March 2, 2007
New automation software suite for SNAP PAC Systems™ simplifies development time and lowers costs for industrial automation systems.

Opto 22, a developer and manufacturer of hardware and software for industrial automation, remote monitoring, data acquisition, and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, has introduced PAC Project, a new automation software suite that makes developing applications for industrial automation, control, data acquisition, and remote monitoring much easier. Because PAC Project is specifically designed for use with Opto 22's new SNAP PAC System™—a collection of programmable automation controllers (PACs), brains, and I/O—configuration, development, troubleshooting, and maintenance are much simpler.

The PAC Project software suite includes all of the control programming, human machine interface (HMI) development, and connectivity tools needed to design, develop, and maintain sophisticated industrial control, monitoring, and data acquisition applications. The affordability and single tagname database development environment of PAC Project make this software suite far less costly and more user-friendly than traditional automation software development tools. At the same time, tight integration with the SNAP PAC System hardware provides control programming, HMI development, and OPC connectivity that offer simplicity, versatility, and reliability at the industry's most competitive price (the Basic version of PAC Project is free).

PAC Project is available in two versions: Basic and Professional. PAC Project Basic provides all the functionality required for most modern industrial applications and includes PAC Control™ for control programming, PAC Display™ for HMI development, and PAC Manager™ for system configuration. PAC Project Professional includes the same components, plus added features and applications for advanced networking, enterprise connectivity, and legacy hardware support.

Control programming development is accomplished with PAC Project's PAC Control. PAC Control—whose origins date back to 1991—is an intuitive, flowchart-based control programming and debugging tool that offers both a comprehensive, plain-English command set and a powerful advanced scripting language. This dual programming option makes PAC Control ideal for both new users—who are likely to find flowcharting a less complicated alternative to ladder logic programming—and experienced control engineers— who prefer a procedural approach to program development similar to C or Pascal. PAC Control offers commands for analog process and digital sequential control, complex math, conditional branching, string handling, serial device control, subroutines, PID loop control, data arrays, and other complex functions—all within a single programming environment. Additionally, PAC Project Professional supports configuration of the Opto 22 SNAP PAC controllers' dual Ethernet interfaces to allow segmenting the control and I/O network from the business local area network (LAN), commands for use with legacy hardware control devices such as Optomux® and mistic™ systems, and importing of control strategies from legacy Opto 22 software applications like FactoryFloor's OptoControl™.

For HMI development, the PAC Project software suite also includes PAC Display, an HMI configuration and runtime application used to design and run operator interfaces on Microsoft Windows®-based clients. Utilizing PAC Display, SNAP PAC System users can create simple or elaborate graphical human-machine interfaces using an assortment of original or included industrial symbols, jpegs, and bitmaps. Support for alarm management, recipe handling, operator logging, real-time and historical trending, multimedia, and unlimited tags allows PAC Display to compare favorably against competing HMI development applications costing thousands of dollars more per seat.

The Professional version of PAC Project adds OptoOPCServer™, an OLE for Process Control (OPC) 2.0-compliant server used to consolidate and publish SNAP PAC System data to OPC-aware clients—including third-party HMIs such as Wonderware's InTouch®, Intellution's iFix®, aware clients—including third-party HMIs such as Wonderware's InTouch®, Intellution's iFix, and Iconic's Genesis®. OptoOPCServer works with another PAC Project Professional component, OptoDataLink™, to create and facilitate a bi-directional data transfer link between the SNAP PAC System and enterprise databases, like Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and MySQL, among others.

Finally, PAC Project includes PAC Manager, a configuration and maintenance tool used to inspect and view I/O data associated with the control strategy in real-time.

PAC Project Basic and Professional will be available March 1, 2007. PAC Project Basic is available as a free download from Opto 22's website at www.opto22.com. PAC Project Professional is priced at $999 USD.