Using a Siemens HMI with a non-Siemens PLC

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Sep 29, 2020 1:20:04 PM

The Basics

A Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) is a user interface or dashboard that connects a person to a machine, device, or system. In industrial settings, HMIs can be used for a multitude of tasks including visually displaying data, tracking production time and trends, monitoring machine inputs and outputs, and much more. As industrial automation becomes increasingly digitized, HMIs have grown more and more essential to understand and interact with systems and various processes. However, there are certain roadblocks users may encounter when attempting to configure an HMI to a PLC should both products not be from the same manufacturer. Below, we’ll walk through the process of setting up and using a Siemens HMI with a non-Siemens PLC and discuss the advantages that an HMI can provide to your business.

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Topics: PLCs, HMI

When a PLC Just Doesn't Cut It

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Jun 17, 2020 11:45:00 AM

In a modern factory environment, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are integral to day-to-day operations. During the course of operations, PLCs allow factory systems to operate reliably, while also maintaining a level of flexibility necessary to add additional models. Furthermore, PLCs can work to facilitate the troubleshooting of faulty components and also provide in-depth insight into machine health and performance. However, with the increasing complexity of industrial machinery and machine tasks, some companies are finding that PLCs cannot always satisfy their needs for high-speed data acquisition and database interaction. Because of this, modern alternatives to PLCs are being offered by a handful of companies. Below, we’ll discuss a Michigan tech company’s alternative to PLCs and how they are already utilizing their product to help various businesses around the country.

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Topics: PLCs, Safety Devices & Software, Remote Monitoring, Sensors

Basics of Machine Safety in a PLC

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on May 27, 2020 2:00:00 PM

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial digital computer which is used for the control of manufacturing processes. With the rise of new technologies, PLCs are now mainstays in the majority of factory environments and help facilitate day-to-day automation. Because of the significant role of PLCs in working factories, safety is placed at a premium when developing this new technology. Below, we’ll walk through the basics of machine safety in a PLC, the distinction between a standard PLC and a safety PLC, and how a safety PLC can be advantageous to your business in the long run.

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Topics: PLCs

Setup of a Banner Wireless Controller

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on May 19, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Wireless technology is a burgeoning and now nearly ubiquitous facet of a modern factory environment. Perhaps the most pivotal piece to a factory’s wireless network is its wireless controller. A wireless controller is the heart of the factory’s production, providing users the ability to communicate with various material handling systems such as overhead cranes, conveyor systems, and transfer cars just to name a few. This functionality streamlines production and allocates all the pertinent data and information into one place, greatly simplifying things for your business. With all this being said, the setup of a wireless controller can often be a daunting and complex task. Below, we’ll walk through a simplified version of how to set up your wireless controller and provide more details on how they can help your business cut costs, save money, and prosper in the long run.

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Topics: PLCs, IoT

TIA Portal Basics

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Apr 28, 2020 12:25:00 PM

Modern factory automation is a complex process. Oftentimes, there are dozens of machines communicating and relaying large amounts of information and intricate processes between each one another. With all these nuances and complexities, it isn’t difficult to see how things can quickly become confusing and/or overwhelming to even the most competent employee. However, the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal works to mitigate these potential roadblocks by providing your business with a complete range of digitalized automation services, from transparent operation to digital planning and integrated engineering. Below, we’ll walk through the basics of the TIA Portal, the advantages it offers - whether it’s shortening your businesses’ time to market or increasing your productivity through additional diagnostics and energy management functions - and how it can benefit your company in the long run.

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Topics: PLCs

Upgrading PLC Hardware

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Sep 19, 2019 11:21:14 AM

The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) has formed the backbone of all industrial automation operations since its introduction in the late 1960s. Modern PLCs have come a long way, incorporating several upgrades pertaining to processing power, peripherals and connectivity. Several manufacturing companies have extended upgrading cycles, meaning they let their systems work as is until a problem starts to surface. But once a problem does become apparent, an upgrade is necessary.

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Topics: PLCs

Discrete Sensors 101

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Aug 26, 2019 3:52:34 PM

Discrete Sensors have existed in the automation & control landscape long before the advent of Programmable Logic Controllers, supplementing relay logic. The function of a discrete sensor is to send high/low, on/off or yes/no signals to the controller regarding the quantity of a physical parameter. The obvious benefit discrete sensors had over analog ones was the absence of deadband, detection speed, analog thresholds and other similar complexities.

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Topics: PLCs, Sensors

Simply Safe: Network Integration via PROFIsafe/PROFINET

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on May 1, 2018 1:20:44 PM

The RSL 400 is an outstanding laser scanner from Leuze Electronic, and is underlined by its wide scanning range, reliable operation and robust build. Featuring operating ranges up to 8.25 meters, scanning angle of 270 degrees and ability to track four protective fields simultaneously makes it a perfect one-in-all replacement for multiple scanners.

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Topics: PLCs, Safety Devices & Software, Safety, Sensors

What Can Be Done with Anybus Wireless Solutions?

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Oct 20, 2017 8:52:24 AM

Overview of Anybus Wireless Solutions

Wireless solutions are being increasingly adopted in the industrial world due to the obvious benefit of mobility they bring to the table. Technologies such as Bluetooth and WLAN have made it easier to form connections with hard to reach appliances, while keeping the installation cost under check. Anybus wireless products provide performance, reliability and security that’s at par with wired solutions, enabling industries to instill a permanent factor of flexibility and move closer towards having an Industrial IoT based system.

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Topics: PLCs, HMI, Networks, ethernet

What is Anybus?

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Sep 29, 2017 12:10:48 PM

Launched in 1994 by HMS Industrial Networks, Anybus technology and products have proved themselves as a worthy cog in the industrial automation machine, making up for the most used 3rd part range of fieldbus connectivity products. Anybus’ functionalities can’t be confined within those of a fieldbus. It can be thought of as a range of generic products that provide support to all types of industrial fieldbus networks.

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Topics: PLCs, HMI, Networks

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