Over the last few weekends I’ve been working on a remote offset application. The idea is to give an operator an easy way of getting an offset to one or more machines from a central location. Sometimes doing this requires shutting down automation or running between machines.
The behind the scenes communication is really simple. The idea came from Jimi who suggested using the File Watcher to monitor a folder a CSV file which contains the data. To keep it simple he suggested just writing the data in the file to common variables and letting the cutting program decide how to apply the offsets.
I decided to use the JSON format instead of CSV. So the Remote Offset Server runs on any PC outside the cell and the Offset Client runs on the machine. The server generates a JSON formatted text file based on the users input and drops into a folder that is monitored by the client app running on the machine. The client app then reads the file and sends the values to the appropriate variables. I used Json.Net by Newtonsoft to serialize and deserialize the “adjustment” object. Each adjustment has a unique ID which is logged at both ends.
Here is a screen capture of the application in action. The window to the left is the server that would be running on a PC. The window on the right is the client application that would run on the Okuma P control.