With few exceptions, the year-to-year enhancement of machine automation and control software from the supplier community grows and improves the width and breadth of functions included in integrated development platform software suites.
One of our recent Control Design audience surveys revealed that about 58% of respondents now say they use an integrated controller platform with one programming development environment to handle all required functions. The functions they identified include machine control, HMI, I/O and motion, among others. We also note that an integrated simulation capability is a growing expectation for these platforms.
Saber Engineering in Auburn, Calif., builds robot-enabled material handling workcells. In a recent Control Design article, Bob Sullivan, vice president of Saber Engineering, said "With a reduced time to build, selecting a common platform that is well-understood is the best choice. We try to use more all-inclusive automation packages that have many of the functions and features required by our customers. This cuts development time, and ultimately our time to market."
You'll see evidence in the pages that follow of suppliers trying to fulfill those needs.
Automation Organizer (AO) software suite combines the latest versions of WindLDR PLC and WindO/I-NV2 OI software with WindCFG system configuration software. WindLDR and WindO/I-NV2 have new graphical user interfaces and a redesign of the menu icons. Users can create a common tag name database for IDEC PLCs and OI touchscreens.
TwinCat Kinematic Transformation software extends its standard machine sequencing and motion control capability to Delta- and SCARA-type robot mechanisms and eliminates the need for a dedicated robot controller, the associated software and handshaking routines in applications that require a robot to handle part loading/unloading tasks.
CX-One V. 4.0 integrates PLC programming software with support software for setting up networks, operator interface HMIs, servo systems, inverters and temperature controllers. Users can manage entire projects from sequencing and motion control programs to configuration of field network devices without leaving the operating environment, and support for all IEC 61131-3 programming languages is provided in each license.
Omron Industrial Automation
RSLogix 5000 v20 software provides a single development environment for CompactLogix, ControlLogix and GuardLogix programmable automation controllers; Kinetix 350 servo drives on EtherNet/IP; and PanelView HMIs. In combination with scalable, right-sized control system components, users can scale from 48 to 10,000 I/O using a single control platform and common user experience.
Automation Studio object-oriented programming provides an integrated simulation environment, open interfaces and seamless integration of C++ for design and simulation of the machine all the way to commissioning, while reducing overall development times.
B&R Industrial Automation
PAC Project software suite for the company's programmable automation controllers has a free, basic version that includes a flowchart-based programming tool, and an HMI development and runtime application. PAC Project Professional adds an OPC server for communication with OPC clients, the ability to share system data with common databases, plus support for redundant controllers, complex network architectures, and legacy I/O.
Wago-I/O-Pro CAA 3.0 streamlines control programming and visualization for PLC application development, conforming to IEC 61131-3. For additional support during development, the software user-defined data types, and a visualization tool permit direct access and visualization of data within a Wago PFC.
Web control software with Ajax technology can remotely monitor and control a few points in a PLC-managed environment or machine using Nano-10 and FMD PLCs. Users can create and configure a custom web page that will open in a standard web browser on any PC, iPhone, iPad and most Android devices.
Triangle Research Intl
KEPDirect OPC Server connects your Windows client software with a scalable OPC server for connecting, managing, monitoring and controlling the company's Ethernet remote I/O, PLCs and PACs. Communications is managed through a robust platform that supports an array of open standards, proprietary communication protocols, APIs and other automation system interfaces.
IndraWorks Engineering 12 software provides access to all system components, uniform programming according to IEC 61131-3, and open support of standardized interfaces such as FDT/DTM. It supports real-time Ethernet communication, including SERCOS III, EtherNet/IP and Profinet. It offers standard HMI screens and the ability to develop customized screens and implement ActiveX controls.
ELCSoft programming software runs on a PC to configure ELC controllers. Programs can be created, edited, downloaded, uploaded, monitored and forced. The software supports copying programs from one controller to another, and it supports copying programs to and from the handheld programmer accessory. ELCSoft also provides a powerful instruction set usually found only in more expensive PLCs.
LabView has an off-the-shelf compiler, which abstracts tasks such as memory allocation and thread management to execute code an average of 20% faster. For field-programmable gate array (FPGA) users, it provides a new IP Integration Node to integrate any third-party FPGA IP into LabView applications, and it is compatible with the Xilinx Core Generator.
Frequency analysis software (FAS) tunes servo systems in the frequency domain and with a motion controller measures the frequency response of the plant (amplifier, motor, load and encoder). It simulates possible control solutions and synthesizes the two for Bode analysis of the closed-loop system.
Galil Motion Control
Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal) software engineering framework enables users to develop and commission automation systems, and eliminates time-consuming integration of separate software packages. The software provides advanced shared services across all the configuration interfaces so devices and networks in any system can be configured in one shared device and network editor.
SoftPLC v. 4.6 has a major upgrade to Gatecraft Linux, the operating system on SoftPLC PACs, with addition of Package Manager capability and provides an easy remote upgrade capability for the runtime software in a SoftPLC. A Package Manager is a collection of software tools to automate installion, upgrade, configuration and removal of software packages for a computer's OS in a consistent manner.
nanoNavigator 3.0 for the nLC-055 controller supports new math capability, counter functions and larger data sets. It requires no programming experience, and is ideal for small to mid-sized machines with limited I/O. It can be programmed via flow charts or Relay Ladder Logic (RLL), and is free to download from www.nanonavigator.com.
IsaGraf IEC 61131-3/IEC 61499-compliant environment programs a variety of automation products, including PACs, PLCs, DCSs, RTUs, CNCs, embedded microcontrollers and motion controllers. Based on a scalable and modular platform, IsaGraf 6 provides a managed open plug-in environment that enables integration of components. The infrastructure allows IsaGraf Runtime to coexist with any other PLC in the same development environment, unifying them under IEC 61131.
MachineStruxure automation solution for industrial machines is based on flexible hardware platforms and SoMachine software, a modular and reusable software suite developed to enable the design, commissioning and maintenance of logic, drive, motion and HMI controllers in a single environment.
CoDeSys v.3.4 programming tool's complex features can be activated or deactivated manually or with preset feature sets. It has optional FDT integration extending the standard configuration by device-specific dialogs from DTMs. New 3D CNC editor and 3D CNC libraries allow users to work with full 3D functionality in CoDeSys SoftMotion. A full version can be downloaded at www.codesys.com after registration.
+49-831/5 40 31-17
Scalable Proficy View machine-level HMI supports company's operator interface products from a single graphics editor with functions for data collection, visualization, animation, alarming and trending, and supports PLCs, CNCs, motion controllers and serial devices. It supports OPC for data connectivity and the exchange of alarm and event information, HTML for publishing apps as web pages, XML for data exchange, SQL for database access, and VBScript.
GE Intelligent Platforms
MotionSet proprietary commissioning software can speed conventional indexer setup with pre-defined load-and-go application templates. It also allows programming of 32 individual motion profiles from a single screen via a tree configuration, which can be mapped to I/O points, initiated via Modbus TCP, and chained or looped together. Input functions can be used to trigger motions, change operating mode, clear fault conditions and synchronize motions; and output functions include drive status, motion status, motor position and timed pulses.
Size then Select
Motioneering 6.1.0 motion system sizing and selection software uses a mechanism project concept to collect and save axis load information, automatically calculate application results, and compare those results against a robust database catalog of products to identify the optimized linear or rotary motion system solutions to meet specific machine builder application requirements. In rotary applications, it can sum the effects of multiple axes of motion to rightly size the power supply and shunt regeneration.