SCADA System for Hatchery Monitoring and Control

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"Thanks to the flexibility of LabVIEW, we developed more than just a classic SCADA system. The LabVIEW DSC Module gave us the tools to develop the SCADA application, but we used LabVIEW to go beyond the SCADA system and improve application functionality."

- Aleksandar Popović, UNO-LUX NS d.o.o.

The Challenge:
Developing a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) application with a multitude of tags and custom options not found in similar SCADA applications to communicate with many devices.

The Solution:
Using NI LabVIEW system design software and the NI LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module to quickly and simply create a complex hatchery SCADA application with optimal functionality, including advanced algorithms, a completely adjustable UI, and database connection.

Author(s):
Aleksandar Popović - UNO-LUX NS d.o.o.
Zoran Ignjatović - UNO-LUX NS d.o.o.

Introduction

Chicken hatchery is a facility where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions. There are many components of the system that need advanced technology that will allow to have full control over the process. This particular hatchery has a capacity of 800 000 eggs with one cycle lasting for 21 days. Using SCADA makes it easy to monitor the system at a component level and enables immediate reaction to certain events. By establishing a SCADA system not only monitoring and controlling is possible but additional advantages are gained, like lowering overall power consumption.

SCADA System Capabilities

For monitoring the states in large processes, SCADA system is really necessary. Thus, for monitoring of hatchery station with capacity of about one million eggs per month, which consist of a large number of incubators and technology units, SCADA system was implemented. Using SCADA makes it easier to set parameters, define recipes, follow parameters and make saving in electrical consumptions.

The SCADA system collects data from incubators and other technological units at the programmable logic controllers (PLCs), as well as areas using Modbus TCP/IP communication. SCADA application windows display system elements and parameters, such as pictures and numbers, and change color based on current status. For any machine, the user can read current parameter values to view the machine work cycle, and depending on the priority level, can change those parameters. While online or offline, users can watch signal trends logged to the database (including alarms or events) during system operation.

System Setup

We placed the navigation keys in the upper portion of the main window (see Figure 1); a list of actual alarms and events at the bottom of the window; and the currently opened SCADA screen, which depicts all machines as the application starts, in the center. In the upper right-hand corner, a legend shows facility element status colors.

We created six user access levels in the SCADA application. Available options increase at each level. To perform specific actions, a user logs in with the appropriate access level. A user with administrator access can create, modify, or delete other users. An administrator can also define the users that log in on local touch panels next to the PLCs.

The bottom of the main screen displays a list of currently active and unconfirmed alarms and events. Every row in the list describes one active or unconfirmed alarm or event and contains the date and time of the alarm or event activation; the date and time of the alarm deactivation; the name and description of the alarm or event; the alarm priority; and information about the alarm confirmation (date and time of the confirmation, name of the user who confirmed the alarm, and optional user comments).

Depending on the current alarm or event state, text is red for an active unconfirmed alarm, black for an active confirmed alarm, and green for an unconfirmed event.

On the SCADA application screen, system elements and parameters display as objects, such as pictures or numerical data. The system acquires data from the PLCs. If the system establishes communication with a corresponding PLC, the object observed in the SCADA application shows updated data. A green arrow next to the right edge of the object signals this to the user. If there is no communication with a PLC, the arrow is red. All active objects in the SCADA application that describe the current state of a certain part of the system have an arrow.

Active objects change color based on the current state—gray means ready to work; green means working; yellow means working, but paused; and red means error, loss of communication, or other alarm state.

Using the navigation keys, the user can see the desired SCADA screen in the center of the window. Clicking the “Machines” button shows a screen similar to Figure 1 that displays all machines along with current status and other basic system parameters. Clicking the supply button displays a screen that shows the entire power supply system (see Figure 2). From this screen, the user can activate a shutdown process of an individual power supply enclosure by clicking the corresponding object.

The user can open a screen that shows all the parameters of a certain machine (Figure 3) by clicking the desired machine object on the main screen. To change machine parameters in this screen, click the arrow next to the name of the machine or click the machine itself and select the desired machine. From this screen, the user can change assigned values for temperature, humidity, or CO2 concentration.

By pressing the appropriate key, the user can open additional windows that refer to each machine (parameters, recipe, and cycles). Also, clicking on the status of the desired device (such as heater, valve, or motor) opens a window containing information about that device, including time of work, number of failures, replacements, and repair records. Windows for several devices can be open simultaneously. Besides reading information about a device, the user can also turn the device on or off; change the operating mode (manual or automatic); reset the number of device failures; and confirm device service and replacements. To execute these actions, a user must have adequate access.

Conclusion

Thanks to the flexibility of LabVIEW, we developed more than just a classic SCADA system. The LabVIEW DSC Module gave us the tools to develop the SCADA application, but we used LabVIEW to go beyond the SCADA system and improve application functionality.

 

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