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Blog

1308, 2018

EWU Science & Tech Career Fair

Attention Eastern Eagles:  Come visit with Jason at the Eastern Washington University Science and Technology Career Fair on October 18th 2018.  It's your opportunity to grill him about what it's like to work with Talos and see if a career in Control Systems Integration work might be a good fit for you. https://sites.ewu.edu/careerservices/

3007, 2018

Improved Chlorine Residual Control

by Cliff Laver, P.Eng Investigation In this post, we'll describe replacing an old stand-alone Cl2 controller that was being used by a municipal water system. The old system was cumbersome and difficult for the operators to use; performance was poor. A review of the site in question showed that there was a SLC PLC controller already present. There were spare analog I/O on the controller and the flow rate as well as the residual were being fed back to the PLC. Overview of the Stand-Alone Controller The stand-alone controller did not have much information available as to its exact functionality. It was old and falling apart. The display on one of these controllers was non-functional. There were some convoluted manuals on how to use the PID features. The controller was not maintaining a constant Cl2 residual, it would fluctuate and have difficulty maintaining the setpoint. Support was non-existent. Objective The [...]

907, 2018

IoT Brass Tacks Part 3

This is the conclusion of our 3-part "IoT Brass Tacks" series.  If you haven't had a chance to look over the first two parts, they can be found here: http://www.talosengineering.com/iot-brass-tacks-part-1 and here: http://www.talosengineering.com/iot-brass-tacks-part-2 Step 5: Azure Stream Analytics At this point, the ball count production data is arriving at the IoT Hub, and I’ve got an Azure-based SQL Server instance ready to receive and store the data.  The glue that holds this all together is Azure Stream Analytics. Once again, in Azure Portal we select “Create Resource” and type in “stream analytics” before selecting “Azure Stream Analytics Job…” There are quite a few helpful tutorials out there on creating a Stream Analytics job to pass IoT Hub data to a SQL Server.  In essence, we define an input, an output, and then a query to tie the two together: First the input (the IoT Hub Message data): To understand how [...]

1806, 2018

IoT Brass Tacks Part 2

In the our previous post, we set up the golf-ball machine to generate some data and brought it into KEPServer.  If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, it's here: http://www.talosengineering.com/iot-brass-tacks-part-1 In this article, we'll continue the exercise of connecting the system to the cloud... Step 3: KEPServer IoT Gateway to Azure IoT Hub I used two KEPServer documents to figure out how to accomplish this.  The IoT Gateway Manual is a thorough document on the functions and features of the KEPServer plugin: https://www.kepware.com/getattachment/96bdb7bb-4f9a-4cfe-be30-ef048d16dd83/iot-gateway-manual.pdf More helpful for this task, though, was this technote for connecting as an MQTT client: https://www.kepware.com/getattachment/64c9f1c6-b1df-421f-a59d-68814f5759e8/iot-gateway-mqtt-client-microsoft-azure.pdf The first step is to log into your account at portal.azure.com and create and create a new Microsoft IoT Hub: It’s not immediately clear what an “IoT Hub” is or does, but in a nutshell, it’s the server to KEPServer’s MQTT client.  When an event occurs, KEPServer will [...]

406, 2018

IoT Brass Tacks Part 1

Visit any industrial automation conference or walk any automation industry tradeshow floor lately and you’re bound to see and hear the marketing buzzwords “IoT” and “Cloud” in abundance.  Of late, these have been joined by “AI”, “Machine Learning”, and “Analytics.”  It seems that there’s an exciting new world just over the horizon.  Conspicuously lacking in the conversation, however, are specifics:  How does one “do IoT”?  Why does one “do IoT”?  We’re going to address the question of how here, with specificity.  The question of why we’ll save for another day.  In this article, we’ll get down to the brass tacks on IoT. The catalyst for this activity was a recent training webinar on Microsoft’s Power BI.  It’s a powerful, intuitive, and undeniably slick reporting package from Microsoft.  Even better, it’s free (for a limited, cloud based starter version). https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/ Notably, the software can consume and present data from practically any [...]

2105, 2018

2018 FABREO Expo at TRAC Center

To all of our food and beverage processing friends and clients:  Talos is pleased to announce that we'll be exhibiting at the 2018 FABREO Expo at the TRAC Center in Pasco.  The event takes place on June 13th and 14th and is focused on encouraging and supporting regional food and beverage producers through educational sessions and networking opportunities.  This is the 4th year for the show, which has gained traction with each iteration. If you're interested in discussing ways to apply automation technology to fuel growth, or if you need help supporting the tech that you have in place, stop by our booth for a chat.

3004, 2018

Rockwell’s VantagePoint – Options for Easy Reporting

Reporting software is one of our primary weapons in the battle to turn production data into “actionable” information.  Rockwell Automation’s VantagePoint (formerly Incuity) is one of the most versatile reporting packages available.  This is owed to its ability to connect with myriad data sources, model data in a unified representation of the plant, and display the information using any of several publishing mechanisms. As with other reporting packages, VantagePoint reports can provide insight into how equipment is functioning, downtime causes, and quality parameters by utilizing process data such as, level, pressure, weight, and temperature.  The information displayed can be useful to numerous people at a plant or facility: An equipment operator or maintenance team might use it to look for performance issues and maintenance cues to avoid downtime and increase performance. A production manager might look at the numbers for product produced, product wasted, line stops, and downtime. In this [...]

2304, 2018

CSIA Conference 2018

We're looking forward, once again, to attending the CSIA (Control System Integrators Association) Conference this week.  Even better, they've got it on the west coast this time (San Francisco), so it should be a quick trip for a change.  Every time we attend the Conference we learn new things about how to be a better integration company! https://www.controlsys.org/events/executive-conference

2204, 2018

Perry Tech Spring Employer Expo

Attention Perry Tech students:  Come visit with Doug and Skyler at the Spring Employer Expo on April 25 2018.  It's your opportunity to grill them about what it's like to work with Talos and see if a career in Control Systems Integration work might be a good fit for you. https://www.perrytech.edu/careers/employer-expo.html  

1904, 2018

Skyler Earns Ignition CORE Certification

We'd like to congratulate Skyler for passing the Ignition 7.9 CORE Certification test, and thank Inductive Automation for the training.  We're all excited to continue taking on new Ignition projects... https://inductiveautomation.com/integrators/results/39227?accountSlug=41834

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