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spirax sarco logoWhere do hardware manufacturers turn when they need software to complement their products? Spirax Sarco recently faced this problem and chose Tascomp's Prodigy SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software on which to base its new Metercom II energy management system.

For over 100 years Spirax Sarco has provided knowledge, service and products worldwide for the control and efficient use of steam and other industrial fluids. Metercom II is designed to help its customers save energy by applying effective Monitoring & Targeting (M&T) programs.

In developing Metercom II, Spirax Sarco decided to save time and resources by basing it on an existing software package. Following evaluation of several commercially available packages Prodigy industrial automation software was chosen for its range of facilities and in particular its sequence control language, named SLANG.

Andrew Cowan, Automation Engineer at Spirax Sarco commented, "The ability to design a system and manipulate data using SLANG gives Prodigy a major advantage over other systems we have looked at."

SLANG sequence control language allows you to quickly build control programs to add any level of customised functionality needed to create specialised applications like MeterCom II. Designed to be simple to use and engineer friendly, SLANG requires minimal programming skills or knowledge of computer language.

A library of functions is provided to interact with other parts of Prodigy to perform mathematical functions, manipulate databases, files, signals, control alarms, events, dialogs, etc.

SLANG has its own editor to simplify program building and typing is kept to a minimum with program statements being chosen at the click of a button. Only valid statements can be added to a sequence and are automatically validated making it impossible to create a program that is not syntactically correct. This leaves the user free to concentrate on the logic of the program.

Because SLANG is an interpreted language each instruction is immediately translated and acted upon by the computer. This significantly reduces development time as there is no need to compile it each time you test and run a sequence.

Other Prodigy facilities including displays and reports can also be fully customised. Any number of interactive displays can be built using the Display Builder. Displays can incorporate buttons, dials, forms, trends and animation to represent any type of application.

Versatile report options allow you to combine text, graphics and trends to help make complex information easy to understand. Reports can be generated manually or automatically at timedintervals or batch end for example and be distributed to printers, by fax, email or SMS text message to mobile cellular phones.

Prodigy comes with all drivers and OPC (OLE for Process Control) as standard, allowing communication with thousands of industrial hardware devices. Tascomp can also develop custom drivers and software functionality if required.

To speed development of Metercom II, Spirax Sarco took full advantage of Prodigy training and technical support. A range of training courses are available to meet user needs, and ongoing technical support is free to Prodigy resellers.

Andrew Cowan commented "Prodigy technical support is very good and problems are always solved promptly and effectively."

Basing Metercom II on Prodigy SCADA software has enabled Spirax Sarco to bring to market a specialised new product quickly and economically. As developers of Prodigy software, Tascomp offer a complete package for any company requiring software for monitoring, control, data acquisition and test engineering applications.

17th August 2007