Conair connects to Microsoft, brings production data to office

  • Easy, automatic way to store data in a central database
  • Use of Microsoft SQL Server database management system

Conair gravimetric blender products, including TrueBlend batch blenders, TrueWeigh continuous blenders and TrueWeigh extrusion controls, have extensive data-gathering capabilities. And now there is an easy, automatic way to store the data in a central database and generate company-wide reports by using Microsoft SQL Server, a database management system widely used in general business applications. This helps plastics processors to gather valuable data such as how much resin, regrind, color and additives they are using, and put it into a universal format automatically.

How it works

Each TrueBlend SB2 touch-panel control (Version 1.08.0 and newer) has the ability to communicate directly with a computer hard drive using SQL Server software and a standard Ethernet TCP network. When the control is first connected with the new database in the SQL Server, it will automatically create all of the data tables and data relationships required. Then, as the blender operates, it will periodically add data to the tables in the database. How often the data is written to the server is programmable depending on user requirements. Once set up, the system operates automatically, continually adding to the data base.

How much colorant was processed in Molding Cell #5 during second shift last Monday?

To make use of the data, users can implement Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and write a “query” that generates the desired report. A query might look for information on something as general as how much polyethylene has been used plant-wide in the past 3 months. Or, a query could seek very specific data such as how much colorant was processed in Molding Cell #5 during second shift last Monday. Companies with experienced SQL users may choose to write their own queries, or Conair provides standard query templates in system documentation, which then can be installed into SQL Server Reporting Services.

Processors who want to use the SQL Server reporting capabilities receive a pass code to unlock the data-export port on each blender. An Installation Guide leads the user through the installation of SQL Server software if it is not already installed within the organization. This system is commonly used for finance, inventory control and other applications in many companies. If it does not already exist, however, Microsoft SQL Server Express software is a free download.

The Conair blender reporting capabilities can also be used with the SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere system.

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