Primitive dairy farming is a thing of the past as technology has taken control of the once laborious tasks of milking and herding. Since 1977, Afimilk (formerly S.A.E. Afikim), has been a global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing cutting edge computerized systems for the modern dairy farm and herd management. A pioneer in the field, Afimilk introduced the world’s first electronic milk meter 30 years ago. As technology has evolved, Afimilk has continued to provide advanced solutions for the milking parlor. Most recently, a partnership with Sealevel Systems, Inc. was created to help solve some unique hardware and software challenges. Sealevel was chosen as Afimilk’s hardware supplier due to exceptional reliability, outstanding product support and our ability to customize a solution to fit their exact requirements.
- USB to 4-Port RS-485 DB9 Serial Interface Adapter
- USB to 1-Port RS-485 DB9 Serial Interface Adapter
- Terminal block adapters for connecting RS-485 field wiring to multiple serial ports
- Customer installation drivers to allow for farm-friendly usage
- Specific COM port recognition, ordering and numeration requirements
The Sealevel Solution
Sealevel’s USB-to-serial devices are used to send and receive data from multiple milk meters and pass it along to the AfiFarm integrated software program so that it may be evaluated and maintained. Our standard items, 2402-TB4 and 2107, were able to meet and exceed all the hardware functionality requirements of the project as those items are both equipped with TB34 terminal block adapters at each port to allow for field wiring of RS-422 and RS-485. In addition to supplying the afore-mentioned hardware, Sealevel’s software engineers worked closely with Afimilk to devise a custom program capable of meeting a unique set of COM port assignments required for the application. The development of the custom program was completed by Sealevel and provided to Afimilk for inclusion with their AfiFarm software.
Key Design Challenge
Meeting Specific COM Port Requirements of the AfiFarm Software
Sealevel’s most daunting task was to develop a custom program needed to enumerate the various COM ports in a way they could be easily assigned within the AfiFarm software. The application-specific program required that no operator input be needed. The program had to be able to renumber the COM port assignments, place them in the desired order and then save maps of which ports were assigned to which devices. The Sealevel solution was designed and tested to meet the following specifications:
- No operator Input Required
- Application-Specific COM Port Enumeration
- Operates Seamlessly with the AfiFarm Software
- Operates Predictably with Multiple USB Devices