Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

PLC Excel
October 2002

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 51        October 2002
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Hello and welcome to October's newsletter. Today we tell 
how Windmill is helping protect the UK's water table 
from leaching pollutants.

We only send this newsletter to people who have 
subscribed - should you wish to cancel your free 
subscription please do so at

* Windmill News: Windmill Protects Water Table
* Excel Corner
* Exhibitions

Windmill News: 
Windmill Protects the Water Table from Pollutants

Last year the United Kingdom suffered the world's 
worst ever epidemic of foot and mouth disease. Although 
the UK is now clear of the virus, much is being done to 
make sure that the many millions of animals that were 
slaughtered remain no threat to the environment.

Windmill Software is being used in this effort to ensure 
that the animals buried in the mass graves at Great Orton 
airfield, Cumbria, are fully contained. It is essential 
that no leakage from the graves enters the water table 
and pollutes the surrounding area. Extensive drain works, 
pumping stations and storage areas have been created to 
collect any effluent and allow it to be removed for 

In partnership with Pacscom telemetry units and 
Europumps waste water services, Windmill software 
monitors the condition of all the parameters on site
including the pumps, drain levels, effluent silo levels 
and any alarm conditions. It displays these on screen 
so the operators have an overall status plan of 
the site. 

The main communications interface between the hardware 
and software is a Modbus serial link. Our Windmill COMIML 
driver ( makes 
it extremely easy to create a set-up to access the 
Modbus registers of the data acquisition units.

A user-friendly process mimic showing the various 
conditions around the site is provided by the 
Windmill Graphics package 
( Changing 
icons are used to represent on or off, running or 
tripped and high or low events. Aanalogue meters and 
live, updating text are used to show the analogue 
levels changing. 

For more details of this water table protection 
application please contact Windmill software at 
[email protected]

For more on the COMIML software used to access 
Modbus registers, and a free trial of its set-up 
program, see

For more on the Graphics package and to download a 
free demo program see

Excel Corner

We were recently asked how to open several files of 
logged data at once. There are several ways to do this

1. In Excel select Open from the File menu then hold down 
the Ctrl key on the keyboard whilst clicking the files 
you wish to open.

2. For groups of files that are next to each other, hold 
down the Shift key and click the first file and the last 
file of the group.

3. Open Windows Explorer and drag the files onto Excel 
from there.

For more tips on using Excel with Windmill see

Exhibitions and Conferences

Every other month we list forthcoming exhibitions and 
conferences related to data acquisition and control.

HET Instrument 2002
4-8 November
Jaarbeurs Utrecht Netherlands 
The event for industrial automation and laboratory 

12-15 November
Nice Acropolis France
Dedicated to navigation and positioning applications.

ISA South America
19-22 November
ITM EXPO Fairs & Convention Center Sao Paulo Brasil 
Features new technology, applications and products for 
instrumentation, systems and industrial automation.

BIAS 2002
19-23 November
Milan Trade Fair Italy
Thirtieth international automation, instrumentation and 
microelectronics conference and exhibition

IT & Automation 2002
26-28 November
Nurnberg Germany
For technologies facilitating the continuous flow 
of information from sensor to boardroom.

Electronic House Expo
11-14 November
Long Beach Convention Center California USA
Product demonstrations and seminars on home networking, 
automation, entertainment and security.

18-21 November
Houston Texas USA
Sensors for Industry conference addresses the development 
and use of sensors and transducers, from theory to the 
application of new technology.

11-14 December
Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok Thailand
International conference on emerging industrial 

* Copyright Windmill Software Ltd
* Reprinting permitted with this notice included
* For more articles see

We are happy for you to copy and distribute this 
newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site 
or publication, providing the above notice is 
included and a link back to our website is in place.

An archive of previous issues is at
and an index of articles at

Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office,
Manchester, M8 8QR, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190
E-mail: [email protected]


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