COMMANDbatch®       

Are you ready for the next generation of batching controls? COMMANDbatch is a new batching system that incorporates the latest technologies into your batch plant. We have taken the best features from our Eagle, Spectrum and AC2000 line of batching controls and integrated them into a graphical interface driven by Microsoft Windows XP®.
 

Integration with ease - COMMANDbatch uses Microsoft’s MSDE database, or optionally, a full-scale SQL Server™ database. Using industry standard SQL Server™ technology allows the system to store large amounts of historical business and batch process data for later analysis. This database makes it easier to integrate COMMANDbatch with COMMANDseries™ and allows the user to modify COMMANDbatch’s standard reports.

Easy to read graphical design - COMMANDbatch’s graphical interface gives the batch operator a means to determine plant status at a glance. On-screen icons representing your bins, scales, conveyors and other plant equipment are positioned similarly to the way your plant is laid out. Icons visually indicate whether the

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 equipment is running, idling or stopped. They are accompanied by added information such as target and actual batch weights. Through this unique graphical interface, the operator can quickly locate the plant area of interest and determine the status of the batching process.

Improved screen navigation - No more digging into text driven menus and searching through the many rows and columns of text to obtain your information. COMMANDbatch has the ability to jump from one screen to the next and has configurable menu buttons that give the user a way to access commonly used screens with a single click of the mouse. An optional dual-monitor feature allows users to view plant status on one monitor, while entering orders and setting up batches on another.

Generate your own reports - Users can create and export their own reports with the built-in report generator feature or by using common programs such as Microsoft Excel® and Access® .

Money saving technology - Storing large amounts of historical data could be the diamond in the rough that saves you money. The benefit is twofold. First, the use of historical batch result data, along with our newest batching algorithms, offers the industry’s best method for fast batching with less jogging. Second, you may want to compare current concrete production, sales volume or material usage with an equivalent period from a previous month or year. By monitoring these trends, you can make more realistic business plans by comparing actual vs. theoretical material usage over a period of time, saving money by spotting deterioration in plant performance that might otherwise go unnoticed.

The benefits of Windows®

Command Alkon has made the transition to a Windows based batching system for a number of reasons. Providing modern computing technologies to our industry is at the top of the list. Many recent technological innovations cannot simply be added onto existing systems because they affect the very foundation of the systems and the way operators use them. The COMMANDbatch approach allows us to not only deliver today’s technology to the producer, but also provides the foundation upon which the system can be enhanced.

Windows and related technology provides major benefits in many areas - ease of use, familiarity and connectivity - to name a few. Windows is easier to use than text-based systems. An intuitive, graphical design makes training new employees easier and reduces job stress. Most producers already have a workforce familiar with Windows operation and maintenance; furthermore, features such as networking make it easy to add user workstations to the system and facilitate connection to other systems.

Flexibility

The use of programmable sequences to control interactions between batching steps gives COMMANDbatch the flexibility to handle almost any control situation.

The start of each step, such as the feed of a particular material or the discharge of a scale, can be defined in terms of the status of other steps in the process. For example, the aggregate scale can be programmed to discharge when a certain amount of water has been discharged (with or without regard for cement and admixes), or cement can be programmed to wait until a certain amount of water and aggregate have discharged.

Any number of separate sequences can be developed and saved for use with special situations such as grout mixes or trucks with unusual loading characteristics.

Flexibility in the sequence approach allows the system to accommodate atypical batch plant designs without factory programming. Additional devices such as diverter valves and flop chutes can be controlled with their own sequence steps. COMMANDbatch easily handles features such as slurry mixers and traveling aggregate hoppers.

Security

COMMANDbatch is designed with a superior security model that requires user access via encrypted passwords and allows configuration of Delete, Edit, Execute, Insert, Read, Update, and Bulk Update privileges. Security is configured by user or user groups and can be defined at the form level or all the way down to each field on every form, providing the most advanced system security access to date.

All data modifications are time stamped with the user name, allowing for better auditing of changes to key information such as Mix Designs, Materials, Customer Files, Pricing, and Inventory Adjustments.

When manual batching occurs, each event is stored and can be retrieved showing time, date, material, amounts and which load was affected.

An independent real-time control processor maintains tight control of the plant during automatic batching and monitors manual activity regardless of the state of the Windows® computer.

All system alarms are stored and can be easily retrieved to show the alarm type, time, date, which load may have been affected and which user acknowledged the error. You can feel confident knowing that your batch system has the highest level of security.

Seamless integration

Connecting to COMMANDbatch and its centralized database with standard networking technology makes it easy for multiple users to accomplish their individual tasks simultaneously.

QC and credit personnel can update mix designs and customer credit status at the same time that orders are being entered and loads are being batched.

COMMANDbatch has been designed to facilitate a high level of integration with other Command Alkon COMMANDseries™ products. The internal data structures of COMMANDbatch are aligned with those of COMMANDconcrete and COMMANDconcrete 1. This high degree of symmetry between the two designs will ultimately allow the systems to automatically synchronize data.

Our initial release of COMMANDbatch supports all of the dispatch links provided by existing Command Alkon products, and enhancements will offer even tighter integration in areas such as credit control, inventory, invoicing and order entry.

The batch computer is no longer an isolated piece of equipment located in the batch house. Instead, it is poised to become an integrated part of a producer’s enterprise-wide information system.

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