It’s always been said that modernization in manufacturing is a slow process, and for a good reason. Companies need to get it right the first time and avoid the cost of having to go back and retool all over again. Factory and machine updates are made when they will increase the bottom line or provide the means to innovate a product. Even a slowdown in the economy will not stop innovators from pursuing better methods to produce goods and services. The end user always looks for products and software to simplify complex functions and improve productivity. The powerful tools provided by design and simulation software and the reduction in cost of these tools are driving engineers to implement simulation software more frequently. But we have a ways to go. A Control Design Market Intelligent Report conducted in June 200 [see the video report at www.ControlDesign.com/simulation] identified the use and application trends of design and simulation software among industrial machine builders and system integrators that comprise our audience. There were 154 respondents, and here are some highlights. Forty percent of machine-builder survey respondents indicated they currently use simulation software. Of those respondents who use simulation software, the most common applications include:
- Control sequences (61%)
- Motion simulation (60%)
- Component integration (58%)
- Motion visualization (51%)
- Component placement (48%)
- Cycle time (45%)
- Dynamic variables (41%).
In terms of value provided by simulation software, respondents ranked the aspects as follows:
- Speeds configuration and commissioning (88% ranked as “important” or “very important”)
- Duplicates sequences and conditions that are difficult to produce in shop tests (80% ranked as “important” or “very important”)
- Better defines control system cost decisions (77% ranked as “important” or “very important”)
- 3D visualization (72% ranked as “important” or “very important”).
IEC 61131-3/IEC 61499-compliant development environment lets users create applications for PACs, PLCs, DCSs, RTUs, CNCs, embedded microcontrollers, motion controllers and more. HiBeam turns your automation product into an embedded Web and data server to display data over the Internet via a standard Web browser. Toolkits provide customization and access to portable source code for implementation on any OS and hardware platform.
Gp-Pro EX Version 2.2 HMI development software includes multimedia capability, remote PC access, high-speed device linking and built-in control logic editor. The software is designed to speed application development for both OEMs and end users that need to standardize on one HMI package that supports Windows-based systems and dedicated operator interfaces. Other features include local and remote security and traceability.
Proficy HMI/SCADA iFix 5.0 comes with a new look and feel for workspace and database manager, based on Microsoft Fluent user interface (UI) technology, which follows the Ribbon bar concept, so users can access tools during application development and configure Quick Access toolbars to access frequently used tools.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
LabView 8.6 graphical design software platform has a rapid programming model for direct FPGA customization of applications ranging from machine control to integration of complex measurements. It simplifies programming of the CompactRIO control and acquisition system and introduces additional control logic tools by providing function blocks based on IEC 61131-3.
|MIDRANGE MACHINE BUILDERS
Integrated architecture production control and information system includes Stratix advanced process control and safety functionality and three Logix programmable automation controllers (PACs) for midrange machine builders and end users. New safety tools for GuardLogix PACs offer a suite of 10 specific metalforming instructions certified by BG as compliant with leading safety standards.
Think & Do 8.0 HMI software provides real-time and historical trending and alarming, along with ActiveX, MS.NET and VB script support. The HMI runtime environment lets the user establish concurrent Web HMI sessions, where the HMI screens can be viewed remotely through an ordinary Web browser. The grid-based flowchart editor creates a visual flowchart and connects flowchart elements with the use of a hotspot connect feature.
Automation Studio software provides one development environment for control, visualization, motion control and communication tasks. Standardized IEC editors, integrated ANSI complier and debugger, graphic configuration for I/O points and axes and integrated configuration of machine visualization systems are included for programming and commissioning phases all the way to production and service.
B&R Industrial Automation
|MOTION ON THE MOVE
MintNC software provides designers with a tool for programming motion control moves involving contouring and profiling applications in industrial automation machinery. It provides a PC-based environment that will import information in industry-standard CAD formats including G code, HPGL and DXF, and it generates required real-time motion commands.
PAC Project 8.2 software suite includes PAC Control flowchart-based control programming and debugging tool with a plain-English command set and scripting language. It has Secure Strategy Distribution, enabling encryption of firmware and control programs, so they can be uploaded or downloaded only to a controller using a secure encryption key.
|SIMPLER IS BETTER
InstantHMI 5.0 platform-independent SCADA and control software has stand-alone PDA-based wireless access to EtherNet/IP-enabled controllers. The architecture provides extensibility via user-created DLL, customized OEM DLL, scripting and enhanced COM/ActiveX support, interface to specify RTI I/O configurations and control logic.
Intune+ Process Navigator combines customized software tools and process control services to minimize process variations through a production unit. It provides customized reports that supplement and enhance existing technical expertise on the staff.
