The C-More Micro HMI Panel software has a simulation mode. This simulator will allow you to test your project before transferring it to a panel. Testing your application is a vital step in HMI program development. This feature of the software will save you time and money especially if your hardware is not available.
The simulator will display two windows. There is a graphical display of your HMI panel and a simulation control window. The control window will allow you to control variables in the project similar to a PLC.
We will be looking at our program developed last time (Common Control Menu) and use the simulator to mimic how the PLC and HMI Panel will communicate in the field. This will help to detect any problems before we transfer to our panel. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Allowing operators of your HMI (Human Machine Interface) panel to easily navigate all of the information available is a vital part of programming. We want to present the information to the operator so they will clearly understand the programmed operation of the unit. Common menus on the HMI panel pages will allow the quick navigation, understanding and control that your operators want. When programming operator interfaces I have always heard to use the KISS method. (Keep it stupidly simple.) Your HMI program interface could contain hundreds of pages containing vital information for operator understanding and control, but you must make it easily accessible and intuitive. This is how you design and program a good HMI panel display.
We will be creating a common screen menu for our C-More Micro HMI Panel using the C-More Micro programming software. Using our previous program created we will be making a background screen to act as our menu system. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Previously we put our first program (Video) into the C-More Micro HMI Panel using the C-More Micro programming software. The Do-More Designer Simulator was used with a modified Start Stop Jog Circuit so we can use our HMI screen to control the output as well as the inputs on the PLC. This communication was done via Ethernet with the Modbus TCP protocol.
We will now look at PLC to Panel and Panel to PLC communications. This will allow us to control the screen page number, beeper and back light of the panel from the PLC. We will also get notification of the same as well as key press information from the HMI panel. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
We will now put our first program into the C-More Micro HMI Panel using the C-More Micro programming software. The Do-More Designer Simulator will be used with a modified Start Stop Jog Circuit so we can use our HMI screen to control the output as well as the inputs on the PLC.
The PLC logic for our circuit can be found on our post: How to Make a Start / Stop / Jog Circuit in a PLC. The YouTube video can be seen here.
Our C-More Micro HMI Panel will be communicating to the PLC simulator via Ethernet with the Modbus TCP protocol. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
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!
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!
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!
One of the features of the BRX Series PLC is the ability to expand its capability to fit your application. This is easily done by “snap-on” modules that will fit on the side of the BRX MPU (Multi Processor Unit). As we have seen before in the BRX PLC System Configuration post we can add additional discrete inputs and outputs. Automation Direct now offers Analog Voltage and Analog Current input and output modules. These modules come as an 8 point channel unit. There is also a 4 point thermocouple input module also available. We will be configuring, scaling and programming the Analog input and output Voltage modules for our BRX PLC. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
We will apply the five steps to PLC program development to a palletizer example. Our example will allow you to determine how many layers of boxes you want on each skid.
Developing the PLC program is a process that can be clearly defined. In our series on the five steps to PLC program development we have done some similar practical examples.
PLC Programming Examples – Five Steps to PLC Program Development
– Process Mixer
– Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)
– Paint Spraying
– Delay Starting of 7 Motors
– Pick and Place
– Sorting Station (Shift Register)
Define the task: (1)
Watch the sequence of operation video below. This will demonstrate the pallet layer selection, running and resetting of the machine.
Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Palletizer Testing
Previously we used VB6 (Visual Basic 6) to implement the Omron Host Link Protocol to communicate to our programmable logic controller. (PLC) In part 2 we used Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to accomplish our host link serial communication. We will now look at using VB.Net to establish and retrieve information in and out of the PLC using host link. (C mode commands)
Hostlink communication protocol is a method developed by Omron for communication to PLC’s and other equipment. This ASCII based protocol is used over RS232 or RS422/RS485. It is a many to one implementation which means that you can communicate with up to 32 devices back to a master. (1:N) This communication on the industrial floor can control PLC’s, Temperature Controllers, Panel Meters, etc.
The Omron CP1H plc will be used with a CP1W-CIF11 (RS485) communication serial link adapter. We will also use a USB-485M Universal Serial Bus to RS485 adapter from automation direct. The video at the end of this post will demonstrate the communications by reading 10 registers form the DM area of the PLC. Continue Reading!