Opto 22

43044 Business Park Drive, Temecula, CA 92590 USA
Local & outside the USA:(951) 695-3000
Toll-Free within the USA:(800) 321-6786
Fax: (951) 695-3095
Email: sales@opto22.com

New SoftPAC Software-based Controller Now Available

SoftPAC software-based controller for PC-based control

Now you've got choices!

SoftPAC works just like a standalone SNAP PAC S or a rack-mounted SNAP PAC R—but it runs your PAC Control strategy on a PC.

SoftPAC from Opto 22, Engineers' Choice Finalist for 2013

Because the same PAC Control strategy can run on both software and hardware controllers, you can begin developing your strategy without hardware or change the controller you use without having to redevelop.

SoftPAC takes advantage of a PC's speed, file handling, and storage capabilities. It's great for applications that require complex math, store gigabytes of data, or constantly read and write files.

SoftPAC is available now as a component of PAC Project Professional 9.3, or it can be purchased separately for just $399 per PAC. If you already own PAC Project Pro 9.0 or higher, you can get the upgraded suite including one SoftPAC for free.

SoftPAC is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Finalist for Machine and Embedded Control - PACs. (Be sure to vote for your choices.)



PAC Project 9.3 Just Released

PAC Project 9.3 includes SoftPAC

With enhancements to OptoDataLink and PAC Display, and the addition of SoftPAC to PAC Project Professional, PAC Project 9.3 offers some great new features.

The SoftPAC software-based controller is a new component included in PAC Project Professional 9.3. (You can also purchase SoftPAC separately.) Based on the SNAP PAC control engine, SoftPAC gives you the option of running your PAC Control strategy on an embedded or standalone PC.

OptoDataLink enhancements (see more details in the Tech Tip):

  • OptoDataLink now supports Access 2007 & 2010, SQL Server 2008 & 2012, and MySQL 5.1, as well as any database type that has an ODBC driver installed on your computer.
  • Multiple tags can be selected at once.
  • You can write whole or partial tables to Opto 22 devices.

PAC Display enhancements include improvements to the placement of some dialog boxes and, for those upgrading from FactoryFloor or OptoDisplay, a new option when sending Discrete Writes to integer variables that have no bit index specified.

For details on all the new features and bug fixes, see the PAC Project 9.3 Release Notes and the PAC Project Readme.



PC-Based Control: New Overview Shows Why and How To Set It Up

PC-Based I/O Control Overview

At Opto 22, we've engineered PC-based I/O systems for years. SoftPAC is our newest take on PC-based control, but it's just one way to accomplish what you need.

Our new PC-Based Overview lists reasons you may want to use PC-based control and some considerations to keep in mind when you're looking at options.

Then it shows five sample system architectures, including an assortment of networks, protocols, and programming languages. And it lists the part numbers you'll need for each option.

If you're considering PC-based control or wondering which Opto 22 products can be used together for PC-based control, take a look at the PC-Based I/O Control Systems Overview, form 1165.



Tech Tip: Better, Faster Way To Communicate with Databases

Included with the new version of PAC Project Pro are some significant updates for OptoDataLink. OptoDataLink lets your SNAP PAC System and OptoEMU Sensors share data with common SQL databases.

  • So, for example, the number of widgets you produce in each manufacturing line gets put automatically into the company accounting database.
  • Or the temperatures in your refrigerated storage rooms are saved automatically to a file so you can prove products have been kept as cold as required.
  • Or the changing values in a database table automatically determine the proportion of ingredients in your batch process.

Two major updates to OptoDataLink make accomplishing these tasks faster and easier. First, OptoDataLink is now compatible with the latest database versions:

Configure multiple tags at once in OptoDataLink
  • Microsoft® SQL Server™ versions 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2012
  • MySQL® versions 3.5 and 5.1
  • Microsoft Access versions 2000-2003 and 2007-2010
  • And other ODBC-compliant databases

Second, it's easier to work with large numbers of tags and data links. For example, you can:

  • Add multiple tags at once, just by checking them in the tree of tags (see image at right)
  • Access ranges of data directly (entire tables or portions of tables) instead of breaking them down into individual tags
  • Right-click to copy, delete, or rename a data link (see image below)

OptoDataLink also loads significantly faster now if you have a large number of databases.

OptoDataLink is included when you purchase PAC Project Professional, or you can buy OptoDataLink separately.

Questions on whether OptoDataLink is a good choice for your application? Contact Pre-Sales Engineering:
Call toll-free in the U.S. or Canada: 800-321-6786
Outside the U.S.: 951-695-3000
Or email systemseng@opto22.com

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