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Old January 17th, 2018, 08:31 PM   #1
AutomationTechBrian
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Cheapest way to get a 4-20mA input value into a Red Lion HMI

I've been talking to a customer about creating an HMI screen that tracks machine productivity. The only external input would be one 4-20mA analog signal. Cost is a little bit of a challenge in selling the project, so I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way to get a 4-20mA value into the Red Lion HMI (probably G3). I was thinking an Automation Direct PLC and maybe bringing it in on a serial port. (I'm assuming the drivers are available). Seems like overkill, but can't think of a cheaper way to do it. Any thoughts?

This will be in a stand-alone enclosure, with a 24vdc power supply for the HMI. 110vac is coming in, along with one analog cable. That's it. Later on, they would add an ethernet cable for using the web server feature.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 08:45 PM   #2
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The Red Lion Graphite HMI's have modules you can add to the HMI. I dont know what they cost.

Also the Automation Direct Click PLC would be the cheapest PLC that I have worked with. A unit with 2 AI and Ethernet is less than $200. Software is free and they are pretty easy to work with.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 09:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, I got excited about the analog card for the Graphite HMIs until I clicked on the Buy Now button... $618. Um, cool, but not for this project.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 09:01 PM   #4
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The graphite do cost more. Im.thinking cheapest is either the click.or maybe a modbus phoenixcontact 2ai block might be close to click
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Old January 17th, 2018, 09:06 PM   #5
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rPi
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Old January 18th, 2018, 05:31 AM   #6
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Does it have to be on a HMI screen, a LED Analogue reader would be pence in comparison and in effect, do the same job.
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Old January 18th, 2018, 06:30 AM   #7
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$150 USD will get you a Siemens Logo!8 with 4 AI (0-10V), built in ethernet port and a built in screen.

use a 500Ohm resistor to convert your 4-20mA to 2-10V signal.

Can be programmed in linux too, so if this is all you are doing, you could save a packet in windows licences.
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Old January 20th, 2018, 09:37 AM   #8
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Modbus/TCP

Here is a Modbus/TCP solution for $260:

# X-DAQ-8A5-I

https://www.controlbyweb.com/analog/partnumbers.html



Tom
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Old January 20th, 2018, 09:49 AM   #9
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I would use a click with a separate analog input module. The analog input will be the part of the system that is most likely to be damaged if there is a problem, so using a separate card makes it easier to maintain.

I would go for the ethernet click so that once networked, you will be able to access it or the HMI remotely.

I think you are still under $200 with that set up and the Click seems to be pretty rugged.
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Old January 20th, 2018, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullzi View Post
The Red Lion Graphite HMI's have modules you can add to the HMI. I dont know what they cost.
I have used a number of the GMUIN400 Universal Input Modules. We use to get them for just under $400.00, but the price keeps climbing. Last one I bought a couple months ago was $464.00. I do like them tho, but they are more expensive than the A-B 5069-IY4 Modules now.
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Old January 21st, 2018, 06:47 AM   #11
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Look for a low cost temperature controller with Modbus. I've seen some under $50.

You also might want to look for a thermostat like device for building automation with 4-20ma and Modbus.

Last edited by (8{)} ( .); January 21st, 2018 at 06:55 AM.
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Old January 21st, 2018, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustralIan View Post
$150 USD will get you a Siemens Logo!8 with 4 AI (0-10V), built in ethernet port and a built in screen.
They seem like nice kit for simple projects, but how about the required software, is that a free download, or paid? If the latter, do you know how much it is (ballpark figure)?
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Old January 21st, 2018, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
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They seem like nice kit for simple projects, but how about the required software, is that a free download, or paid? If the latter, do you know how much it is (ballpark figure)?
You can find logo soft comfort online for EUR50 or so.
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Old January 21st, 2018, 01:25 PM   #14
AutomationTechBrian
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Thanks for all of the replies. I think the Click PLC makes a lot of sense. I'll just use one with the integrated analog inputs... it's only $125. I'm looking at the DEMO software for the C-More EA9 HMIs as well. I think I'll lose the project if I push the Red Lion. I have a little learning curve with the C-More, but I'd like to get familiar with it anyway, and this is the slower time of the year.

I'll be posting a question about creating a couple of visual timers in the C-More to track up-time and down-time.
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