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Process Control with spreadsheets and duTecDDE

spreadsheet postcard Yes, it is possible to control a process with Windows 95/98, Excel, a duTec I/O PLEXER and duTec's new DDE driver.

Microsoft cautions that Windows 95 and Windows NT are not "hard" real-time operating systems. System delays are unpredictable, and can affect the sequence of events.  Even so, you can use the  DDE feature to prototype a control scheme, perform simple monitoring, or control slowly-varying or non-critical values.

You can to download a copy of a simple Excel spreadsheet which illustrates the technique. You can also download a demonstration version of  the duTecDDE driver, which includes some "virtual hardware" to exercise the spreadsheet.  Click here for more information on these downloading options.

We recently wrote a technical article on the subject for Canadian Process Equipment and Control, excerpted in the August, 1997, issue.

This article points out what's easy [unit conversions and monitoring], what's harder [continuous plotting], and what's dangerous [attempting to control critical processes in real time without an I/O PLEXER.] You can adapt our tools to test a control scheme or diagnose the behavior of a process under the control of an MMI or an I/O PLEXER. The familiar interface and wide computational power of the spreadsheet makes these tasks easier than you might expect.

Click here to find a copy of the article.

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