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.