are distances a problem as the RS485 signals are differential. Adding a satellite on the line calls only for the cable to be extended to the new member.
- Minimum design time. The availability of standard hardware and procedures allows the design effort to be concentrated on plant specifics, thus saving time from reinventing the wheel.
- Freely available, "open" software. The Quamatic network protocol is freely available to all interested parties such as software developers, integrators and end-users. All Quamatic enabled hardware is accompanied by free installation, diagnostic and operation software.
Here are some typical Quamatic Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications:
- Collecting weighing (consumption) data from a PLC. The food plant processes are controlled by a PLC. The Quamatic system interfaces to the PLC serial port to collect the consumed quantities as they are fed by the weighing machines. The data is timestamped and recorded on the Node's printer as well as supplied to the controlling PC. Thus the data is available for stock accounting as well as for the various reports to the management.
- Collecting data from weighbridges. The fluid concrete carrying lorries are weighed before leaving for the building sites. The Quamatic system collects the data from the weighing points, registers them and passes them on to the PC for accounts updating and shipping documents printing.
- Monitoring of packaging machines. Packaging machines are monitored for production volumes as well as for downtime causes (for example running out of packaging material or misfit boxes). This data, again, is used to analyse and improve production in a timely and accurate way as well as allowing the operator to concentrate on the job and not in filling production reports.
- Flexible manufacturing by controlling NC tools. The Quamatic helps the efficient production of small batches of mechanical parts by collecting and distributing data to and from the plant NC tools. The collected data are used by the production staff and the accounts department while the distributed data are the programming commands to the tools.
- Payroll data collection and entry vetting. The Quamatic collects attendance data from card readers at all entry/exit points in the plant as well as vetting card bearers for security. The data is recorded and passed to the accounts/payroll/personnel department for final processing. Security violations are signaled both locally and elsewhere as appropriate.
- ISO9000 Quality System support. The Quamatic supports the ISO9000 Quality System by collecting and logging all the required data in real time, prints the necessary documents and distributes procedure and instruction messages. Quality System procedures and instructions are always correctly followed and all actions are logged and processed at minimum manpower cost!
- Automating and running of steel sheet forming station. The Quamatic monitors the state of the station through the added sensors (sheet length, input coil feed, output removal etc.) and controls the station actuators (guillotine, feed, removal, alarms etc.). At the same time, the system collects production data as well as assisting the operator in job scheduling.
- Your application!
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Page Keywords: Industrial Computer Network, Monitoring & Control System, Production Data Acquisition, SCADA, Factory Automation, Production Control Software, ERP, Process Monitor.