Imagine a production environment where there are three substances A, B, and C necessary for production. These three substances come from two minerals to be purchased at variable going price of the market. This price is provided by PI in real time through PI DataLink. Each mineral contains some different levels of the substances in it. We have to meet some minimum levels of each substance for the production to go forward.

The goal is to minimize the total cost while meeting the constraints. The decision factors are how many units of each mineral we buy.

This kind of problems, and many many more, can be very effficiently solved in real time using PI DataLink and Microsoft Excel. To see exactly how we can solve such interesting optimization problems and much more come see my presentation at **OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010** titled "Intergrating the PI System with Third-Party Analytics" on Tuesday Septmber 14, 2010. **The registration is now open**!

PS: This problem is also known as the "diet problem" where we need to receive certain levels of different nutrients while minimizing the cost by choosing our diet basket properly.