Friday, July 10, 2015

Modern .NET interface for developing applications that control and communicate with control systems.

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced its new .NET Controller Software Development Kit (SDK) for writing custom Microsoft Windows software applications that communicate directly with Opto 22 SNAP PAC controllers. This new SDK is well suited for machine builders, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and others who integrate custom applications with Opto 22 control systems. The .NET Controller SDK for SNAP PAC supports modern .NET frameworks and Visual Studio environments, which reduces the time and cost of software development and testing.

Developers use the .NET Controller SDK for SNAP PAC to build software applications that directly access the control program, or “strategy,” running on a SNAP PAC controller. Applications can read from and write to integer, float, and string variables and tables, as well as analog and discrete input and output points.

Steve Grudzinski, electronic systems engineer at optical components manufacturer Optiforms, uses the .NET Controller SDK in a precise plating process that must be tailored for each part. A Visual Basic software application accomplishes this by exchanging data between an inventory system, a SQL database, and a SNAP PAC control system. In the process, individually barcoded parts are first identified using laser scanners. For each part, plating requirements and corresponding equipment settings are pulled from the SQL database. Equipment settings are then sent to the SNAP PAC control system which adjusts the plating equipment as required.

More Communication Options
The .NET Controller SDK for SNAP PAC joins another Opto 22 resource for developers, the .NET OptoMMP SDK for SNAP I/O, which lets developers quickly create custom applications for use with Opto 22 I/O products such as SNAP Ethernet I/O. Applications built with the .NET OptoMMP SDK provide direct I/O communications with SNAP I/O “brains” (I/O processors) that support the OptoMMP protocol, while the .NET Controller SDK can directly access a strategy or control program running on a SNAP PAC controller.

Requirements and Availability
The .NET Controller SDK for SNAP PAC is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (32-bit & 64-bit), Windows 8.1 Professional (32-bit & 64-bit), and Windows Server 2012 R2. The SDK supports Microsoft's .NET frameworks 4.0 through 4.5 and Visual Studio 2010-2013, includes sample .NET code and comprehensive documentation for packages and classes, and is available as a 100% managed DLL. The .NET Controller SDK for SNAP PAC is available now and can be downloaded free of charge from the Opto 22 website here!

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