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Old February 27th, 2017, 12:15 PM   #16
OkiePC
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If you're only talking about two digital inputs per machine, (power, running) then having them all networked might be overkill for your basic purposes.

Having them all networked is a good thing, don't get me wrong, but if the existing PLCs don't support Ethernet, you may end up with a kludge by adding separate PLCs.

Another thing to consider is using radio modems with I/O for your data collection. The hardware can be expensive but often a whole lot cheaper than running conduit for all the wiring you might need. Radios make moving the equipment (or just the radio and I/O wiring) much easier.

We use Phoenix contact TWE models with add on I/O for monitoring and controlling simple systems up to 12 miles apart with one PLC doing the Modbus polling to collect all the data. They have a simpler system called Radio Line that might cost less money and give you similar functionality.

One drawback to using radios are that your data may not be as precise since polling 20 radios could take up to a minute or so (if some of the nodes are missing and generate errors, that can take a couple of seconds). This drawback is also going to exist if you are polling 20 PLCs over copper.

Another way you could do this would be to pull 2 inputs from all twenty machines back to one central PLC and let it do the math and connect to an HMI.

I like the idea of networking ethernet capable machines for all the other advantages it will give you but wanted to point out some of the other possibilities.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 12:35 PM   #17
mk42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnrookie View Post
Yes, your right there, looking at this project and ahead to future demands I see alot of value in networking as much of these as possible. I know there quite a few ways to accomplish this, perhaps a small processor with ethernet capabilities to a central unit then that to the HMI?
Having a small ethernet capable processor local to each system is a good place to start.

How you do the data concentration can depend on scale/quantity. Many HMIs support multiple connections, so it really depends how many systems are involved. There are lots of possible options/architectures. You could do:

  • all the small PLCs/smart relays to one bigger PLC to the HMI
  • sections of the small PLCs to a few medium PLCs to the HMI
  • HMI direct to all the small PLCs
  • an OPC server acting as a gateway that read from the PLCs, and then the HMIs read from the OPC server instead.
You need to make sure that all the devices/software you're selecting talk the same protocols. There are a lot of different flavors of Ethernet. They can almost always coexist on the same cable, but that doesn't make them compatible. This is sometimes where an OPC server comes in handy, to act as a translator.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #18
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I would recommend starting out with a smaller scope. (Monitor 2 machines) In my plant I started with one machine that had a controller that could be networked. Later the project grew to include all of the machines in the plant. Where we did not have access to the program, (proprietary programs) we set up just a data monitoring PLC and picked up the I/O to tell us the machine status and rates.
We now log to a database, the database is on a web server. The web server distributes the database information to our intranet. ASP.net is used to deliver the information to any web browser on our intranet.
Information is shared on cell phones, tablets and work stations.

Start small, determine the information that is required, and start.

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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #19
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For my money's worth, I'd be pushing down the networking path as well. If you've got to run cables to each machine regardless, you might as well make it an ethernet cable.

Then I'd look at a central data gathering PLC, and a Red Lion Data Station Plus to collate data from the different types of PLC.

For machines that don't have a PLC, you have a couple of choices.
- Instead of running an ethernet cable, run a regular multicore cable and connect it to some digital inputs on your data gathering PLC
- Run an ethernet cable to the panel, and put some remote I/O in there, connected back to the same data gathering PLC. The data gathering PLC will do the work just like the previous option, only using remote I/O instead of wiring back to local I/O. This would be more expensive, but would mean that if you ever did put a PLC down there, you've already got ethernet
- Put an ethernet Click Koyo PLC in each of the cabinets that don't have a PLC, and have it report back the data via comms. Again, a little more expensive, but again you have a network down there now.

The great thing about having ethernet to each panel is that it allows you to morph and change quite easily. Want to pick up a couple more signals? No problem. Want to send a unique fault code back to the monitoring HMI? No problem. Want to be able to shut down all your machines from a central point in the case of a fire alarm? No problem. Hardwiring, you can usually find a way to make it work, but eventually you run out of spare wires, and you're right back where you started.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 11:25 AM   #20
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Thanks again guys, Ill have a look around, do some figuring and touch base when I have an actual idea of what we want to do.

I like the idea of starting small, we have a few processors kicking around from old jobs that we could start playing with (I believe a ML100, SLC5/03 and maybe a ML1500)
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Old February 28th, 2017, 11:39 AM   #21
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I have done some of this through the years, and there are about a million different ways/devices to make it happen. It probably mostly depends on how much you want to be able to do with the information.

