“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers!”
To be everywhere is to be nowhere
The other day, I was reviewing a classic philosophical book on success. It is called, “Letters from a Stoic” written by Seneca. Among the great advice given in this book is this gem that really struck me: “To be everywhere is to be nowhere.” This means that to achieve excellence in any area requires focus, and that we cannot focus on every aspect of our lives at once. It made me think of really successful people: Einstein, Usain Bolt, Shakespeare, Mozart, Churchill, etc. I hadn’t really thought about it, but these people excelled in one area and, not so much in others. There are a lot of motivated people, and perhaps you are one of them, but until motivated people focus and devote their time and efforts to one particular area, it is difficult to rise out of mediocrity. Do you have too many areas of focus like I do?
Matrikon OPC GDA
One particular software application I have been using is called Matrikon OPC GDA (General Data Access) Server. This application allows OPC clients to access and pull table data from databases like SQL Server, Oracle, or Access. To work properly, the table needs to be set up such that there are columns for “Tagname”, “Timestamp”, and “Value”. The Matrikon GDA software will “serve” the data entered into this table as an OPC item. At that point, any OPC client, including PHD, Experion, DeltaV, PI, IP.21, etc. could access the information readily. There are a couple of items to be aware of:
1. Existing data in the table will not be served up as historical data
2. Data will only be published to OPC clients at the moment it is entered in the table. If you are not collecting the data at that instant, you will miss it.
3. The OPC client, in case it is polling the GDA server, will not continuously repeat the same values, but will collect as if on an exception basis. That means if 43.89 is entered into the table at 8:00 am with a timestamp of 7:00 am, the raw data collected in PHD, for instance, will only show one value at 7:00 am of 43.89.
4. You will, most likely, need to relate the database values with a tag name, since, in most systems like LIMS or ERP systems, the concept of a “tag” is foreign and not built in.
5. You will probably need to assemble the “tagname,” “timestamp,” and “value” data from multiple tables. Views may be helpful in this area.
I can recommend this software to companies wanting to reliably collect or share relational table data. The price for this is under $3000 – well worth it.
If you know of anyone else that would like to be included or if you’d like to be excluded from future Process Wise Friend emails, let me know. I hope you’re having your best day so far!
Process Information Expert!