In a world where technology and electronic devices are moving forward at a rapid rate, more and more pieces of equipment integrated into machines require software to be written for them to perform the required task. These range from items such as vision systems and positioning devices to the overall machine control system.
At CAT we always write the main machine control software and user interface in-house. This enables us to keep control of all aspects of the software and ensure it works perfectly with the machine for which it has been written.
Our in-house engineers understand the relationship between the software, the control hardware, the mechanical features and the required capability of the machines we build. This understanding allows the correct hardware to be specified at the beginning of a project and all the machine requirements to be taken into consideration during the software design and writing process leading to enhanced synergy between the machine’s hardware and software. Our understanding of the overall machine functions also enables software in integrated equipment to be programmed to interact with the machine’s hardware and software in the most efficient manner.
CAT have experience in many software platforms and as such are comfortable using software packages from several of the larger and smaller companies in the PLC and machine control fields. Our wide experience allows us to advise on which platform would be best suited to our customer’s required application to ensure a mutually agreed and tailored solution.
When writing software we use libraries, classes and function blocks etc that we have built up over the years. This speeds the software writing process by allowing us to use code that is tried and tested and eliminates the need to code and debug the required functionality from scratch. Our library of components makes adding functionality later on in a project much faster and easier.
Each machine type will have a user interface tailored to suit its exact function. This gives the most feedback to the users and allows the maximum amount of information about the machine and the process it is performing to be gathered, stored and displayed.
The type of function a machine performs dictates the type and amount of data that is generated. We have produced many types of machine and as such have handled many different types of data generated in significantly different quantities. We understand the importance of the data, how to relate it to the components being tested and the ability to recall that data at a later time. This has helped us establish methods for the acquisition and storage of many different types of data.