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Old October 22nd, 2018, 08:47 AM   #1
02js4130
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Allen brandley and printers

Hi,

I am required to link up a Allen bradley micrologix PLC with a label printer to allow automated requests.

Does anyone have any experience of this ? and what tort of printer to be using or recommended?

The label must hold a maximum of 30 characters with real date and time sent from the PLC on request.

Thanks in advance.
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 09:00 AM   #2
geniusintraining
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This may help...

https://locator.rockwellautomation.c...1-15eaf31d16a0

Here in the states Zebra printers are popular
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 09:18 AM   #3
02js4130
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Thank you for your suggestion.

How do you find programming these? and are their simple communications for the PLC to printer?
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 09:31 AM   #4
mylespetro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02js4130 View Post
Thank you for your suggestion.

How do you find programming these? and are their simple communications for the PLC to printer?

Based on this thread, it sounds a bit involved. I have no experience with interfacing a PLC with a printer whatsoever, but I did a quick Google after reading your question and found this.


http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthread.php?t=71612


Sounds like you need some sort of interface to talk to it over Ethernet.
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 09:45 AM   #5
02js4130
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Thanks for the info.

I am also starting to realise that interfacing the PLC and printer may be more complex than first thought.

Does anyone have any knowledge on interfacing a PLC and PC?

I have basic Visual Basic knowledge and wonder weather it would eb easier to interface the PLC to send signals through the PC and then on to the printer?
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 10:03 AM   #6
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The printers have their own commands that are ascii based, which the Micrologix supports. Zebra uses ZPL, and you can get their programming manuals online or from whoever you buy them from. Even in their normal user guide they reference the ZPL command for every printer setting.
If you're just doing a time stamp and basic info then you don't need to introduce a PC to the equation.

The PC based printing software options send the same commands - so if I remember correctly you can use something like Labelview to generate a print format for you exact printer and print the label to a text file. Open the text file in notepad and it will display all of the individual commands that get sent.
I've had to do something similar to troubleshoot a customer's software overriding printer settings, which turns into troubleshooting windows drivers.

The good thing about using a PLC direct to printer is that you don't have to worry about drivers!
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 10:23 AM   #7
02js4130
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Thanks for your reply.

I assume then that the printer holds a preloaded ZPL (if a zebra printer) file in the printers memory with the label format ect.

who holds the labels information e.g text ? as i would require the label to state a customers name, date and time.

Thanks
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 11:07 AM   #8
tarik1978
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Please, check this manual ==> https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/ze...096306-001.pdf
It explains how to communicate a CLX with a Zebra Printer.

check also this:
Network Connect Add-on Profile for Link-OS Printers
https://www.zebra.com/us/en/products...-software.html
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 12:08 PM   #9
BlueAltezza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02js4130 View Post
Thanks for your reply.

I assume then that the printer holds a preloaded ZPL (if a zebra printer) file in the printers memory with the label format ect.

who holds the labels information e.g text ? as i would require the label to state a customers name, date and time.

Thanks
Are you looking at applicators or desktop style printers?
I ask because my experience is all with applicator types, so it's possible what I'm saying isn't applicable.

But I believe Zebra can have a flash card installed with pre-loaded jobs. Otherwise treat it like a printer on your desk - you send it the entire file and how many to print each time.

I've done a pre-loaded job interface with Markem TTO units which store the jobs locally. I would create a label/job on the PC with the all of the static data or images and create a few dynamic fields. Then I would have the PLC send a string to the printer which loads a specified job and sends data to the specified fields.

If the Zebra can't store jobs, then you'd have to create the static and dynamic data within the PLC code. It would require more lines of code but would at least be constant
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 12:39 PM   #10
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If we're talking thermal transfer, I've used Zebra and Domino printers pretty extensively. Mostly Zebra (common printer at the plant).

Most of the Zebra printers have on-board memory and can store jobs.

The ZE500s are commonly used in Print and Apply systems and have the correct IO board to interface to a PLC for on-demand printing. They can store/retrieve jobs and you can parse in dynamic data.

With a Micrologix, You might have a better time using the serial port to send data to the printer.
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Old October 23rd, 2018, 04:32 AM   #11
02js4130
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Thank you for all you reply's.

I would ideally be looking at using a zebra as currently the factory is using zebra zt420 for interfacing with pc's

as in a previous post geniusintraining ponted out that allen bradley and zebra have some sort of relationship.

The other trouble i have currently is that a ML1500 is being used on the system that the printer will be installed and is already at full memory capacity so i can imagine handling lots of string data will require another plc to be added.

So preferably the printer has onboard memory to store the majority of the data and the plc can just sent the commands.
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