Discussions

… and I also do PLC programming.

Is Manufacturing Dead In Canada? Not so!

Changing Landscape of PLC Programming

Should PLC Programming Software Be Free?
– Manufacturers make money off of the hardware. The dedicated software to program the hardware that they are selling should be free. If other software like SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) is available, then charge for it only.
– What do you think?

17 thoughts on “Discussions”

  1. As much as I’d like to say “yes it should be free” so I could get hold of it, I think it shouldn’t be free.

    A software engineer could set his business up and offer PLC maintenance/programming/updates, etc and not have to purchase any licences. The PLC manufacturer loses out. Every man and his dog with a little experience sets up as programmer, driving down experienced programmers prices, and making a mess of the task!

    It’s a tool required for a skilled person, and shouldn’t be freely available for anyone to obtain.

  2. I am an electrician. I have done lots of ddc controls installation, mostly Delta, which is an amazing product.

    Automation Direct has always reached out to electricians with abundant knowledge and affordable equipment. I am grateful for the years of seeking my attention. Still, many electricians do not take advantage of the ease with which they could pursue new knowledge. Many still need clear instruction on how to install the devices associated with automation, let alone operate or program. I can’t imagine the ways an IT engineer with little mechanical aptitude could screw up a system in good working order, but I know they do this regularly with hvac controls… Lol

    I do know manufacturing plant electricians are super good at plc’s though, fwiw. Each plant seems to have a couple genius grade mechanics who are good at everything from programming to wrench turning. They all seem to be ex-navy nukes fwiw. If free software helps this kind of tech, I am all for it.

  3. Yes, some software should be free. High cost of some software I believe is counter productive to a low cost PLC . Not everyone uses a PLC for plant or production work and can roll the cost over into a project. Many hobby type people, like myself, benefit from small PLC units and free software, like the Click and BRX.

    Originally, I purchased a Click because of the free software. Now, I have a BRX for the same reason. If they didn’t have free software, I would have looked to a different PLC or micro.

  4. Web content is free as long as you view the ads which create revenue for the developers.
    We want our industrial control environments to be robust. We want the developers to be qualified, responsible professionals willing to take responsibility for their products. Can this be accomplished by not charging for software and support? Do you want pop-up ads on your HMIs?

  5. Dear Sirs
    I am trying to test the Modbus Datalogging Program. But I am always receiving ‘Database error’. The Access database is saved in a folder in the C drive. I am using Windows 7 pro SP1 64 bit to run the VB program and database. PLC connection is OK and registers are being received and displayed on the form. Please help me to find out the reading.

    1. Hi Sukumaran,
      http://accautomation.ca/now-you-can-have-robust-data-logging-for-free-part-9/
      The above post has the code using VB6 to and access database to store the information.
      Can you provide the following information:
      Visual Basic 6 or VB.Net?
      The location of the access file and the format that it is saved in.
      Here is another post using VB.Net and Access:
      http://accautomation.ca/creating-a-hmi-login-screen-on-advancedhmi/

      Sometimes looking at different code may help.
      Let me know how you make out.
      Thanks,
      Garry

      1. Dear Garry
        Thank you for the reply
        I am using Microsoft Visual Basic 2015
        Now I face a different problem: The program connects to the PLC when started. But gives an error : ‘An unhandled exception of type ‘System.IO.IOException’ occurred in System.dll. Additional information: Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host. ‘

        What I should look for? I am using Siemens S7 1200 PLC

        1. Hi Sukumaran,
          What I would do is is close the connection after the information is read. (Example: Winsock1.Close) This would then allow the resource to be used someplace else. Each time the information is read the resource can then be opened again.
          Let me know how you make out.
          Regards,
          Garry

          1. Dear Garry
            Attached a screenshot. Please go through and help me since I am quite new in VB

  6. Dear Garry
    I have downloaded the following: ‘Download the access database and the Bin directory for the AdvancedHMI login screen.’ Could you please explain me how to create the AdvancedHMI project using the Bin directory?

      1. Dear Garry
        I have gone through the link ‘deploying-an-advancedhmi-project/’. Could not find procedure to use the bin directory. Please help

        1. Hi Sukumaran,
          I am not understanding your question. What do you want to do with the bin folder? When you deploy an AdvancedHMI project you just copy the folders to the computer that you want to run AdvancedHMI and look for the folder in the BIN\Debug directory. This is usually the AdvancedHMI.exe file.
          Regards,
          Garry

  7. Hello,

    I am a beginner on PLC. I would like to learn as much as i can.
    Can i get help with basic PLC Software for starters.

    Would really appreciate.

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