Here’s is a quick way to send email (text) messages from the PLC

Sending email messages from the PLC sounds like an easy task. However, very few applications do this on the production floor. This is probable due to the networks involved and using authentication can be complicated. In our example we will use a restricted Gmail SMTP server so no authentication will be required. We will walk through sending email and text messages from the PLC to Google Gmail. Once in your Gmail account, the message can be automatically forwarded to another verified email or SMS text message address.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an internet standard for email transmissions.

Google provides three different SMTP settings in which you can send email messages from a printer, scanner or application (PLC).

  1. SMTP relay service – used to send mail from your organization by authenticating with the IP address(s). You can send messages to anyone inside or outside of your domain.
  2. Gmail SMTP server – requires authentication with your Gmail/Google Apps account and password. Messages can be sent to anyone inside or outside of your domain.
  3. Restricted Gmail SMTP server – does not require authentication, and you will be restricted to send messages to Gmail or Google Apps users only.

We will use restricted Gmail SMTP server to send emails and text messages. This is located at aspmx.l.google.com. This does not require authentication so a greater number of PLC’s will be able to communicate to the server.

If you do not have a Google Gmail Account then you will need to set up this free service. Google Email Account

Now start the Do-more Designer software. This is available free of charge and is a fully functional package complete with a simulator. We will be using the simulator for our example. The actual Do-More PLC will have to have an Ethernet connection on board connected to the internet. (H2-DM1E)

Start a new project with the simulator or an existing project that has connection to the internet.

Under ‘Project Browser’: ‘Tools’ select ‘System Configuration’

In ‘CPU Configuration’ verify the IP address and Net Mask. This will be automatically populated when using the Do-more Simulator.

Hit the “Configure…” button if the IP address needs to be modified.

In ‘System Configuration’ select ‘Device Configuration’

Select “New Device” (If you do not already have a SMTP Client (Email) configured. If you do then select it and hit “Edit Device”)

Select ‘SMTP Client (Email)’ and hit ‘OK’

Beside the ‘Device Name’ enter a name for the Email Client. Ex: @MyEmailClient Beside the ‘SMTP Server IP Address’ hit the ‘DNS Lookup…’

Beside the URL: enter the server address aspmx.l.google.com and then hit ‘Lookup’. This will retrieve one of the IP addresses of the server. Then press ‘Select’ to return this address to the configuration page.

Ensure that the SMTP Server Port is set for 25. This is the default port setting. The Timeout setting can be left at 30 seconds. This is the amount of time for the PLC to wait before setting any error message. Enter your ”‘From’ Email Address” – Enter your Google Gmail account address. Select ‘OK’ to end the configuration. 
Ensure that authentication is disabled.

Now that we have our email client device ‘@MyEmailClient’ set up we can move onto programming the Email messages.

We use the EMAIL instruction in the PLC to send the messages. We will send two messages; one will be an email and the other a SMS text message. The subject line will be different to distinguish the two.

Here is the PLC program for sending both messages.

You will notice that the messages are triggered by a one shot.


Notice in the message we combine text with actual word and bit addresses that we want to send. The help function in the Do-more Designer software can provide further information.

Running the program and triggering the messages will send the Email to your google account.

You will notice if you open the message, a warning is given. ‘This message may not have been sent by’ appears because authentication is turned off. We can just ignore this message.

We need to now set up the Email forwarding to any account.

Under the gear sign in Google Gmail select the ‘Settings’.

Select ‘Add a forwarding address’

This will bring up a dialogue to now forward Email to a specific account. During this process a verification code will be sent to this address. You must enter this code for validation or respond to the Email in order for the forwarding address to work.

Email to SMS Gateways can be used to forward your message in a text format. Here is a website that will show a List of Email to SMS Gateways.

