Tag Archives: System

PLC Programming Example – Palletizer Drum Instructions

How many ways can you program the PLC for the same function? The answer is allot of different ways. You can have ten different programmers working on the same program and get ten different automatic control PLC programs. Sure they may have similarities but, they are all unique in their code within the PLC. As a system integrator you will see many different ways of programming the PLC. We will now look at reprogramming our palletizer example using drum instructions. (Sequencer)
Last time we applied the five steps to PLC program development to a palletizer example. We will review our steps and then change our programming code to incorporate the drum instructions. Like our original example we will allow the operator to change the layers of boxes you want on each skid. We will also add in this example a manual operation sequence to cycle thought each of the steps for troubleshooting the program.

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
– Press
Process Mixer
Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)
Paint Spraying
Delay Starting of 7 Motors
– Pick and Place
– Sorting Station (Shift Register)
Palletizer

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
Continue Reading!

PLC Programming Example – Palletizer

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
– Press
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
Continue Reading!

PLC Programming Example – Pick and Place

We will apply the five steps to PLC program development to a pick and place robot example. The example will use a BRX PLC communicating to Factory IO (3D Software Simulator). 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.
Five Steps to PLC Program Development – Press
PLC Programming Examples:
Process Mixer
Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)
Paint Spraying
Delay Starting of 7 Motors

Define the task: (1)
Watch the sequence of operation video below.
Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Pick and Place Testing
Continue Reading!

Understanding the PLC Program Scan

Understanding how the PLC will scan and update your program is critical in programming and troubleshooting your system. Typically a PLC will solve your logic from left to right, top to bottom. The status of the memory from the previous rung, are available for the next rung to use. We will look at a few examples to determine how the PLC will solve logic to illustrate the above program scanning.  Keep on Reading!

PLC Programming Example – Delay Starting of 7 Motors

We will look at a PLC programming example of delaying the start of 7 motors. Each motor will be on a switch that the operator can select at any time. The motor outputs should have a 5 second delay between the outputs coming on.

This question originally came from PLCTalk.net. An original solution to the problem came from Peter Steinhoff. His solution is what we will be presenting. It is simple and straight forward.

We will be using the Do-more Designer software which comes with a simulator. This fully functional program is offered free of charge at automation directKeep on Reading!

How to Implement Modbus TCP Protocol using VBA with Excel

We will use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to communicate to a PLC using Modbus TCP protocol. Reading ten registers in the PLC and displaying a bar graph in Excel. Previously we have used VB6 to communicate Modbus TCP.
The following steps will be done:

  1. Explain Modbus TCP protocol
  2. Install OstroSoft Winsock Component
    – Winsock API Calls for communication on network
  3. Develop the Excel and VBA application
    (Microsoft Excel 2010)
  4. Communicate to the PLC and sample code
    (Do-More Simulator)

 

The Modbus TCP/IP or Modbus TCP is a Protocol  that is used for communications over TCP/IP networks. This is done on port 502. Modbus TCP does not require a checksum calculation as lower layers already provide checksum protection. You can think of this as a letter being sent and Ethernet TCP/IP acts like an envelope for the Modbus Commands. I will not go into the details of the communication protocol but here are some links to references:
Introduction to Modbus TCP/IP
Simply Modbus – Modbus TCP

 

OstroSoft Winsock Component
OSWINSCK.dll serves as a wrapper for the Winsock API and helps programmers to abstract from the complexity of API calls and focus on application functionality. Works with programming and scripting languages supporting COM.
You will need to download and install the OstroSoft Winsock Component on your computer.
For use with .NET, Visual Basic 4 or 5, Visual C++, ASP, VBA, VBScript, JavaScript or any other language, supporting COM:
1. Download oswinsck.exe
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 001-min

2. Run downloaded file from Windows Explorer or command-line
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 002-min
Hit OK
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 003-min
I use the default directories where the program will be installed. Click the button to install.
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 004-min
Leave the program group to the default so I know what the program is after installation. Click continue.
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 005-min
Click OK
The OstroSoft Winsock Component is now installed.

Start Microsoft Excel.

Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 010-min
Select ‘Developer’ along the top tabs.
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 020-min

If the Developer tab is not present then we must turn on the developer tab.
Select File | Options Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 021-minSelect ‘Customize Ribbon’Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 022-minCheck the ‘Developer’ under Main Tabs. Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 023-min

Under the Developer menu. Select ‘Visual Basic’
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 030-minThe Visual Basic Editor window will now be displayed. Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 040-min
From the menu – Tools | References
We can now add the OstroSoft Winsock Component to our application.
Select OK
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 050-minSelect Sheet1(Sheet1). Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 060-min

Now put the visual basic code in the Sheet1(Sheet1)
Here is the code:

‘This example uses OstroSoft Winsock Component
‘http://www.ostrosoft.com/oswinsck.asp

Option Explicit

Dim bytesTotal As Long
Dim sPage As String
Dim MbusQuery
Dim returnInfo
Dim wsTCPgdb
Dim WithEvents wsTCP As OSWINSCK.Winsock
Dim SetObject
Dim RetrieveData

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click() ‘ Retrieve Data
On Error GoTo ErrHandler
  Dim sServer As String
  Dim nPort As Long
  Dim StartTime
 
  DoEvents
  nPort = 502 ‘ See configuration in Do-More Designer
  ‘ Set the IP address of the PLC
  sServer = Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B4″) ‘”192.168.1.3”
  RetrieveData = 1
  CommandButton1.BackColor = “&H0000FF00” ‘ Set colour to Green

‘Check to see if the object has been created. If not set wsTCP.
If SetObject = “” Then
Set wsTCP = CreateObject(“OSWINSCK.Winsock”)
wsTCP.Protocol = sckTCPProtocol
SetObject = 1
  End If

‘ Check the state of the TCP connection
‘0 sckClosed connection closed
‘1 sckOpen open
‘2 sckListening listening for incoming connections
‘3 sckConnectionPending connection pending
‘4 sckResolvingHost resolving remote host name
‘5 sckHostResolved remote host name successfully resolved
‘6 sckConnecting connecting to remote host
‘7 sckConnected connected to remote host
‘8 sckClosing Connection Is closing
‘9 sckError error occured

‘ If TCP is not connected, try to connect again.
If wsTCP.State <> 7 Then
    If (wsTCP.State <> sckClosed) Then
      wsTCP.CloseWinsock
    End If
    ‘ Open the connection
    wsTCP.Connect sServer, nPort
    StartTime = Timer ‘ Use the timer to determine if a connection cannot be made
    Do While ((Timer < StartTime + 2) And (wsTCP.State <> 7))
        DoEvents
    Loop
    If (wsTCP.State = 7) Then
    Else
       Exit Sub
    End If
End If

‘ If we are connected then request the information.
If (wsTCP.State = 7) Then
    MbusQuery = Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(6) + Chr(0) + Chr(3) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(20)
    wsTCP.SendData MbusQuery ‘Send out the Modbus Information
    ‘ Read the information
    ‘0000:    Transaction Identifier
    ‘0000:    Protocol Identifier
    ‘0006:    Message Length (6 bytes to follow)
    ’00:      The Unit Identifier
    ’03:      The Function Code (read MHR Read Holding Registers)
    ‘0000:    The Data Address of the first register
    ‘0002:    The number of registers to write
   
    ‘ Write the information
    ‘0000:    Transaction Identifier
    ‘0000:    Protocol Identifier
    ‘0009:    Message Length (6 bytes to follow)
    ’01:      The Unit Identifier
    ’16:      The Function Code (read Analog Output Holding Registers)
    ‘0000:    The Data Address of the first register
    ‘0001:    The number of registers to write
    ’02:      The number of data bytes to follow
    ‘0030     The number to put into the register
   
    ‘ Note: Addresses are offset by 1
    ‘   Example: MHR1 = Address 0000
    ‘   Example: MHR30 = Address 0029
   
End If
  Exit Sub

ErrHandler:
  MsgBox “Error ” & Err.Number & “: ” & Err.Description
End Sub
Private Sub CommandButton2_Click() ‘ Stop the communication
RetrieveData = 0
CommandButton1.BackColor = “&H8000000F” ‘ Set the default colour
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnDataArrival(ByVal bytesTotal As Long)
  Dim sBuffer
  Dim i
  Dim MbusByteArray(500)
  Dim h As Integer
  Dim txtSource
wsTCP.GetData sBuffer
  txtSource = txtSource & sBuffer
 
Dim j As Byte
returnInfo = “”
For i = 1 To bytesTotal
    wsTCP.GetData j, vbByte
    MbusByteArray(i) = Asc(Mid(sBuffer, i, 2))
    returnInfo = returnInfo & Asc(Mid(sBuffer, i, 2))
Next
 txtSource = returnInfo
 txtSource = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(10) * 256) + MbusByteArray(11)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B10”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(10) * 256) + MbusByteArray(11)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B11”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(12) * 256) + MbusByteArray(13)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B12”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(14) * 256) + MbusByteArray(15)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B13”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(16) * 256) + MbusByteArray(17)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B14”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(18) * 256) + MbusByteArray(19)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B15”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(20) * 256) + MbusByteArray(21)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B16”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(22) * 256) + MbusByteArray(23)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B17”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(24) * 256) + MbusByteArray(25)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B18”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(26) * 256) + MbusByteArray(27)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B19”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(28) * 256) + MbusByteArray(29)))