Motion programming interface MPI 4.0 is a C/C++ software library for writing motion applications for SynqNet controllers. As open software, it enables users to customize the application code for a machine and perform on-the-fly motion modifications, synchronize multiple axes and set up trigger events.
|STANDARDIZED PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES
MultiProg software supports IEC 61131-3 programming languages. It includes cross-compiling (FBD, LD and IL can be cross-compiled to each other), multi-user functionality to shorten programming times, management of distributed controls, configuration of distributed communications, and debugging tools.
Advantech, Industrial Automation Group
Unity Pro advanced application software is a single software package that allows full development of applications, including online updates and simulation with debug functions on Modicon Quantum Premiumb and M340 programmable controllers. The software allows simple upgrades from smaller Unity packages to larger offers or more user licenses.
|HOUSE OF FLYING SHEARS
Flying shear solution for metal forming is a pre-engineered, IndraDrive-based solution for standard applications requiring configuration setup, saving integration, setup and operation time. It offers a scalable choice for processors of sheet metal, plastic, paper or wood. With Ethernet, the HMI and PC can be connected via Ethernet. SERCOS III Ethernet-based real-time communications provides connection of additional drives and I/O.
|COMMUNICATES WITH DEVICES
TwinCat EtherNet/IP slave software can communicate seamlessly with all company industrial PCs, embedded PCs, PLCs and EtherNet/IP master devices from other vendors. The software lets machine builders use small, high-speed processors in the company’s PC-based controllers.
Wonderware performance software, formally known as Factelligence, provides a scalable solution for collecting, tracking and communicating real-time equipment performance information. The software is configurable and leverages the Wonderware system platform and its underlying ArchestrA technology, helping to facilitate rapid scaling of the application throughout the enterprise. The software helps deliver critical equipment downtime and efficiency information.
RMCTools 2.2 software supports RMC150 multi-axis motion controllers with flexible mathematical expressions, setup wizards, automated loop tuning wizards and graphics-based diagnostics.
Delta Computer Systems
Interact Xpress HMI leverages the Internet, IP networks and Web browsers to enable distributed HMI, remote support and application sharing. It combines graphical runtime interface with HMI development tools that can be accessed from the HMI panel or a PC running Internet Explorer. It enables multi-site, multi-station and stand-alone machine HMI applications where remote control, monitoring and support are desirable.
|REAL-TIME MOTION CONTROL
SynqNet-based Steeplechase VLC and VLC driver can control 256 axes from one runtime program to simplify real-time motion control development, eliminating multiple programming packages. It eliminates analog wiring and handshaking between PCs, stand-alone controllers and amps.
MoviTools MotionStudio programs drives and other motion devices, configures communication parameters and interfaces with a controller. It includes a library of application modules that can be configured for a range of applications, as well as an editor for creating custom visualizations and application-specific diagnostics. Capabilities include a choice of communication paths, central data storage, decentralized and application-specific diagnostics and remote maintenance.
Simatic WinCC provides process visualization for standalone workstations to scalable client/server to Web-based clients. The software includes statistical functions for message/measured value archives and an integrated historian to acquire production data.
VTS 8.1 HMI software has extended redundancy to include remote I/O devices and physical links that tie them to the SCADA application (e.g., Ethernet, serial, dialup). Optional VTS OPC server allows OPC client software to read real-time data from VTS applications. Other tools include photorealistic meters and switch animations; adjustment for color, hue, saturation and transparency of graphic objects; and grouped reusable objects that can be added to other applications or OEM layers.
|SOFTWARE AIDS CONTROLLERS
CoDeSys 3.0 programming software has object-oriented programming extensions to create reusable code. Using CoDeSys with a controller means that if one portion of an application shuts down, production will continue unaffected.
H-Designer configuration software enables project creation using Windows formats and fonts. The configurator selects thumbnail or detailed zoomed views and supports ladder programming or macro creation, allowing data changes to the controller and I/O setting/resetting.
|TAP INTO MACHINES
DataNet Enterprise Web-based enterprise monitoring system offers the basic functionality of an ERP tool or MES. Users pull information from various enterprise areas and display it in a consolidated format. It taps into machines, databases and legacy systems to manage core information, monitor real-time plant processes and collect and analyze historical data.
SUPPORTING SERCOS III
ASC.NET has driver support for Logix processors via Ethernet; A-B PLC5, SLC500 and MicroLogix via Ethernet; Modbus/TCP Master; GE SRTP; and Modbus RTU Master. HMI/SCADA developers have a runtime-free option for creating HMI, control and supervisory control applications in Visual Studio .NET. The drivers provide the communications link between .NET applications and industrial controllers, PLCs and instrumentation.