Posted tagged ‘PLC’

Why You Should Use Safety PLC

April 23, 2015

I’ve heard a lot of talk recently about safety PLCs. When should I use a safety PLC and when should I just use individual safety controllers? Well a lot of that has to do with your particular machine that you’re trying to guard.

If you have multiple zones on a machine, for example there’s 3 or 4 different doors that can be opened in order to clear a jam or maybe there’s some covers over different components that are spinning or possible pinch points, you’re typically going to protect those with some sort of safety device. Maybe it’s a safety switch or safety light curtain, each one of those are typically going to have a controller tied to it in order to monitor it and check for faults and ensure if someone opens a door or removes a cover that the machine stops in a safe manner.

If you’re dealing with a large machine where there may be multiple zones or multiple covers that you want to be guarding at the same time, you might choose to shut down only part of a machine if a certain event happens. In that case you can use a safety PLC. Just like its counterpart, the regular programmable logic controller or a PLC, you can wire in various inputs which would be like safety interlock switches, safety mats, safety light curtains and actually write a program that decides how to respond when it gets an input from one of those devices. For example, you can have a guard on one end of the machine open and it shuts down just that portion of the machine while it leaves the rest of the machine free to run.

Typically the breaking point is if you got more than 3 safety controllers on a given machine you probably want to start looking at a safety PLC. Very, Very, easy to implement, easy to program, and gets the job done.

If you’d like to learn more about how safety PLCs could help you in your application, take a look at innovativeidm.com. We would be glad to help and remember we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

5 Ways Temperature Controllers Help Industrial Automation

January 28, 2015

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative-IDM, and today I’d like to talk to you about that dime-a-dozen controller located in your plant that is often overlooked, and generally serves its purpose day in and day out. Although they may break down occasionally, I want to make sure that you’re choosing the right temperature controller for the right application.

There are four categories of temperature controllers. There’s the general purpose, the economy, a modular version and the PLC version. All of these have features, benefits and advantages. For the most part, they are all going to have a basic alarm system. Some of them are going to have a more advanced PID-Loop, ramp, soak, temperature changes. And, for the most part, whenever it comes down to the alarms that they put out or the amount of thermo-regulators that they can input within their own controller, the number increases.

General purpose controllers meet a wide range of applications; generally needs for the food processing industry, packaging, extruders, semi-conductors, etc. They’re around there, they’re a dime-a-dozen, you see them all the time.

Next up, is more the economy type and they are relatively simple in function. They don’t have all the bells and whistles that all the other ones are going to have. They are basically going to be able to tell you “Hey! My temperature is this, I need to be at this level, and I’m going to get to this level over this amount of time.” That’s it.

Next, is a modular type, which allows you to have increased capability or decreased capability based upon changes in the application, changes in the product, etc. It all comes down to how many thermo-regulators and controllers you use in conjunction with each other.

Finally, is the PLC version, which is the most advanced version and has the PID instruction in it. Basically, what it means is that it’s very advanced in the way it controls, how tightly it controls the temperature, how quickly it raises it, how quickly it lowers it, etc. That’s whenever the application has a very crucial temperature that can’t go above or below say one or two percent.

I hope this set of categories for the temperature controllers helps you out. If you need any more information, please go to our Knowledge Center at innovativeidm.com and once again, my name is Andy Lewis. Remember, Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Why You Need to Backup Your PLC Programs

January 6, 2015

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

Innovative IDM
1625 Wallace Drive, Ste. 110
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Call: 877-906-2100

Hi I’m Lonnie Muse with Innovative IDM. Would like to talk to you a little bit about why you should back up your PLC, but first I’d like to show you something. Something that’s really horrifying, something that will just kill your day at the plant. This is what we need to look at, this is something nobody noticed. Nobody noticed that PLC light going off, here’s the culprit a little bitty 40$ battery. You know what the result was? The programs got lost when they turned the power off, turned the machine back on guess what no production. Can you imagine this you’ve got a production line down because of a battery and no back up when the tech tells you there’s no back up, I don’t have the programs, we don’t know where they’re at, can’t find them. How long do you think that’ll be down?
Now the first big issue is being prepared for that. This is a 40$ resolution, make sure to keep the PLC on so you don’t lose it when you change this. The next thing is to back up your programs in the PLC there’s a couple ways to do that. One is a little SanDisk that will fit in a PLC normally, the other is something like a CD or your server or a laptop. If you have the back up along with the software to put it in and out of your machine then the battery’s not such a big deal because you can recover. But if you don’t have this recovery is a lot of money and a lot of time because now you’ve got to recreate everything from scratch and that’s thousands, maybe 10 thousands of dollars.
So you get a choice here, 40, or 10 thousand, a few minutes a few cents, or 10 thousand, you pick.
We can help with that back up issue! Give us a call at Innovative IDM or go on our website at innovativeidm.com click on the field service and request some help. Come out and do that, give me a call id be glad to help. After all were the home of the legendary customer experience

How to make Multiple Fieldbus Networks Communicate

December 30, 2014

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

Innovative-IDM
1625 Wallace Drive, Ste. 110
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Call: 877-906-2100

Hi, I’m Jeff Rogers with Innovative-IDM.  One of the biggest challenges facing today’s automation specialists is the way to make multiple fieldbuses communicate with upstream and downstream equipment.  It’s a very daunting task that could take a lot of programming knowledge that could probably be covered in several college courses.  Today we are going to keep it pretty high level and talk about a few components that could be used should you find yourself having to do this.

