Collecting operational data with your office PC
In the bottling industry the collection of operational data is constantly gaining in importance. What could be better than obtaining operational data directly from the existing SPECTRUM devices? After all, the SPECTRUM devices positioned along a production line collect a considerable amount of important and significant production data. The question arises: how can the data be transferred from the SPECTRUM device to the office PC?
The answer: with the help of the HEUFT data concentrator.
The HEUFT data concentrator is a software product to be installed on any office PC. The data collected by the SPECTRUM is constantly transferred to the HEUFT data concentrator via a network connection to the SPECTRUM device. The data has then at least reached the designated office PC.
How can the data now be transferred from the HEUFT data concentrator to the required office application, e.g. to the data bank, the word processing or spreadsheet program?
The HEUFT data concentrator provides a standard, easy to use interface for office software packages. This is known as "dynamic data exchange" (DDE) interface. The familiar "copy and paste" functions can be found behind the DDE interface. Using DDE two software using windows can communicate with each other. The copying and insertion of data between programs is automatic with DDE so that data is updated faster. The exchange of data between two programs occurs via a so-called DDE dialog.
All office software packages with DDE can call up data from the HEUFT data concentrator using DDE dialog. DDE has the advantage that no specialized knowledge is required to install a DDE connection. As a rule the on-line help which comes with the respective office software package provides sufficient information to learn the required syntax for giving commands.
The HEUFT data concentrator is supplied with a few data examples for standard office software packages as well as detailed installation instructions. The examples show the general format of a DDE dialog which retrieves data from the HEUFT data concentrator. The data examples can be adapted to suit specific needs or used as a basis to develop individual programs.
The production data obtained with DDE must always be stored using the office software program because the HEUFT data concentrator only provides current data. Therefore as a rule the HEUFT data concentrator is added to the customer´s existing data base. Since a data base generally exists for the collection of operational data the HEUFT data concentrator acts as supplier to the data base.
If the customer does not have a data base available it is possible to use the SQL server from the HEUFT range of products as a data base. This stores the data retrieved from the HEUFT data concentrator. Earlier production data can now also be retrieved from the data base at a later date. Obtaining data from the data base occurs using the standard retrieval language SQL (Structure Query Language). This retrieval language is also supported by standard office software packages. Important records from earlier production data can be produced, for example using a word processing programme.