Database connections provide ways and means

Northwest Analytical (Portland, Ore.)-which makes analytical software for understanding processes and improving quality-can create more useful ways to use information pulled from existing data in multiple areas. Jeffery L. Cawley, vp of Northwest Analytical, in a conversation with Control Engineering on May 16, 2002, explained that the software "dips into databases, pulls out information, and relates it in a way people understand."


This article is based on information from Opto 22 and Northwest Analytical and is provided as enhanced online coverage to the June 2002 issue of Control Engineering. For more on this topic, read

How to Get the Most from a Database

'' (Control Engineering, June 2002).

Northwest Analytical integrates data

Northwest Analytical

Quality Analyst v. 5.2 contains additional tools to prevent unauthorized data and parameter changes, which can help users meet U.S. FDA 21 CFR Part 11 requirements for electronic records. Source: Northwest Analytical

Jeffery L. Cawley, vp of Northwest Analytical, in a conversation with Control Engineering on May 16, 2002, explained that the software "dips into databases, pulls out information, and relates it in a way people understand." Software, such as Northwest Analytical's Quality Analyst 5.2, accommodates a range of skill levels. It provides a database connectivity wizard that allows point-and-click data connections or entry (or embedding) of complex SQL queries. Users can apply any number of filters based on the values of any field, by match, a range of values, or wildcard values, he says.

There's a greater need for process literacy in all areas of the enterprise, he says. Applications include comparing performance of plants, providing sales real-time knowledge about potential capacity to produce to prospective customer's specification, serving as an early warning system for a supply-chain system, and documenting a regulatory trail for possible audits.

Opto 22 application connects data flow in both directions

Using XML and SQL, Callaway Golf Ball Co. (Carlsbad, Calif.), is easily and directly accessing, reading and writing information captured from its plant floor to its corporate databases, according to Opto 22 (Temecula, Calif.).

Using an intelligent I/O system (Snap Ultimate I/O from Opto 22) Callaway has established a bi-directional connection between these databases and its golf ball manufacturing equipment and systems, thereby enhancing its ability to acquire real-time production data. More specifically, Callaway is moving crucial quality assurance data from inspection stations throughout its facility directly to SQL Server database tables.

The result has been dramatically lower implementation and capital costs due to the elimination of middleware software and hardware, and a near real-time view of production quality data from the generated SQL reports. The latter gives manufacturing managers the opportunity to detect (and correct) problems at their earliest stages. This has resulted in Callaway being able to increase its yield of golf balls from 33% to 99%, according to Opto 22.

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