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We have a program that was written in VB5 which is used in conjunction with Microsoft Access databases to perform automatic sequencers to start up and shutdown plant equipment such as boiler feed pumps, fans, mills, etc. The attached "Sequencer.zip" includes the original source files, compiled exe file, and Microsoft Access database file. Also included in the zip file are 4 screen shots that go along with this write-up to better explain the project. This project will be to convert the current VB5 using Access databases over to VB6 and use Microsoft Excel instead for the tables. The project would also include the clean-up items which are explained in more detail later in this project description write-up.
The visual basic program is generic in that the same executable can be used to run the sequence for many different pieces of equipment such as starting up a mill, starting up a boiler feed pump, shutting down a fan. Our control system is supplied by Metso Automation. They provide code that can be embedded in VB5 or VB6 to be able to read and write to their control system points. The steps of the sequence for any piece of equipment is determined and tabulated in a Microsoft Access database file. Each step has a column field for the tag name (point) and attribute in the Metso DCS the program writes to, the tag name and attribute the program looks at to say the step is complete, the time delay before proceeding to the next step, etc. There are other features of the program such as sending sequencer problem alarms to the Metso DCS, time stamping step completions which are captured in a log file, and a few others.
A screenshot of the current sequencer main menu display is shown in “main menu.PNG” which is included in the Sequencer.zip file. Visual Basic file Main.bas uses frmMain.frm and frmDataDsp.frm, which are also included in the attached Sequencer.zip file. The database file that it uses is shown in the “access- main menu.tif”. The actual database file is included in the Sequencer.zip file called Mtr_MaxApp.mdb.
A screenshot of a sequencer example for FGD Ball Mill A Start is shown in “sequence example.PNG”. Visual Basic file Sequencer.bas uses frmMain.frm and frmDataDsp. An example of the Access database file for an FGD Ball Mill A Shutdown is shown in “access- seq database.tif”. Note this is a 3 page tif. The actual database file is included in the Sequencer.zip file called Mtr_MaxApp.mdb.
Also included in the Sequencer.zip file are Setup_SBP.bas, Setup_DB.bas (which uses frmDataGrid.frm), and LogFile.bas.
We have successfully tested this program and it goes through the steps properly, writing to points, reading points for completion confirmation before proceeding to the next step, time stamping, and exporting the log file. However, there are three minor clean up items. The “Current Step” number in the lower right of the sequencer display does not work. Jump capability still needs added (for example if it gets to step 43 and the point it is reading is true then it would jump to step 67, otherwise it moves on to step 44). A fault circuit still needs added so a signal from the Metso DCS would come in and stop the sequencer.
Since you won’t have the interface with the Metso DCS (requires software, key, virtual DPU, etc that we won’t be able to provide you), you will not be able to fully test your program. So we would need the source files so we can functionally test it (we have a Metso DCS simulator to test it on) and modify if needed. We may have to tweak it here and there when we get it on site. The product we are looking for you to deliver is a VB6 program (including all source files) that is free of compile errors and is coded to use Excel tables.
If there are any questions on this project please contact me at. I also frequently talk to the person who originally wrote the VB5 program who is available to answer any questions you may have about the program itself.