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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:09 AM   #1
TimeFluxCap
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ControlLogix Fans

Hi all

I have been away from the forum for a little while now and I notice most of you maniacs still here, great stuff!

Any AB fans want to give me the laydown on ControlLogix specs/advantages compared to SLC500. I know ControlLogix is faster, more memory, is going to have a longer support life etc but I have to come up with the rough initial proposal to management about why we should standardise to AB and whether we should stick with SLC500s or move onto ControlLogix.

Im going to go through the docs but since I havent had any hands on experience with ControlLogix hopefully someone who has already been through this process can give me some tips.

Thanks

TFC
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Old September 24th, 2004, 12:24 PM   #2
harryting
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See this thread:

http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthr...&threadid=9155

I found the logic to be almost identical to the SLC. CL also load the Tag Name (Symbol) into the processor so that's a plus IMO. The "define your own file structure" thing is the major difference for programming, howeve, it's not bad once you get used to it.

The biggie downside I feel is the version issue as mentioned by many others. ie. you can't talk to a V.10 Processor with V.11 software. Seems a little nutty to have several version of CL on one's laptop.
Of course, this have priced many small time SI right out of the CL market unless they go the pirate route.

Sounds like you are in a plant setting so moving to CL on new install makes sense. SLC will eventually go the way of PLC5. Beware that Panelview still have some issue with CL.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #3
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It's been discussed here several times. Here's the 'Cliff's Notes' version.

Good:
1. More memory, and it's not "fixed." You can sacrifice data for logic and vise-versa.

2. Fewer issues with add-on and third-party cards.

3. The programming software supports FBD, IL, and Ladder.

4. The hardware and software are extremely feature bloated.


Bad:
1. Memory is not fixed (deja vu), and uses variables rather than tables. This creates issues with connecting to a PanelView, HMI, or other non-CLX device.

2. Function block programming is frustrating. For example:
a. Inverting logic requires a "NOT" block (Why not allow boolean logic to be inverted at the input/output pin?), which takes up a good chunk of real-estate on the sheet. All the function blocks are fairly large, so FBD sheets get crowded REAL fast.
b. Wires drawn between components on the FBD are not frozen. Each time you open the sheet, your connections may (WILL!!!!) rearrange themselves. This makes readability almost impossible to control.
c. You can't comment function block, unless there is some back-of-the-manual secret that I haven't learned yet. I consider this to be proof that RSLogix5000 was NOT written by anyone who has ever had to program a PLC.

3. IL code can't be online edited. (This actually makes some amount of sense).

4. The hardware and software are extremely feature bloated (deja vu again).

5. That crazy "route-step" software-firmware matching that harryting mentioned. Not only will you (possibly) be required to run multiple versions of RSLogix5000 at some point, you will also spend many joyous minutes/hours waiting for firmware dumps to complete.

My personal opinion is that the ControlLogix is way cool. I've been impressed by some of the things Allen-Bradley accomplished with this product. But, I've also been disappointed by some things I've seen. On most projects I'd go with something cheaper, and easier.

AK
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Old September 24th, 2004, 07:09 PM   #4
Gerry
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A picture is worth a thousand words

Quote:
Originally posted by akreel


c. You can't comment function block, unless there is some back-of-the-manual secret that I haven't learned yet.

AK
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fbd_text.jpg (16.3 KB, 329 views)
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Old September 24th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #5
Gerry
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Quote:
Originally posted by akreel

3. The programming software supports FBD, IL, and Ladder.

There's no IL (instruction list), but there is ST (structured text).
There is also SFC (sequential function chart).

In version 13, all languages can be edited on-line.

The "version issue" is no longer the issue that it once was. Under Windows 2K or XP, every version from 10 up can be concurrently installed, with the appropriate version automatically selected when opening a file.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 07:50 PM   #6
Gerry
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Re: ControlLogix Fans

Quote:
Originally posted by TimeFluxCap
I have to come up with the rough initial proposal to management about why we should standardise to AB and whether we should stick with SLC500s or move onto ControlLogix.

Why you should standardise (to whatever brand) is mainly a logistical matter; i.e. spare parts holdings, training, vendor support, 3rd party (contractor) support, etc.

As for SLC vs CLX, you need to consider your in-house applications. For instance, do you have machine controls with SLC and separate motion/servo controller - two programs, two programming packages, and in-elegant inter-connection? With CLX you can have the whole system in ladder.

The FBD language may well make it practical (feasible, even) to take on more sophisticated applications like sectional drive control or complex process loop control.

The SFC language will help you program complex sequences in a solid and easily understood fashion.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 07:52 PM   #7
TimeFluxCap
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Thanks for the replies guys!
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Old September 25th, 2004, 11:20 AM   #8
akreel
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gerry
There's no IL (instruction list), but there is ST (structured text).There is also SFC (sequential function chart).
My mistake! You're right.

I'll have to try the online edits now, too.

By the way, that FBD comment is exactly what I've been looking for.
But, how is that done??? The help file has been far less than helpful.

AK
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Old September 25th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #9
Gerry
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Quote:
Originally posted by akreel


By the way, that FBD comment is exactly what I've been looking for.
But, how is that done??? The help file has been far less than helpful.

AK
In the FBD editor, you should see an icon for the text block in the tool bar next to the "connectors". beerchug
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Old September 27th, 2004, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gerry
In the FBD editor, you should see an icon for the text block in the tool bar next to the "connectors".
I found it. Very handy!

I just took a look back, though. This wasn't in version 11, which is the software we've been using. Now that V13 supports redundancy, we've upgraded.

AK
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Old September 27th, 2004, 05:05 PM   #11
Chip Hinde
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Talking

Another nice feature of the ControlLogix platform is the enhanced PID instruction in FBD. It autotunes!

My favorite, though, is that the communications cards are gateways. At first I was put off by each network taking up another slot instead of living on the processor. But I soon realized the benefits of gateways. I only need one network connection from my PC to my chassis and I can "hop" onto any other network. For example, to run RSNetWorx to configure the DeviceNet, I tell RSLinx to go out through the ethernet connection, across the backplane, and onto the DeviceNet. Sweet!

Oh yeah, the new L6x series of processors have compact flash slots for their nonvolatile memory. AB said I might have to use their CF cards, but I plugged in a generic card and it works fine.

(Do I sound like a CLX freak yet?)

Chip
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Old September 27th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chip Hinde
My favorite, though, is that the communications cards are gateways. At first I was put off by each network taking up another slot instead of living on the processor. But I soon realized the benefits of gateways. I only need one network connection from my PC to my chassis and I can "hop" onto any other network. For example, to run RSNetWorx to configure the DeviceNet, I tell RSLinx to go out through the ethernet connection, across the backplane, and onto the DeviceNet. Sweet!
That is kind of fun, now that it works (V11 or later). I've configured messages on redundant setups to go out the ControlNet card and onto Ethernet from the secondary rack. This will be useful if there is ever a fault on the primary ENET card that doesn't get detected (most faults cause the processors to trade places).

I've also thought about configuring IO that hops across several networks before reaching the processor. This, of course, would just be an exercise in trying to annoy the CPU. We'd never REALLY install a system like that.

AK
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