If I had it my way we would use S7-1200 controllers to do these tasks, because they now have the web page capability. You also have enough power to do a lot of calculation, and its better to have more and not need it IMHO.

We are currently deploying a new system around our plant called "Moxa". Basically just counting time that certain inputs are made. I believe they want to be able to assign downtime reasons to various machines. Apparently this interfaces well with our ERP, but I'm not convinced that any other system wouldn't do just as well.

I have previously used a logging device called a "Jnior" by IntegPG. They are a smaller company, but I found them to be very helpful. Their equipment and software has been constantly improving. I believe they are based in Ohio.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 03:31 PM   #22
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I am using a PICO logger. They run about $350 and can monitor 16 points Analog or Digital. More than one can be connected and run on any PC.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 06:51 PM   #23
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Our ET-7053 could be used to bring the data to your HMI or PC. This remote data acquisition module can be polled as a Modbus TCP slave device. Your HMI may have this capability and will be able to add up and display the up time and machine status. Each module has 16 inputs. For 40 DI, you could network 3 of these together via Ethernet.
http://www.icpdas-usa.com/et_7053.html





We offer our EZ Datalogger software for PC's. It is free for up to 64 tags. If you want to count seconds (for uptime), you will be likely using more than 64 tags.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 10:25 AM   #24
Stephen Luft
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Sir,

There there may actually be a better solution. Here is a link to exactly what you are looking for...

http://www.wirefreeshop.com/networking.html

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in that I have worked with this company in the past as a representative.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 03:53 PM   #25
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So Ive been looking around, the HMI that I have wil allow my to directly connect 16 micrologix units. This woud make programming the HMI and the PLC's quite simple. With this, I dont know that I need the data logger as the HMI also has a usb backup capabilities. I can sample, graph and backup daily or a couple times daily. With this, the ML1100 is really overkill for this project but does allow for endless upgrades (stack lights, maintenance calls, etc.)

The almost $600 per unit is not so attractive. (ML1100)

I looked at the micro820, but I just seem to have a endless amount of issues getting it to do what I want it to. Maybe the software just dowsnt like my computer, lol

Im going to keep looking, but thought Id throw out an update.
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Old March 4th, 2017, 02:50 AM   #26
Hundikoer
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What about http://www.nasys.no/products/sensors...-tool-sensors/
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Old March 4th, 2017, 03:58 AM   #27
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I think you need to sit down and work out what info you actually want, both now and in the future. If its only 20 machines and 2 signals, you could do this centrally with just running cores back to a cheap plc and screen.

On the other end of the scale, if you like the idea of networking everything, then oviously effort and time increases significantly.

What does your boss want, info wise?

Its always nice to have all the bells and whistles in the meeting room, until crunch time and somebody has to do the work and stump up the money.

Simple relays in the machines back to a central plc is probably a weekends work in some plants.

You could even go very simple and just install hours run counters locally to each machine.

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/automa...s/hour-meters/
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Old March 5th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #28
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Where abouts in Canada are you from?

I also like the click plc. Software is free and easy to use
Just make sure you get a standard ethernet model not basic. Standard has battery backup. And real time clock. I have runtime Calc logic in a click for a client already If you get stuck. You can even get 120v inputs if that makes your task easier. Get it at www.automationdirect.com. very quick shipping. 3 days normal. Overnight if rush.
Also proface Hmis support Modbus rtu and TCP so
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Old March 6th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #29
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I'm in ontario,

The company wants to start with monitoring:

  • 1 input - unit is on (with indicator on HMI)
  • 1 input - unit is running (with indicator on HMI)
  • 2 inputs - Number of pieces
  • HMI display - Counter for weekly efficiency stat ((on-expected down time)\running)
  • HMI display - counter for pieces produced/cut/drilled, etc
From there, furture considerations:


  • 1 input, 1 output - machine waiting for material
  • 1 input, 1 output - maintenance needed
  • 1 input, 1 output - drawing error
  • Possibly stack lights for shop visual
So thats what they have come up with in their initial meetings, all and all I am looking at possibly 7 inputs and 3 outputs. And in all honesty, knowing how things go, they will change their wish list on a regular basis!

I may purchase a click unit just to try out
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Old March 6th, 2017, 03:31 PM   #30
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Let me know if you have any questions...

Regards,
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