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Old February 8th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #1
rustydud
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Recommendation for a good class on ControlLogix5000?

Hello everyone!
I am fairly new to the PLC world, being an I&C engineer for just over a year now. A few years ago I had some limited experience with an Ovation DCS (Emerson). I know very basic RSLogix - I purchased a book, can enter commands, and did an example program using the book I purchased.

I recently was in the field looking over someone's shoulder trying to learn a bit about ControlLogix5000 during commissioning. During commissioning I came to realize there's a lot I have to learn, which is a great thing because I think I have a better idea of the questions I need to answer before I get thrown in the field.

I would like to take a class in the very near future here in the Maryland area and need recommendations based on my needs. I am soon going to be thrown into commissioning where I will have ControlLogix rack(s) and Allen Bradley drives talking with Ethernet.

While I realize no one class is "one-size-fits-all", I want to take a class that can answer the following questions:
Questions I can think of:
General Do’s and don’ts of ControlLogix in a commissioning environment?
Go online and offline – what does it mean?
How to upload and download program from ControlLogix controller?
How to save program from Logix? How to save program with comments from ControlLogix?
Do’s and don’ts of going online and offline especially in a commissioning environment?
Do’s and don’ts of changing program??
How to add “profiles” for variable frequency drives?
Differences between ControlLogix “tag-based” system and RSLogix?
How to connect laptop to a switch and talk to ControlLogix program?
How to use Linx?

Again the class needs to be in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area; I cannot travel outside the state. I should be able to take a 2 or 3 day class without an issue but no more than that.

Anyone who has experience with ControlLogix and/or has taken classes - your suggestions?
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #2
daba
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I think you'll find the forum is a great place for asking the sort of specific questions you have posted. Many of those questions would not get "answered" in many packaged courses.

There are many people on here who can answer ALL of them.

It is good to see that you have a willingness to learn as much as you can.

I'll start the ball rolling with a brief discussion of the offline/online questions you raised, as this seems to be a grey area for you.

First of all - you have to Open the project file saved on your Hard disk, network drive or whatever (unless you choose to "Upload" from the controller - discussed later).

Once you have the project file open in your programming software (RSLogix5000), you will be OFFLINE, meaning that you are not connected to the controller. In the offline scenario, you can edit the code, create and delete tags, change tag values, add/delete I/O modules etc. etc. However, and very importantly, as soon as you make one single change to the "offline" application, you will be forced to do a "Download" to the controller.

Downloading will stop the controller from running the application, because the downloaded project replaces the project in the controller. Of course, in a commissioning situation, it is not often you can get the opportunity to stop the machine/process to perform a download.

Generally, therefore, you will make program and database changes "online".

To go "online" can simply be a case of just clicking the "Go online" option in the relevant dropdown menu. Assuming your project file has not been changed offline, the system will allow you to go online with very little fuss*, and from now on any changes you make will be done in the controller itself.

* To go "online" to a Logix5000 controller, the controller project and the offline project MUST be identical in every respect. Sometimes the controller will have had changes made to it by someone else, but this will not stop you going online to it, as the system will automatically make the same changes to your "offline" project, to bring it up to the same level as the online project. This process is called "correlation", and will be done for you, so that you can get online to the controller.

Correlation may fail if there were too many changes made to the controller by someone else, and/or the controller is limited on free memory (i won't bore you with the details). If correlation cannot succeed, you will be given the option to "Upload" the controller project to the programming software. You can also seek out the other person's project file, with the changes made, and put that on your hard disk, but uploading is much easier, and can be done while the controller is still running.

Either way, whether correlation occurs, or you Upload, or you get an up to date project file, you can end up "online", and you will be ready for monitoring, editing, etc.

You will soon discover there are some things that cannot be done to a controller online, mainly changes to the "infrastructure" such as tag properties, array sizes, alias tag definitions etc., but the software is excellent in that anything in a menu or toolbar button that can't be done online is greyed out. Creating and deleting tags is allowed, create always succeeds, but deleting requires that the tag is not reference by any code in the controller.

Now that you are working "online", you will notice that the rung editing procedure is more "complicated" than if you were editing offline.

It's all about safety....

Offline you can't chop someone's arm off, create a dead-end to a PD pump and blow seals, move two axes so they crash into each other, etc.

Online, you can do all sorts of things that could make the machine or process do something untoward.

One tool in your toolbag is knowing "how" to work online, but there a far more important tools...

1) knowing what you are doing
2) why you are doing it

and most importantly...

3) you are doing it safely

Feel free to ask any questions you may have, and I hope other forum members kick in to cover your other topics.

Of course, there's also Ron Beaufort's excellent offerings, and I'm sure he'll be along to tell you what's available to you (if he hasn't already posted while I've been typing).
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