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Acri-Data® Supervisory Control System


Acri-Data is a multi-language supervisory control program for use with Acrison weigh feeders providing users with the ability to access and modify set points, calibration entries and other functions within the feeder controllers. Acri-Data interfaces with up to 20 controllers using wired serial or network communications. It can also be supplied for operation on a standard Microsoft® Windows PC, or as an embedded GUI as the primary user interface of a complete system controller.

In addition to providing set point access to controllers, Acri-Data's screen-oriented operation provides graphical displays of feeder and/or feeder system status, individual graphs of feeder performance, trending, automatic sampling, an alarm/event log, as well as other maintenance related features. These and other features are described below.

System View Screen Functions

The user-designed System View Screen is the primary display screen, providing a view of all feeder controllers in a system. It is from this screen that the user has the ability to:

  • Define a feeder system
  • Create/save/load virtually unlimited system recipes
  • Enter an overall feed rate set point
  • View overall total feed rate
  • Run/stop the feeder system
  • View a system summary
  • Access other system and controller functions

Icons provide important feeder data such as set point, feed rate, motor speed and current, as well as color-coded blocks indicating alarm/message status. Off-line controllers appear with a red X. From this screen, the user may access the sampling screen and the alarm/event log.

Sampling Screen

The Sampling Screen permits the user to specify which of four parameters [feed rate, hopper level (weight-loss feeders), motor speed and motor current] to sample and graph. The user may specify the sampling interval, the number of samples to take (or sample continuously) and several appearance options. Automatic or manual determination of axis ranges may also be selected.

Sampled data may be saved, printed, or exported in a Microsoft® Excel format for further evaluation or processing. A special Excel Workbook is provided with Acri-Data for this purpose. Up to 20 feeders may be sampled and graphed at the same time.

Alarm/Event Log

The Alarm/Event Log Screen provides a comprehensive record of the alarms and/or events encountered by the system feeders. Each alarm or event is described in a single line, along with the date and time of its occurrence, and the identity of the feeder controller (if applicable). System log on and log off is also recorded, as is the starting and stopping of the Acri-Data application itself.

Alarms in the log appear in red, and messages appear in yellow, to permit quick identification. The log may be saved and/or printed and may be set-up to automatically save to a specified location at a selected interval. This can permit multiple user access to current system status over a network.

Feeder View Screen

The Feeder View Screen is accessed by clicking/touching on an icon on the System View Screen. This screen displays set points and functions associated with a single feeder controller, rather that a complete system. The screen provides a complete view of a feeder's status including operating modes, run/stop status, alarm and message indicators, motor speed and current, scale weight, and hopper level (weight-loss feeders). Feeders can be started or stopped, modes can be changed, and refill (weight-loss feeders) or rezero cycles (200 Series Feeders) can be initiated by clicking on the set points tab at the top of the Feeder View Screen, set points and password-protected “calibration” entries can be entered or changed. Acri-Data provides the ability to individually password-protect (lock) any of the operational data entries.

Data which changes over time, such as feed rate, scale weight (weight-loss feeders), etc., is viewable from the Data Screen Tab.

Automatic System Shutdown

Acri-Data provides a standard system shutdown feature permitting the user to specify certain events which must stop all feeders. Individual delays may be associated with each event.

Summary Screen

This screen provides a chart that lists the values of important parameters associated with each of the system feeders. In addition, totals are provided in the appropriate columns, such as for external gravimetric set points (percentage). The chart can be printed and/or saved, and can be refreshed on demand.

Multi Screen

Multiple parameter values may be sent to one or more feeder controllers, without using a recipe, via the Multi Screen.

System Recipe Screen

Three types of System Recipes are available in Acri-Data. Data Recipes containing only parameter values, graphical recipes containing the System Screen design, and graph plus data recipes, which contain both data and graphical information. Data Recipes can be created while Acri-Data is operating on-line and any recipe may be loaded “on-the-fly” without stopping the system. Each recipe is a text file, which can consist of up to 27 selected parameters and modes in each feeder controller (user selectable); the identification of the feeders that were selected for the system; the design of the System View Screen, plus optional commands to automatically run or stop a system of feeders when the recipe is loaded. System Recipes require a system level password.

Acri-Data can create as many System Recipes as the storage capacity of the hardware permits, typically many thousands. System Recipes can be edited offline with a standard text editor, if desired.

Communications to Controllers

Acri-Data offers numerous communication choices ranging from simple, point-to-point, wired serial communication and wired Ethernet.

Configuration of Acri-Data is accomplished via the Communications Screen.

Acri-Data directly supports Modbus / TCP operating as a master.