I’m not sure this is the best place to talk about this, but I’m looking for advice on how to achieve the following:
We have a qc lab that has a number of devices (scales, gc’s ph meters, etc.) whose data they’d like to have go directly into our database. The simple version of this is that we hook up the serial outputs from the devices to a plc using Kepware’s U-Conn (as recommended by Carl G. on another forum).
However, the problem is each sample tested has to be associated with a sample id, for example a packaging batch #, or a fermentation batch #, etc., so that when the data is sent to the db it is properly associated with its parent record. These id’s are in the same database that the device data is being sent to. So, the ‘workflow’ (so to speak) is something like the following:
Lab Device A has a carousel holding 20 samples, which are automatically fed into the machine and the results of each test are spat out on a roll of paper as the machine generates them. A clipboard is kept next to the machine, and the sample id from the db (packaging run, tank number, or something like that) is recorded for each sample slot in the carousel, and when a result is produced by the machine, it is copied to the clipboard. Sometimes a rush sample comes in and it is moved up in the carousel, in which case the clipboard is edited as appropriate. At the end of the day, the data from the clipboard is entered into the db.
The data acquisition version of the above would have to look something like: A computer stands next to the lab device, with 20 dropdown list boxes containing a list of all the packaging runs, tanks, etc. that could be brought in for a test. The lab device serial output is connected to this pc. The lab tech identifies what sample is in each carousel slot using each of the 20 dropdown boxes, sets the machine in action, and as the device produces data it is fed into the pc and associated with the apporiate sample id. The pc is connected to the db (via factory pmi?) and sends the two groups of data (sample identifier and analytical data, now married together) to the db.
In this version, the device has to communicate to a pc, so I suppose kepware’s uconn is not the right thing. We have looked at winwedge, but maybe someone has another idea.
And, more fundamentally, is there a better approach to doing this than what I’ve outlined above? Thanks for any who took the time to read this!