Category Archives: PLC Basics

C-More Micro HMI Installing the Software

The C-more Micro Programming Software is a free download from Automation Direct. This is similar to the more powerful C-more Touch Panel programming software. This free HMI (Human Machine Interface) software has features designed to reduce your configuration time. Simply drag and drop the objects from the object bar onto the screen construction area. Configure your PLC tags and click on the objects you want to use. A built in simulator will allow you to review your work on the computer before downloading the project.

We will be installing the C-more Micro Programming Software onto our PC (computer). Updating the software is also very easily done. See video below.
Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

Productivity 1000 Series PLC Online Editing and Debug Mode

The Productivity Suite Software allows us to modify our existing program and execute the new code without stopping the scanning of the PLC. This is referred to as online editing. We change the ladder logic code and when we save it to the PLC, the current scan of the PLC is held until the new code is written into the unit. It then releases the scan and our new program start to execute. This happens in milliseconds so our process can continue to operate.
Troubleshooting the logic in our PLC sometimes can be difficult. The Productivity Suite Software has a Debug Mode. This will allow us to control the scan cycle of the PLC, decide on the rungs to execute and control the physical outputs during this time. This ability of control helps to fix errors or understand existing code in our programmable logic controller.
We will be taking our existing Start / Stop circuit from last time and add a Jog input using online editing. We will then use the debug mode in the Productivity Suite software to understand the scan and the jog function that we added.
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Productivity 1000 Series PLC Monitoring and Testing the Program

The Productivity Suite Software provides tools for us to monitor and test our programs. Last time we used Tag Names and Details, Task Names and Descriptions, Rung Comments and Instruction comments to document our first program and transferred this to our connected Productivity 1000 Series PLC. We will be monitoring our ladder using the ladder editor window and display the information two different ways. Data View is a powerful tool to help us to test and view our program. We will be forcing the IO, toggling the IO view and graphing our tags to test our PLC logic circuit.
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C-More Micro HMI System Hardware

Human machine interfaces (HMIs) are made to display and control operations for our automation solution. Information is displayed in a graphic format. (Graphical User Interface – GUI) The HMI is usually part of the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
Communication from the HMI to the control is usually done through a serial (RS232 / RS485 / RS422) or Ethernet (RJ45) method with different protocols depending on the manufacturer of the control. The automation control device is not limited to a PLC. (Programmable Logic Controller) You can communicate also to drives, temperature process controllers, etc. The HMI usually will include several different protocols and port configurations to maximize the amount of control product that it will be able to communicate.

We will be looking at one of the newest members of the C-More Micro Panel HMI devices from Automation Direct. This is the EA3-T4CL. This four inch colour TFT LCD screen offers great features that we will be exploring as we review this product. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

Productivity 1000 Series PLC Documenting the Program

Last time we created our first program and transferred this to our connected Productivity 1000 Series PLC. This was programmed with our computer running the Productivity Suite Software. One of the most important aspects of programming the PLC is to document. This will aid you and your team in programming, troubleshooting and modifying the automation control system. Your documentation should read like a book so information can be quickly obtained when required. Time spent on the documentation will be priceless when you go to read your program in 1, 3 or 10 years from now. The Productivity Suite software provides several different methods for documenting your program.

Tag Names and Details, Task Names and Descriptions, Rung Comments and Instruction comments are the ways that we will be looking at documenting our program.
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Productivity 1000 Series PLC First Program

Last time we connected the Productivity 1000 Series PLC with our computer running the Productivity Suite Software. A micro USB and an Ethernet (RJ45) communication link was made to our programmable logic controller. We will now create our first program for our Productivity 1000 Series PLC. Our program will be a simple start stop circuit for a motor. Here is a post that will explain the logic behind our program circuit.
http://accautomation.ca/how-to-make-a-start-stop-jog-circuit-in-a-plc/
The latest Productivity Suite software version is 3.1.0.11. This is the programming software that we will be using to create our logic for control.

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Productivity 1000 Series PLC Installing the Software

The Productivity 1000 Series PLC uses the Productivity Suite Software. The software can be downloaded free of charge. It is the full package without restrictions or limitations.

The latest Productivity Suite software version is 3.1.0.11. Automation Direct has put 20 years of programmable controller software experience along with customer suggestions and feedback into this programming package. It has great features that we will be exploring as we program our Productivity 1000 Series PLC.
This is the same software that will program the entire Productivity Series of programmable logic controllers.

Productivity 1000 (Stackable Micro PLC)
Productivity 2000 (Micro Modular Programmable Controller)
Productivity 3000 (Modular Programmable Controller)
We will be installing and reviewing the Productivity Suite software version 3.1.0.11.
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Productivity 1000 Series PLC System Hardware

The Productivity 1000 series of programmable logic controllers has a slim stackable super compact design. This is sometimes also referred to as a shoebox PLC because of the shape and way in which expansion modules are added. This new Productivity 1000 series PLC is the latest in the Productivity series of controllers that have hit the market.

Productivity 1000 (Stackable Micro PLC)
Productivity 2000 (Micro Modular Programmable Controller)
Productivity 3000 (Modular Programmable Controller)

These three series currently make up the Productivity Series form Automation Direct.

The Productivity 1000 series PLC provides the following features for your automation control panel.
– 50MB user memory – Can handle very complex applications easily.
– 4 built-in communication ports – Easy connectivity to your network. This would include your PC, HMI, Networks, etc.
– Data logging up to 32 GB on a microSD card
– Add up to 8 IP modules to communicate to your field sensors. This will give you a total of 128 discrete IO points or 32 analog IO channels.
– Free Software and 30 days of free training with every CPU from Automation Direct.
– Interactive PLC Configuration Tool
– Tag Names
– Auto discovery IO – Physical I/O tags will be generated based on each module’s position in the base. You can also reconfigure the setup and assign new tags manually.
– I/O Modules have QR codes under the wiring cover. This can be scanned so you can have the latest specifications / wiring diagrams for the module.
– Limitless PID – Auto tuning – Individual or Cascade Mode – etc
– Web Server and Mobile Access
– Advanced Software instruction set

We will be looking at allot of these features of this powerful controller. Let’s start by looking at the hardware. Continue Reading!

PLC Fiddle – Online Editor and Simulator in your Browser

I have recently come across a free virtual plc simulator called PLC Fiddle. It will enable you to create simple PLC ladder logic code within your browser. This is an ideal way in understanding PLC concepts for industrial automation. All of the basic PLC instructions that come with most plc units have been incorporated in this virtual PLC software.
PLC Fiddle is currently in an early stage of development but is functional enough to be helpful to you in learning and understanding PLC concepts. We will be reviewing this software and creating a few common basic circuits. Using the simulator we will test our circuits and monitor our PLC programs (circuits). Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Math Instructions

Math instructions are used to perform mathematical calculations. The BRX PLC has math instructions that can be used in a wide variety of applications. We will be looking at the INC increment, DEC decrement, LERP linear Interpolation, RANDSEED Random Number Seed and the MATH Calculated Expression instructions. Your automation system that you implement may involve some or all of these instructions. As a system integrator you will require the use of these instructions in your commissioned programs.
Let’s get started with the BRX PLC Math Instructions. Continue Reading!