Crystal Vision

Automation and control systems for industry, agriculture and research


CrystalOPC is an OPC-based process control software application. It is designed, developed and maintained by CrystalVision and used in many of our small and medium-sized projects to provide our clients with a user friendly interface to the process control and automation devices.  CrystalOPC is a feature packed industrial automation SCADA/ HMI application with an easy learning curve, ideal for small to medium sized system process monitoring. With CrystalOPC it’s easy to collect data from sensors and other devices on the shop floor or in remote locations and present those in a graphical user interface for control and monitoring purposes. From the different display screens inside the CrystalOPC application an operator can follow the state of a process, and interact with the process system. CrystalOPC is the only software tool needed to build a complete system process monitoring solution. You can easily set up graphic visualization of the automation system and receive real time and historical information from the plant floor to the boardroom and beyond. Besides control and monitor of a process, the application also includes powerful historic data processing and an advanced alarm management system. The historic data can be easily presented in charts, and with a click of the button be exported to an excel datasheet. With the advanced alarm management system you can use multiple alarm types to set up a secure system to let the operators know exactly when something has happened in the production  CrystalOPC provides full SCADA/ HMI functionality for computers running Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP. With CrystalOPC you are able to easily collect data from a wide range of shop floor devices. It communicates with all OPC servers following the OPC-DA standard which means that you can easily get access to thousands of different PLC’s and other devices. With a system using CrystalOPC you can exactly control and monitor the system status in a multitude of automation environments, which contributes to shorten lead times and an improved quality of your products.

Main Features

  1. Easy to use HMI (Human Machine Interface)/SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) functionality.
  2. Data connectivity via the OPC-DA open standards interface protocol.
  3. Performs real-time data collection from PLC’s and other automation control devices through the OPC-DA standard.
  4. Communicates with any OPC-DA Server and allow values to be transmitted and received in real-time.
  5. Configurable update rate and tag monitoring settings provide ease of use.
  6. Multiple alarms, easily configured with alarm notifications through e-mail, SMS, printer and in the software GUI.
  7. History data easily accessible through charts, grids and with the option to export data direct to Microsoft Excel.
  8. HMI display with a built-in objects library for dynamic visualization of real time data with multiple control choices, like gauges, buttons, LED’s and more.
  9. Database archiving, historical trending, alarm management, data logging.
  10. Unlimited tags
  11. Integrated live development environment
  12. Built-in graph/chart tool with various trending features.
  13. Native data export directly into MS Excel.
  14. Sophisticated alarm and status messages.

Detailed Features

Database CrystalOPC uses a database to store historical data and tracking user settings, alarms, screen layouts and more. The choice of database is up to the customer, but at this date the native support includes: Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005, Microsoft Access, MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle.

Process Visualization

You have an option of a multitude of different controls that you can bind to a specific object that then receives the update of status of that object and changes its look accordingly. This means that you can have something as simple as a label that for example shows the value of a temperature sensor, but also that you can have an animated control that for example shows the level of a water tank as an animation. The display screens are easily accessible in a tabbed interface which means that switching between different areas of the system is very fast. The display screens can be printed or saved as an image to catch a real time snap shot of the process.

Tags (Process variables)

Each process variable that you want to include in the CrystalOPC application is internally called a ‘Tag’ which is more or less an object representing a particular PLC address or device. For each of these tags you can perform calculations, scaling of values, set the update rate, the data archiving rate, the related display controls and attach alarms. You can import/export a tag list for backup or moving to another computer and you also have an option to import a list of WizCon tags saved in CSV format. Another tag feature is the possibility to import a tag/value list for updating the values of multiple tags at once.


CrystalOPC has a very advanced trending engine for displaying historical, real-time or combined trends. The trending/charting module lets you create and view historic and real-time graphs of important system variables. The charts are printable, can be saved as an image and the data in a graph can by a click of a button be exported to a Microsoft Excel worksheet or a CSV-file (comma separated values).

Alarm Management

The built-in alarm management system contains not less than 11 different alarm types that can be set for each tag:

  1. 4 Limit Alarms (LoLo, Low, High, HiHi)
  2. Digital Alarm (active/not active)
  3. Equality Alarm (equal to / not equal to)
  4. Rate Alarm (value changed more than the optimal value)
  5. Deviation Alarm (value deviation from an optimal value)
  6. Bad Status Alarm (bad value from the OPC-server)
  7. Frozen Value Alarm (the value haven’t changed in the set time limit)
  8. Watchdog Alarm (checks network connectivity to devices)
Application pop-up screen[/caption] When a Tag triggers an alarm the operator/operators can be notified in a multitude of ways. Default is notification through an application pop-up screen on the local computer plus a logged event in the database for future use. But you can also receive the notification through a printer, through SMS to a cell phone and through an e-mail message.

Reports & Scheduling

You can in a few steps print historical data or export the data to an Excel-file. You can also easily print a list of past alarm events. You can also schedule reports, charts by time, or by a trigger tag which fires a report saving event and saves or e-mails the report/chart automatically.