Tag Archives: programmable logic controller basics

Click PLC Modbus ASCII Protocol


Modbus is a communication method used for transmitting information over serial lines between electronic devices. The device requesting the information is called the Modbus Master (Client) and the devices supplying information are Modbus Slaves (Servers). This protocol was originally developed by Modicon systems.
Modbus protocol comes in basically three different types. Ethernet (Modbus TCP) or Serial (Modbus RTU or Modbus ASCII). Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU come as standard protocols in the productivity series of PLCs.

We will connect the Click PLC to a Solo process temperature controller. This will be done using the Modbus ASCII protocol over serial RS485 communication wire. (Media) The present and set values (PV / SV) will be read from the Solo controller and the set value will be written when required. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC to Modbus TCP RTU Remote IO Controller BX-MBIO


The Click PLC can communicate to a remote I/O (input and output) controller modules using the Modbus protocol for communications. The BX-MBIO provides both Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP interfaces. Modbus RTU is a serial communication and Modbus TCP is an Ethernet communication. Modbus RTU is supported over an RS-485 serial connection. Modbus TCP is supported over an Ethernet connection. They function as listening/replying devices (slave, server) and can connect with any mastering (master, client) device that communicates using the Modbus protocol.
Previously we looked at the BX-MBIO Modbus RTU TCP Remote IO Controller wiring and configuration.
Modbus RTU TCP Remote IO Controller BX-MBIO
BX-MBIO Hardware Video
BX-MBIO Powering and Configuring Video

We will connect the Click Ethernet PLC to the Modbus remote IO. This will be done using the Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU protocol. Ethernet and serial RS485 communication to the BX-MBIO unit will be the media.
The BX-MBIO remote I/O expansion units feature the following:
• RJ45 Ethernet port for communications via Modbus TCP
• RS485 serial port for communications via Modbus RTU
• Supports up to 8 additional Expansion Modules (Add the discrete or analog I/O you require)
• AC and DC powered units available
• AC powered units include an integral 24VDC auxiliary output power supply
• Power connector and serial port connector included
Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC PID using Factory IO

A PID (Proportional, Integral, and Derivative) control is possible with the Click PLC. A sample program was written for this PLC by Bernie Carlton in the following thread from the Automation Direct Forum. This was based on the math/process presented by Tim Wescott on is paper titled PID without a Ph.D. We will be using this sample program along with a Factory IO scene to demonstrate PID control using our Click PLC.

Here are some references on PID control:
PID without a Ph.D. By Tim Wescott
Understanding PID in 4 minutes
PID Control – A brief introduction
PID Controllers Explained
Who Else Wants to Learn about On-Off and PID Control?
Our Factory IO scene will be controlling the level of water in a tank. PID will be used to maintain the level based on a dial pot knob on the control panel. We will also discuss the math that the PID loop uses. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Wiring Stack Light to Click PLC

Stack lights are usually modular stackable components that provide a visually illuminated and audible indication for machines, systems, and processes. They are usually located on top of equipment to provide this notification to personnel in the area.

Stack lights are also known as signal tower lights, indicator lights, warning lights, industrial signal lights, tower lights, and light towers.
We will be connecting a Patlite NPS-402-RYGB Super Slim stack light to our Click PLC.

These stack lights come in preassembled units in the most popular combinations of colours with ABS resin main bodies that offer superior impact and heat resistance; double-insulated construction enhances durability and safety. Interchangeable light modules require no rewiring. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

Click PLC High Speed Counting – Part 2

The Ethernet Click PLC high speed counter has seven different modes of operation. In Part 1 we discussed the High Speed Count Mode, Interval Measurement Mode,
Duration Measurement Mode and Frequency Measurement Mode.

This 100 KHz counter can accept Up, Down, Up/Down, Pulse/Direction or Quadrature (with Z) inputs.
We will be looking at the last three different high speed counter modes available in the click. (External Interrupt, Pulse Catch, Filter) This is all setup through a user friendly graphical user interface. We will also combine the Frequency Measurement and the High Speed Count in one application. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Click PLC High Speed Counting – Part 1

The Click PLC family has been updated, and now has the ability to use high speed counting. This is available on all of the Ethernet units that have DC inputs. The faster processor on the Ethernet unit (3 to 10 times faster than the basic unit) allows this capability. There are seven (7) different modes of operation for the high speed counter available so adaption to your automation solution is easy. The input can count Up, Down, Up/Down, Pulse/Direction or Quadrature (with Z). Maximum speed on the high speed counter inputs are 100 kHz. That is 100,000 pulses per second.

We will be looking at the different high speed counter modes available in the click. This is all setup through a user friendly graphical user interface. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Click PLC HMI Rotary Encoder Dial Input

Rotary encoders are modern digital devices that have taken over from the potentiometer in stereos and many other applications. This is because of their fine digital control and they can fully rotate without end stops. We can connect the rotary encoder into the PLC using just two digital inputs. This human machine interface (HMI) has the advantage over touch screens and other methods of control into the PLC. The operator can control the rate and set point with the dial (rotary encoder) without looking at the control. This will allow the operator to concentration on other tasks.


We will be connecting a rotary encoder with dial into the Click PLC. The signals being sent from the rotary encoder will be explained. Different methods of programming this input in our PLC will be discussed. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Update Firmware

Firmware is usually PLC operating system code that is written into a read only memory. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) of a PC (personal computer) is a good example of firmware. It provides the low level interface between the hardware and software. The Click PLC firmware comes with the programming software.
https://support.automationdirect.com/products/clickplcs.html

We will be updating our firmware of our Click PLC from 2.10 to 2.30. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

BRX PLC Analog IO – System Configuration

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!

The 7 Essential Parts of a PLC System

When I was in school PLC’s were just in their infancy. We were taught that the PLC consisted of the central processing unit (CPU), analog and digital inputs and outputs. Everything was programmed with dedicated handheld devices and/or software devices on specialized hardware. We now have modern PLC systems that are capable of so much more. Let’s look at how we can now break up these modern PLC system into the seven essential components.

CPU
Inputs and Outputs (I/O)
Analog I/O
Specialty I/O
Programming Tools
HMI
Networking Continue Reading…