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Old March 18th, 2018, 09:51 AM   #1

AutomationEngineer82 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sweden
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Tips for my own project

Hello every one

I graduated from an automation education last year. At monday I am starting a new job at an automation consultant firm. But I want to do automation at my spear time as well.
Do you have any tips for which brands of PLC, HMI, fieldbuses, sensors and output devices and so on that are appropriate for a spear time project?

The idea is to begin small, like with a PLC and HMI, and than build on that. That could for instance be done by connecting different PLCs and/or HMIs with a fieldbus. Perhaps it could also involve SQL data bases as well.

I think I will put a purchase ceiling at 10 000 SEK which is approximately $1 400 and Ģ1 000.

It would help a lot if there are available tutorials and/or manuals for the devices I would be working with.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 07:15 AM   #2
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nmurray is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 81
Automation Direct has some cheaper PLC's, If your in Europe I believe Rockwell may be cheaper than it is in the US, but the programming software is expensive..
I would just make sure the software is not subscription based before purchasing something.
Siemens has some inexpensive PLC's, Beckhoff PLC's are inexpensive.
I believe Wonderware you can get a small tag license for cheaper, however Advanced HMI I'm pretty sure is free. You could also use Microsoft Visual Basic to make an HMI.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 07:47 AM   #3
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geniusintraining is offline
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I would go for Siemens... you can get a TIA Portal kit with the HMI at a good price, I think they come with 1214 CPU's and can be expanded

Edit they have two, the 1200 and 1500, not sure if the 1500 comes with the HMI

They have made a bunch of videos on youtube and will get you going
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Last edited by geniusintraining; March 19th, 2018 at 07:52 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 08:21 AM   #4
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cardosocea is offline
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Originally Posted by nmurray View Post
If your in Europe I believe Rockwell may be cheaper than it is in the US, but the programming software is expensive..
Rockwell is always expensive...

I would go with Siemens, their lowest range S7-1500's is not very expensive and the S7-1200 is actually quite powerful for price and size. Every now and then you can also find some parts on eBay for it too, which helps the budget.

Other than that, I believe you can run Codesys opr Twincat in a raspberry pi. Not sure you'd want to, but can be an interesting device for testing that particular platform.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 08:46 AM   #5

lfe is offline
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Location: Barcelona
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It would be important to learn with some brand of PLC widely used in your country, it will be easier to find a job.

Siemens is clearly used throughout Europe and I think Mitsubishi is also very common in your country.
Suppanel HMI
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Old March 19th, 2018, 12:34 PM   #6

gclshortt is offline
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There is allot that can be done and tested without spending much money.

PLC Programming Software (Free)
- Do More Designer - Built in Simulator c/w Modbus TCP communications

HMI Package Free
AdvancedHMI will run on visual studio

Database SQL Express - Free

Android HMI - Low Cost

Once information is in a database, I would then look to share the information through ASP (active server pages) using a web server.

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Old March 20th, 2018, 03:05 AM   #7
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makr8100 is offline
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Location: USA
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For a cheap way to go I use Horner plus open source software, but I'm on a masochist level of programming. I've previously played with QModBus and am currently working with phpmodbus and/or a port of libmodbus to PHP. Not sure if you'd have interest in PHP, it's somewhat rare in the SCADA world. C# or C++ are good languages to learn for PLC's if you're into programming, and if not I'd say AdvanceHMI. In any case computer networking and understanding Modbus is essential.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 07:50 AM   #8
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boneless is offline
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Welcome to the forum!

Another cheap alternative is to use a raspberry pi with the Codesys soft PLC. It is pretty powerful.

If you are willing to invest into the Siemens package, that would probably be the most likely brand you see in your end of the world.
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