Recent Projects

Automation Control System for a UK Customer with an Instrumentation Product Range developed under VB6.

This was a large instrumentation system comprising ten instruments networked and controlled by a central computer (the Measurement Control Computer). It was being supplied to an overseas customer for integration into a larger plant. The interface to the larger plant was via a PLC. As much of the software infrastructure already existed, a separate interface computer was added to communicate with the PLC. The whole system comprised the following:

Remote Controlled Plant PLC Interface and Data Management Computer System (PDMC)

Programming language used: (VS2010)

  • Interface to remote PLC for command handling and result uploading via Ethernet/IP
  • Win Socket TCP/IP Interface to Measurement Control Computer
  • SFTP uploading of measurement and result data to Customer’s Secure File Server

Measurement Control Computer (MCC)

Programming language used: VB6

  • Controller for Remote operation of up to 10 Measurement Instruments
  • Data Management of Instrument measurements and calculation of final results
  • Server to PDMC
  • Client to the Instruments

Instrumentation Computers (various)

Automation Control System

Programming language used: VB6

  • Data Acquisition – Precision multi-channel DMM measurements
  • Data Processing – Scientific Calculations
  • Data Storage – Access compatible database (written in VB6 using SQL commands)
  • Control –Software for PID control of precision heaters
  • Networking – remote TCP/IP operation via Ethernet from Master Control Computer
  • GUI for local manual operation
  • Serial Coms to local peripherals

Instrument Simulator

Instrument simulator

Programming language used: VB6

A program to simulate all ten instruments was written to allow the end-to end communications and the PDMC and MCC functionality to be fully verified whilst the instruments were still being  manufactured. This allowed all commands downloaded to be verified and the User could then select the appropriate responses. It also enabled alarm scenarios to be set up and checked.