DoEvents
‘ Determine if we retrieve the data again.
If RetrieveData = 1 Then
    Call CommandButton1_Click
End If
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnError(ByVal Number As Integer, Description As String, ByVal Scode As Long, ByVal Source As String, ByVal HelpFile As String, ByVal HelpContext As Long, CancelDisplay As Boolean)
  MsgBox Number & “: ” & Description
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnStatusChanged(ByVal Status As String)
  Debug.Print Status
End Sub

Note: The program utilizes the CHR and STR functions to convert the data from binary to ASCII and back.
The highest value of a byte of data is 256. This is why we have to multiply the highest significant byte with 256

Interface:
Go back to Sheet1 and we can now put on the worksheet what we would like to see.

Note the following:
IP Address = B4
MHR 1 to 10 values located at B10 to B19
‘Stop Data’ – CommandButton2
‘Retrieve Data’  – CommandButton1

Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 070-min

 

Communication to the PLC

Start the Do-More Designer software.
Under the Project Browser select ‘System Configuration’
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 125-min
Make note of the IP address. If you are running the simulator then this is automatically filled in.
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 126-min
Ensure that the Enable Modbus/TCP Server is checked. Also make sure that the TCP Port Number is 502.
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 127-min

The sample PLC program will write values in the range from 0 to 4000. These values will be put in MHR 1 to MHR 10.

Here is the first couple of rungs of the PLC program. It will use clock bit flags to increment the MHR 1 channel. When it gets to the value above 4000, a move instruction will put a 0 back into MHR 1.
If input X0 turns on then the value in XW0 will be moved into MHR1 and the previous clock bit will not be in effect. Values will be between 0 and 4096. (12 bit resolution)
Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 150-min

This is repeated with different internal clock bit flags up to MHR10.

Running the program will produce the following:Modbus TCP using VBA Excel 120-min

As you can see the Modbus TCP protocol is easy to implement with visual basic for applications.
Download the PLC program and Excel file.

Additional Information:
Excel – Conditional Movement of Data

Watch on YouTube : How to Implement Modbus TCP Protocol using VBA with Excel
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.

PLC Programming Example – Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)

Allot of times when programming a PLC you need to track what has previously happened. Shift registers allow you to do just that. We will look at a PLC basic tutorial of a conveyor belt and reject station. Following the 5 steps to program development this PLC programming example should fully explain the function of shift registers. Ladder will be our PLC programming language.

We will be using the Do-more Designer software which comes with a simulator. This fully functional program is offered free of charge at automation direct.

Define the task:

What has to happen?
Conveyor Reject 0

A start pushbutton (NO) is used to start the conveyor and a stop pushbutton (NC) is used to stop. Sensor B detects product on the conveyor belt and sensor A will detect if it is too large and needs to be rejected. The product is tracked along the conveyor belt and when under the reject station the Reject Blow Off will expel the bad product. Product is randomly placed on the conveyor belt, so an incremental encoder is used to track the conveyor movement. The reset pushbutton (NO) will signal that all of the product on the conveyor has been removed between the sensors and reject blow off.

Define the Inputs and Outputs:

Inputs: Start Switch – On/Off (Normally Open) – NO Stop Switch – On/Off (Normally Closed) – NC Reset Switch – On/Off – NO Motor Encoder – On/Off – This will give a discrete signal when the conveyor is moving. It picks up the movement of the free wheel. Sensor A (Part Reject) – On/Off – NO Sensor B (Part Present) – On/Off – NO

Outputs: Motor – On/Off (Conveyor Run) Air Blow Off – On/Off (Reject)
Inputs_Outputs

Develop a logical sequence of operation:

Fully understanding the logic before starting to program can save you time and frustration.

Sequence Table: The following is a sequence table for our conveyor reject application.
Sequence Table

It is a simple sequence table, but clarifies the following: When power goes off and comes on the sequence will continue. This means that the shift sequencer must be memory retentive. Sensor A and B must be on to get tracked with a shift register.

Shift Registers: The Shift Register (SR) instruction shifts data through a predefined number of BIT locations. These BIT locations can be a range of BITs, a single Word or DWord, or a range of Words or DWords. The instruction has three inputs. Data, Clock and Reset. The data input will load the beginning bit with a ‘1’ if it is on or ‘0’ if it is not. Clock input is used to shift the data through the shift register. In our example, we will be using the encoder on the conveyor to track the reject container. So each pulse of the clock represents a distance on the conveyor. The last input is the reset. It will place ‘0’ in all of the bits within the shift register.
Shift Register

Develop the PLC program:

Start and stop of the conveyor motor.
Program Conveyor Reject 1

Shift register to track the rejected parts. This will move the bits with each pulse of the encoder. Note that the ‘V’ memory is used because it is memory retentive.
Program Conveyor Reject 2

This will look at the bit in front of the reject station. We can measure and count off the length (conveyor) and then find out what the bit location will be at the reject location.Program Conveyor Reject 3

Test the program:

Test the program with a simulator or actual machine. Make modifications as necessary. Remember to follow up after a time frame to see if any problems arise that need to be addressed with the program.