Here are some that we use in Canada: Example: 613-451-0104 on Rogers network = 6134510104@sms.rogers.com

  • number@txt.bellmobility.ca
  • number@sms.wirefree.informe.ca
  • number@sms.fido.ca
  • number@msg.telus.com
  • number@sms.lynxmobility.com
  • number@text.mtsmobility.com
  • number@mobiletxt.ca
  • number@sms.rogers.com
  • number@sms.sasktel.com
  • number@vmobile.ca
  • number@txt.windmobile.ca
  • number@sms.wirefree.informe.ca

Once we have the forwarding address in and verified, we can move onto the last step, which is creating a filter. The filters will allow automatically look at the incoming Email message and perform an action on the message. In our case we will be forwarding the message.

Under the settings menu, select ‘Filters’ and then ‘Create New Filter’

The first page contains the items that we are looking for in the filter. Fill in the address of the sender, which will be our Gmail account and the subject. The subject will be ‘ACC PLC _ GMail Text’.

Select ‘Continue >>’

Our filter parameters appear at the top of the screen. Now we can determine what to do when a message arrives.

  • Mark as read
  • Forward it to: (Select forwarding address)
  • Never send it to Spam

You can create as many filters as you wish. Sending to multiple accounts requires only to repeat the filter with the additional email addresses.

In the above example we used a restricted Gmail SMTP server. No authentication was required so we can send email with only an internet connection to the PLC.

Watch on YouTube : Here’s is a quick way to send email text messages from the PLC
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

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Who Else Wants To Discover Takt Time?

Takt time is the beat of manufacturing. It is the rhythm of the company for making products or delivering service. Do you know what yours is? Let’s take a look at takt time and determine how to use it to our advantage.

This is a German word taken from beats in music, and used in lean manufacturing. Takt time is calculated by the total available time divided by the customer demand. This must be greater than our ability to produce product or we would be letting our customers down.

Takt Time = Total Available Time / Customer Demand 

Total Available Time:
This is the total available time for work to be performed. Lunch, breaks and daily meeting times are removed from this total, unless they are constantly covered by relief.

Customer Demand:
This is the average rate at which customers purchase products or service. It is expressed in the same time frame as Total Available Time. You can also look at projected purchases from the customer.

Example:
Total Available Time (Day):
8 hour shift x 60 = 480 minutes
480 minutes – (2*10 minute breaks) – (20 minute lunch) = 440 minutes
Customer Demand (Day):
500 units / 5 days = 100 units a day
Takt Time (Product Unit):
Total Available Time / Customer Demand
440 minutes / 100 units a day = 4.4 minutes or 264 seconds
Each product unit must be produced within 4.4 minutes.

Takt time is the pace the customer requires product. This is different from Lead Time, which is the total production time from product start to finish. The other definitions that get confused are Cycle Time and Target Cycle Time. The Target Cycle Time is the pace at which we will produce to ensure we meet customer demand. Cycle Time is the time the process cycles. Keep in mind all of these items when looking at satisfying customer demand.

Takt time is just a value that will show you your ability to meet customer demand. Material or the lack of it behind each machine is the indication within manufacturing that will show you your current situation. Stock will buffer the unevenness of work and breaks in the manufacturing process. The goal is to synchronise the flow from the first process to the last.

If customer demand is greater than the ability to produce the product or service then you would find that stock would be running out.

If customer demand is less than the ability to produce the product or service then you would find an increase in stock.

A bottleneck is a point of congestion in a system. Work arrives quicker than what can be handled. It looks like the neck of a bottle which limits the ability to have liquid pass through. On the manufacturing floor, you can notice bottlenecks by the amount of material behind machines.

Bottleneck operations are those operations where the machine cycle > Takt Time.

The goal is to eliminate the bottlenecks by looking at our ability to handle customer demand through measures like Takt Time. This does not have to be a hard task. We have the ability through PLCs and data collection to monitor all of the different times discussed and ensure we satisfy customer demand.

Watch on YouTube : Who Else Wants To Discover Takt Time?
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.