McAllister Drilling uses Well Loggers to profile the soil at drill sites. Their original solution produced a graph, printed by a dual plotter in the field. However, their equipment was nearing end of life and was no longer serviceable. They found that newer models on the market were motorized instead of hand-driven, which made them more complicated. In effort to extend the life of their existing equipment, McAllister asked Magna for a component level repair. Our engineers soon proved the malfunctioning, dated circuit could be successfully retrofitted with a newer one, making the device more reliable, stable and sustainable. We also suggested the soil profile data could be stored digitally for analysis, rather than relying on dual plotter printing in the field.
To find a way to translate the output of an electronic circuit into licensed, graphing-capable software, at a reasonable cost. We used a PLC to gather the data, with an encoder to monitor the movement of the probe. This tied the pulses from the encoder, (representing distance) to the soil measurements. Next, we needed a software application to gather, store and display the information. All one-time software licensing is based on value/time, not value/event. We weighed the individual licensing cost of commercially available solutions against a custom developed application. Even though the custom solution was more expensive, since the cost could be spread across many units, and ultimately be owned by the client, we chose this approach.
We worked with a local software development company that provided a web-based application to work with the PLC in our device. The program now handles communication to set up logs, retrieve data and combine these two with the required manual entries. A complete test protocol including the graph can be printed, or archived and reproduced. As of September 2016, a revised version is being field tested.
||A 1:1, drop-in replacement tested and built
||Prototype and application tested
||Ongoing product development & testing