Conveyor Reject

Notes: Sometimes you can use multiple shift registers in your program. This can be helpful if you want to actually track the container as well as the rejects. You could also use bit shift right (BSR) and bit shift left instructions (BSR) to do the same thing as we did with the shift register instruction. In the Do-more PLC it is rotate left (ROTL) and rotate right (ROTR) instructions. Always check your instruction set of the controller that you are working with before starting to program.

Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)

Additional information on shift registers can be seen at the following URL:
http://accautomation.ca/plc-programming-example-sorting-station-shift-register/
This PLC programming example will look at sorting coloured tags into three different exits. The 3D simulation will use three different shift registers to trigger when to direct the correct colour tag.
Watch the sequence of operation video below.
Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Sorting Station Testing

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.

PLC Programming Example – Process Mixer

We will apply the five steps to PLC Program development to our next programming example of a process mixer.

1 – Define the task:

PLC Prgramming Example - Process Mixer
A normally open start and normally closed stop pushbuttons are used to start and stop the process. When the start button is pressed, solenoid A engergizes to start filling the tank. As the tank fills, the empty level sensor switch closes. When the tank is full, the full level sensor switch closes. Solenoid A is de-energized. Mixer motor starts and runs for 3 minutes to mix the liquid.  When the agitate motor stops, solenoid B is engergized to empty the tank. When the tank is completely empty, the empty sensor switch opens to de-engergize solenoid B. The start button is pressed to repeat the sequence.

2 – Define the Inputs and Outputs:

Inputs:
Start Pushbutton – Normally Open – On/Off
Stop Pushbutton – Normally Closed – On/Off
Empty Sensor Switch – On/Off
Full Sensor Switch – On/Off
Timer 3 minutes done bit – On/Off (Internal)

Outputs:
Mixer Motor – On/Off
Solenoid A – Fill – On/Off
Solenoid B – Empty – On/Off
Timer 3 minutes – (Internal)

3 – Develop a logical sequence of operation:

A flow chart or sequence table is used to fully understand the process.  It will also prompt questions like the following.

What happens when electrical power and/or pneumatic air is lost? What happens when the input / output devices fail? Do we need redundancy?

This is the step where you can save yourself allot of work by understanding everything about the operation. It will help prevent you from continuously re-writing the PLC logic. Knowing all of these answers upfront is vital in the development of the PLC program.

Process Mixer - Sequence Table

4 – Develop the PLC program

Since we need to continue the sequence when the power goes off then memory retentive locations in the PLC must be used. In our example we will use the ‘V Memory’ locations.

The first thing in our program is to control the start and stop functions. This is done through a latching circuit. From the sequence table we know that to reset the sequence we need to have the timer done and the empty sensor off.Process Mixer Program 1

The filling of the tank is done through Solenoid A. It is turned on by the start signal and off by the full sensor switch. (Sequence Table) You will notice that we have a memory retentive output and the actual output to active the solenoid.Process Mixer Program 2

The memory retentive timer will start timing when we have the start sequence signal and when the empty and fill sensors are on. The timer will reset when the empty and fill sensors are off. Mixing motor will be on when the timer is timing and when the timer is not done.Process Mixer Program 3

Solenoid B turns on to empty the tank when the timer is done and the full and empty sensors are on. It will reset when the empty sensor switch goes off.Process Mixer Program 4

5- Test the program

PLC Programming Example - Process Mixer

Test the program under many conditions. Check to see what happens when power is removed.

Using this five step to program development technique will shorten your programming time. The result will be a better defined logic and easier to understand program, because it has within the documentation the logic flow chart or sequence table.

Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Process Mixer

Factory IO provides a 3D simulation of the process. Testing of the program is important and should be done in a variety of ways. Factory IO provides a straight forward method of seeing your program in action before you wire your application.

We will be using the BRX PLC Modbus TCP Server (Slave). Factory IO will be the Modbus TCP Client (Master). When the tank fills up we will start a dwell time instead of the mixer time for the simulation.
Here is the mapping of the inputs and outputs using Factory IO.

Factory IO Website is at the following URL:
https://factoryio.com/
Documentation is well done. Start at the ‘Getting Started’ at the following URL:
https://factoryio.com/docs/

You can download the PLC program and Factory IO scene here.

Watch the following video to see this simulation in action.

Watch on YouTube : Process Mixer Test Simulation
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.