EET/CPET 499

 

FINAL PROJECT

 

 

 

INTERNET CONTROL COUNTER

 

Scott Taylor

December 12, 2000

Table of Contents

 

An Introduction to the Internet Counter Controller.............................. 1

Responsibilities................................................................................. 1

IMQSS............................................................................................. 2

INTERNET COUNTER CONTROLLER......................................... 2

Client Side........................................................................................ 3

Server Side....................................................................................... 3

Counter Controller............................................................................ 4

Visual Inspection.............................................................................. 4

CONCLUSION................................................................................ 4

         

Table of Figures

Figure 1 – Internet Counter Controller Setup........... 2

Figure 2 – Client Program Screen Shot........................... 3

Figure 3 – Information Server Screen Shot.................. 4

Figure 4 – Camera View Screen Shot.................................. 5

 

Table of Appendices

 

 

      APPENDIX A – RED LION COUNTER CONTROLLER…………….6
      APPENDIX B – CLIENT AND SERVER CODE………..…………….7

 

 

 

 

An Introduction to the Internet Counter Controller

The Internet Counter Controller was developed to expand on a previous project called Integrated Manufacturing Quality Software System (IMQSS).  The IMQSS project was geared toward the quality improvement of a manufacturing system by the use of bar-coding for part identification and verification.  The Internet Counter Controller was added to increase the functionality of the system as a whole.  This was accomplished by adding communication features that stepped over the boundaries of factory floor data collection.

 

Responsibilities

The previous IMQSS project was developed by Jeremy Jackson and I.  Since I have taken on this project by myself, the Internet Counter Controller responsibilities are my own.

 

IMQSS

The IMQSS was developed to raise the quality threshold at WaterFurnace.  Before this system was initiated, the only computer control of manufacturing processes was the run test station.  No computer verification of parts or refrigerant charge was done.  With the IMQSS system, the unit being tested will have the correct compressor and refrigerant charge.  The IMQSS consists of three parts:

 

·        Compressor part number verification

·        Unit refrigerant count verification

·        Run-test verification

 

Each of these parts consists of hardware and a software interface.  The software interface was developed in Visual Basic.  To facilitate data entry, each station employs a bar-code wand that is “wedged” into the keyboard. 

 

INTERNET COUNTER CONTROLLER

As mentioned previously, the Internet Counter Controller was designed as an engineering tool to communicate through the Internet with the counter controller at the refrigerant charging station.  This type of communication has these advantages:
·        Remote troubleshooting

·        Remote set point programming

·        Remote operation

·        Remote database data collection

 

Each of these parts consists of hardware and software interfaces.  The client interface was developed as an ActiveX document using Visual Basic and must be executed on Internet Explorer.  The server was also developed using Visual basic but runs only as an executable file on the server machine.  A video camera was used to verify to the remote user that the correct number is displayed on the counter controller.  Figure 1 is a representation of the complete control system.


 


Figure 1 – Internet Counter Controller Setup.

 

Client Side

As mentioned previously, the client side interface was developed using an ActiveX document.  An ActiveX document is an application that runs inside a container, such as Internet Explorer, instead of running as a stand-alone program.  They are much like word processing documents or spreadsheet documents.  These files must be viewed using a container program such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.   Figure 2 shows the client side program in operation.

 

 

Figure 2 – Client Program Screen Shot.

 

The IMQSS program was modified by adding the Winsock control to allow the use of  the TCP/IP protocol.  The unit model number and unit serial number are read into the client computer using the bar code wand.  The client computer then sends the data to the data server as a request for unit data.  In this presentation the server is also being used to control the Internet Counter Controller.  The compressor data and unit charge data are then sent back to the client computer and displayed for the user.

 

Server Side

The server side interface was also written in Visual Basic but is not used as an ActiveX document.  It runs only as an executable file on the server computer and is a separate program than the client side program.  The server side program uses the Winsock control to communicate with the client computer using the TCP/IP protocol.  The server is set by the properties of the Winsock control to listen to port 1007 for a request for data.  When a request is made, the server gets the data from the client, finds the information in the database and sends the requested data back to the client.  Figure 3 shows the server program in operation.

 

 

Figure 3 – Information Server Screen Shot.

 

As you can see, the server can also gather important information as the IP address of the client, number of connections, and data that is being received and sent.  The server also has the task of setting the counter controller to the correct setting.  By using the MSComm add-in that is provided with Visual Basic a connection can be made with the controller through the serial port.  The server program sends the proper commands to set the controller to the desired setting.

 

Counter Controller

The counter controller has a plug-in RS232 card that can be used to communicate with other devices such as printers, computers, etc.  Display values, set point alarm values and set point states can be controlled through the serial loop.  The controller also contains a plug-in relay card that provides 2 sets of dry contacts that can be used in conjunction with the set points of the controller.  This function can provide on/off control of the assembly line if the set point is reached.

 

Visual Inspection

Using the client program and the server program are very effective tools in solving the problems of remote control of the counter controller.  However, a problem could occur with the server and data could become corrupt and therefore setting the controller to the wrong setting.  To guard against this I have added a web cam to view the setting of the counter controller.  I used NetMeeting as a viewer for the web cam.  Figure 4 shows the output of NetMeeting and the web cam.

 

 

Figure 4 – Camera View Screen Shot.

 

With this visual inspection any errors that might occur can be eliminated and a trust can be built between the remote user and the system.

 

CONCLUSION

As you can see there are many possibilities and advantages of the Internet Counter Controller.  I have learned a great deal about Visual Basic, ActiveX, and Internet communications.  I am very interested in the ActiveX documents and see a very good market for their applications.  The ActiveX documents makes it very easy to create Internet enabled programs that can be executed in the web browser.  I believe that this technology is the path that devices on the Internet will take.

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A – RED LION COUNTER CONTROLLER

 

 

APPENDIX B – CLIENT AND SERVER CODE