NPCS :: Tarkus
NPCS is a SCADA software package with efficient, simple and fast navigation between process screens, trending graphs, alarms history and other services. Operators learn it quickly and find it easy to use. Using virtualisation technology we have taught an old dog (NPCS is 20 years old) some new tricks. Your control programs will run "as is" without recompiling a single source file on both WINDOWS XP and LINUX. The core improvement is the development of a 32 bit driver for the AMD PCNET FAST Ethernet 10/100 MHz controller. No doubt it would have been impossible to pull this rabbit out of the hat without the experience gained from the significant development effort we invested in the RTAI hard real time LINUX kernel. Performance is exceptional compared to ArcNet. A test in our lab between a 2.2 GHz P4 laptop and a 500 MHz PIII desktop transferred data at an astonishing 1,920,000 bytes per second (excluding the IP/ICMP overhead). Available bandwidth would be about twice as much because the driver operates in full duplex mode.
With this technology ArcNet can go today (you won't need these hard to find ArcNet hubs anymore). You no longer need to find motherboards with ISA slots either. Finished are the days of pulling your hair out the top of your head to install a bootable QNX partition on a hard disk. Nor should you have any worries about the graphics controller. Even the floppy drive will work! What a refreshing change. More, you do not have to plug in any specific boards choosen from a list of limited options. Any PC will do out of the box. That's the full power of virtualisation technology. We endeavoured to provide an upgrade path to our customers at an affordable cost and without having to change everything and thus endure a period of instability after the upgrade. Your plants must run at top performance and upgrading control software *cannot* be an excuse for downtime. We can proudly say we have delivered on the promise. And, there is more. We are currently asking our customers what features they would like to see added as well as what other specific features they would like to get fixed. Following the survey we will implement into the final release of TARKUS most of the customer suggestions. We are sensitive to your needs and NPCS will continue to be a product whose development is driven by customer preferences. It should not be any other way.
- We have already started to work on the following features:
- Increase the number of IO points each control node can support,
- DDEdrv: A DDE driver to dynamically exchange data with WXP applications like INTOUCH drivers and EXCEL anywhere on the network.
- LNXHRTdrv: a LINUX driver to integrate NPCS with the RTAI hard real time (50 us response time) Application Programming Interface.
Founded in 1984, the company focuses on developing NPCS, a QNX (Soon to be ported to Real Time Linux) real time process control and SCADA software package. We are system integrators specialised in applications that require complex communications system design.
We are committed to turnkey system integration and application specific control programs development.
We use Opto 22, Allen Bradley, Digitronics, Bristol and Babcock, Omron and GE Fanuc hardware.
Current Development Project: Porting NPCS to DIAPM-RTAI - A Hard Real Time Executive for Linux.
Your Real Time Network Tomorrow: Ethernet at 100 MHz - that's as good as its going to get on the plant floor.
Long live ATM (well, ATM would have been nice for process control but may be a bit complicated to configure).