I may be off the mark on my paradigm here, so let me know if the question doesn't even make sense to ask, but here goes:
We currently use excel with RSLinx to create DDE topics to import PLC data to generate reports for things like shift production, downtime, etc. Downsides to this method are numerous: data is logging in the PLCs, DDE topics are annoying and sometimes break for seemingly no reason, we have almost no ability to historize this data (as it'd have to be stored in the PLCs again, or break out some VBA to make some excel scripts to do that...), and I'm sure there's many more reasons.
So, I'm trying to shift away from that method into Ignition's Perspective Reporting functionality! I have played around creating a singular report thus far, and I've found mixed results, likely due to inexperience. I have things like operating efficiency over the last 5 minutes, hour, and total shift thus far. These log to my database on those time periods, and are therefore able to create a graph easily, or do a quick and easy calculation to find the average.
I'm wondering what the best practices would be for things like end-of-shift totals. Should I just calculate the total production number in the PLC, and then write that to the database once, moments before generating the report (or perhaps quarterly, then have the ability to break it down as such)?
Another question: is there a way to do simple math on multiple tags? For example, suppose you have a total production number through two production lines. On the report, I'd like to display totals for each line, as well as a "grand total" - in excel this is just a simple =sum, is there anything I can do like that? Or would it be better practice to do that math in the PLC, and write all three tags to the database?
Other advice is absolutely welcome regarding best practices, methods, etc!
Thanks for your knowledge!