Network communication software allows G6 systems to easily interface with plant networks

Jan. 25, 2008

Key Technology introduces OPC-compliant network communication software for all G6 optical sorters and automatic defect removal (ADR) systems. The software allows the G6 systems to easily interface with plant networks, extending machine monitoring and communication control capabilities beyond the plant floor to the control room.

With the only sorters in the food processing industry that provide OPC-compliant communication software for plant-wide networking, Key offers a powerful new opportunity for processors to improve operations.  Seamlessly interfacing G6 sorters and ADR systems with the plant network increases automation, which optimizes the process by reducing operator error. The communication capability also speeds response times if product quality or operational issues arise, which improves final product quality and maximizes product yields.

Machine monitoring allows the plant network to read various settings on the user interface, monitoring both machine status and product data. The quality of incoming product as defined by the rate of occurrence of any number of specific defect categories can be monitored over time and charted to identify trends. Machine settings such as the size threshold of each defect category, and machine activity such as the rate the ejectors are firing at each type of defect, can be monitored.

The communication software provides data to the network, which enables processors to program their networks to alert operators or administrators if certain predefined conditions occur. The network can now respond intelligently to specific product quality or machine performance conditions, triggering the network to page or send an email or instant message to key people, enabling them to address and remedy the situation quickly.

With the network communication capability, specific machine functions can now be controlled remotely or automatically. Product changeovers can be automatically achieved via the network by recalling the product set-up file from memory. Machine settings can also be adjusted remotely, either automatically in response to certain predefined conditions or manually from the control room.

The OPC-compliant network communication software is available for all G6 sorters and ADR systems, which include Keys current family of Optyx and Tegra sorters and ADR 5 as well as legacy sorters and ADR systems and non-Key sorters that have been upgraded with the G6 electro-optical platform.