The first thing is the type of fieldbus.  There are all different kinds of fieldbuses out there.  Some are proprietary, some are open-source, meaning anyone could use that type of protocol whenever designing a piece of equipment.  So obviously, the ones that are proprietary are going to be harder to make communicate with other pieces of equipment, because the gateway type equipment that can be used are somewhat limited.  There’s just not that many of them out there.  Other fieldbuses for instance, probably one of the most well-known is Ethernet, be it internet IP, Ethernet EPCIP is very widely used standard that I see getting more and more popular every day.  It seems to be becoming the standard if people have a choice.  So remember proprietary is going to be a bigger challenge, but there are ways of getting around that.  What you have to consider is not only the protocol that you need to make it communicate with other protocols but also the transmission media.  You can actually transmit profibus protocol over an Ethernet cord, over a cat 5 cord with RJ45 connectors on it.  So you have to remember just because the cord looks the same doesn’t mean that the protocol is going to be the same.  So remember those things.  Ideally I always tell people if it is a new piece of equipment and you want to make sure it is going to communicate with all your other equipment you really need to get with that OEM and almost demand that they use a network you are familiar with so you don’t have to go through that hassle because it’s not fun, it’s kind of a pain.  Ideally use should try to standardize on a type of protocol that you are familiar with that’s flexible, gives you many different options and a lot of manufacturers support, such as Ethernet.  I would say that is probably the most common in today’s market.  Now if you do find yourself, for instance if you have older equipment in your plant that already has a different protocol on it and you want it to be able to communicate with say your Skada setup, or just for some sort of monitoring device or an add on or anything like that to the machine and those two protocols need to be able to talk to each other, then you could setup what is called a gateway.  There are different devices that can be used as a gateway which is just allowing two protocols to communicate with each other.

The three most common gateways are:

  • Manufacturers out there that make simple discrete adapter components.
    • You plug on piece of equipment in one and another on the other end and it allows the equipment to communicate with each other through an internal circuit board.
    • They are limited and can be pricey, the manufacturers of them are pretty proud of them. If you have a lot of components where you need to be able to make a bunch of different components talk to each other that could get sort of pricey.
  • PLC or IO system
    • They can be programmed for making different types of communication protocols talk to each other. For instance, WAGO has an IO system that is known as fieldbus independent.  They have fieldbus couplers that support all of the open protocols that exist in today’s market.  For instance, this one right here supports Ethernet.  If I wanted to make Ethernet talk to Modbus then I could drop a Modbus card in right here and have those two components talk to each other.  For instance, if I had a touchscreen that only communicated via Modbus and I wanted to make it talk to a piece of equipment, say a variable frequency drive that communicated over Ethernet I could use this component as the go between.  Often time people use touchscreen HMIs themselves as the gateway.  This particular touchscreen has both Modbus capabilities as well as Ethernet built in to it.  You could plug one piece of equipment in one port and a different piece of equipment that might be a different protocol into the other port and make them communicate via this device essentially turning it into a gateway.  It can get pretty complicated.  There is a lot of ins and outs as far as needing to know how to program those things, addressing registers properly with in a program to make all those talk.  That’s something we have a lot of experience with because it does come up.
  • Networking is extremely important,
    • it will only become even more important as time goes on because the top brass at all the plants and manufacturing companies around the world are always going to want better access to information, efficiency data, also remote control and data acquisition capabilities. All of that has to be done through networking all these pieces of equipment together.

If you need any help with that please contact us.  We have programming specialists, application specialists that can come out and help you with that.  You can also find information located on our website in our knowledge center.  Just go to innovativeidm.com and you will find our knowledge center there.  It has white papers, for the specific products we support, on how to set them up.  After all we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Omron PLC training coming to DFW in March

February 25, 2014

Coming to DFW on March 25 & 26 – Omron Basic and Intermediate PLC training. The PLC is one of our most popular classes of the year – these classes sold out in Houston and Tennessee earlier this year.  Act now and reserve your seat today!

DFW Basic and Intermediate Omron PLC Training
Two classes to choose from!
March 25, 2014 Basic PLC
March 26, 2014 Intermediate PLC: CX Programmer – Intermediate Techniques & Troubleshooting
8:30am to 4pm each day
$349 per class or attend both classes for $449

Plus, you leave with $230 in actual hardware and software! How easy is it to sign up for DFW PLC training? Send us an email at marketing@iidm.com or call 877.906.2100 to sign up NOW.

Omron PLC training Dallas Fort Worth

Omron CS1D The Dual-Redundant PLC System

August 30, 2013

Omron CS1D Dual-Redundant PLC System

CS1D adds a number of dual-redundancy options to the well-proven CS1 architecture to ensure around-the-clock operation without minimal downtime. Duplex CPUs, with or without loop control functions, are continuously cross-checked for errors, without the need for special programs to be written by the user. An even simpler way to increase system availability is to use dual power supply units. Hot swapping of CPUs, power supplies and I/O units allow system maintenance with little or no process interruption.

For more information or to order your Omron CS1D The Dual-Redundant PLC System contact Innovative-IDM.

Omron PLC training back in Memphis

August 14, 2013

Omron Basic and Intermediate PLC training classes are coming to Memphis on September 10 & 11.  Only 12 seats available for these popular classes – reserve your seat today!  For a current schedule of our training classes, check out www.innovativeidm.com/training anytime.

September 10, 2013 – Omron Basic PLC 
September 11, 2013 – Omron Intermediate PLC: CX Programmer – Advanced Techniques and Troubleshooting
8:30 am to 4 pm
Hampton Inn Wolfchase Galleria
2935 N Germantown Road, Bartlett, TN 38133
$329 per class or attend both classes for $429 (includes catered lunch)

To reserve your seats for the Omron Basic and Intermediate PLC training in Memphis, give us a call at 877.906.2100 or send us an email at marketing@iidm.com.

Omron PLC training Memphis September 10 and 11