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Old February 21st, 2018, 09:23 PM   #1
califflash
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Yaskawa PLC Thoughts

I had a training class at work a few weeks ago on Yaskawa PLC’s and Servos. I was curious what other people’s thoughts were.

I have to really give them credit. They have created a very nice environment for machine control. I have used automation direct, AB, codesys, and a few others. Somehow I’ve not done much work in Siemens. I would definitely pick these PLC’s over anything, other than AB, for a machine level PLC. The environment was very diverse like codesys, but much easier to develop and troubleshoot. The documentation on the PLC and libraries was also very good, which was surprising given my experience with Yaskawa drives.

I wouldn’t want to do process control or large systems with these PLC’s. Also, one of or low quantity machines/panels I would stick with AB. The controllers cane save you a lot of cash but I think you would spend more in development hours than you would save until you started building st least 5 machines.

I’d be happy to know everyone else’s experiences were.
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 06:29 AM   #2
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Judging by your description, you have been shown the so-called IEC version of Yaskawa MP series PLCs which use a customized version of Multi-prog software from KW-Software - that is one of alternatives to CoDeSys and its derivatives.

While very powerful, it still lacks the support of all the PLC modules that the original non-IEC Yaskawa version supports. If you are an old ladder hand, like many of us, you may find the IEC version of it weird and irritating, while the non-IEC version is quite nice.

Otherwise, they are very good mid-range PLCs wih very powerful servo motion handling - all at fraction of the cost of a comparable AB product.
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 07:54 AM   #3
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That’s the one! I would definitely agree that the ladder editor is clunky. It’s defi powerful but I feel like Development is somewhat hindered by their implementation. I would also not that the structured text editor is weak compared to Codesys. The software’s focus is definitely on function chart. I like the way tag files and the resources are implemented over codesys.

I didn’t know the suite was based off Kw software but I can’t act surprised. It looks like they’ve been acquired by Phoenix Contact.

I may need to check out the non-IEC controllers.
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 08:46 AM   #4
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Capture.jpg

This is what the non-IEC editor looks like. It is only ladder with some simple scripting blocks (not the IEC ST)
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 03:35 PM   #5
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Function Block and Ladder in the Yaskawa IEC are the same thing. These are not billed as PLC's, but rather motion controllers or small machine controllers. You can expand the I/O using the VIPA Ethernet/IP modules.
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 10:29 PM   #6
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I agree with them being a motion controller rather than a plc. We have four of the MP2300s and use MotionWorks Pro for programming and troubleshooting.

The software is a bit inept in my opinion but these controllers have operated trouble free since 2004. The only other complaint is the seemingly necessary power cycles in order to clear alarms/faults on the controller. Although, this could be the applications fault and not the controller.

A person going from working with AB and diving straight into Yaskawa would age quicker too.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 04:19 AM   #7
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I am a big fan of the IEC61131 style of programming, though KB's implementation of ladder is weird. CoDeSys handles ladder much more like I would expect. There should be very few controller errors that need a power cycle to clear, but there is a pretty long list of drive errors that need a power cycle to clear. I don't think the IEC stuff was out yet in 2004. I want to say more like 2008. I was involved in some early projects, and there some pretty big firmware issues. It continues to evolve and is an extremely capable motion controller line.
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