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Old April 7th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #1
TConnolly
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For everyone who wanted to play with AD PLCs but didnt have the software...

The newest version of DirectSoft5 programming software for automation direct PLCs (DL05/06/105/205/305/405) is available for free download - the free version will only download 100 words to the PLC - but otherwise its a fully functional version.

So if you ever wanted to take a crack at learning KOYO PLCs, here is your chance.

Is this a smart move on AD's part? I think so.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #2
katratzi
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You are right about that, Alaric. We have an upcoming project with about 100-150 I/O, and I would certainly like to use the newest AB
stuff (Controllogix or Compactlogix) and I could easily convince the management to go for the more expensive A-B hardware, but to obtain 3 licenses (what we need) for the Controllogix is a hard to justify expense, especially since the Auto Direct stuff is only
500 bucks, and other manufacturers stuff can be had for free. I
have often wondered how much the Allen-Bradley software prices have hurt their hardware sales.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #3
jstolaruk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katratzi
You are right about that, Alaric. We have an upcoming project with about 100-150 I/O, and I would certainly like to use the newest AB
stuff (Controllogix or Compactlogix) and I could easily convince the management to go for the more expensive A-B hardware, but to obtain 3 licenses (what we need) for the Controllogix is a hard to justify expense, especially since the Auto Direct stuff is only
500 bucks, and other manufacturers stuff can be had for free. I
have often wondered how much the Allen-Bradley software prices have hurt their hardware sales.
Gosh, I would hope there is more to the decision than just the s/w cost. I'm not quite convinced the Controllogix family can be compared directly to the Koyo line; maybe the SLC line.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #4
katratzi
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Jstolaruk-
everything these days seems to come down to cost, and from what I've seen so far, the higher end Koyo PLCs can do what the SLCs and the PLC-5 can. I doubt their hardware is as robust as the PLC-5, but it seems as good as Siemens. We aren't going to be doing anything too complex- digital I/O, analog I/O, a few PID control
loops, alarming, datalogging (of course) and an operator interface touchscreen.

I can't comment on how the AD line compares to the Controlllogix, since I have had no exposure to it, and it seems AB has priced itself out of reach yet again. Its a shame- I really like the PLC-5 and the SLC series, and am looking forward to learning Allen-Bradleys latest and greatest, if I ever get the chance.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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The CLX line is actually less expensive than the SLC and PLC5 lines. CLX is loaded and it is not really in the same ball park as the SLC, PLC5 or the AD PLCs. The CompactCLX is considerably less than a SLC.

Back on topic - I like to take opportunities to expand my knowledge base, especially when the opportunity has little or no cost. I've only worked with the Koyo 305s. I saw this as a good opportunity to expand a bit for free and thought I would pass it on. Its was not intended to turn into a commentary on AB vs AD.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #6
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Now you can compare AD to AB with a $240.00 investment in a DL-06. Down load DS5 Demo version and play with it.

As far as robustness goes, I wouldn't be concerned. We have many AD projects that have outlasted other major brands in harsh enviroments. I think the issue should be more about capabilities. If the AD is capable of handling the project in question, then it will do just as well as anything else.

We have no needs to use anything that AD cant provide, so we use AD almost exclusively. However I would agree with Jstolaruk, the PLC & software is usually a small % of the entire project cost, but at the same time can make or break the project. Dont try to force an inapproperate PLC into your project just to save a few bucks.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #7
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Alaric,

This is not a bash, but what type of features are available for CLX that AD dosnt provide?
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #8
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Elevmike, not to steal Alarics response, but the biggest difference to me is the motion command set when paired with the SERCOS interface. The other thing would be the multi-processor capability. I'm sure there are other reasons that are equally important depending on the features your tasks need.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstolaruk
Elevmike, not to steal Alarics response, but the biggest difference to me is the motion command set when paired with the SERCOS interface. The other thing would be the multi-processor capability. I'm sure there are other reasons that are equally important depending on the features your tasks need.
I havent run into anything that couldnt be handled by an AD CPU, but on the other hand my projects arnt all that complicated. So haven been self limited to AD in the past 5 or 6 years, when tackling someting new and complex I sometimes wonder if there's a better-faster way then ALWAYS using AD stuff... The problem is I really dont have time to learn a whole new product line.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elevmike
Alaric,

This is not a bash, but what type of features are available for CLX that AD dosnt provide?
1. Integrated motion.
2. Hot swappable everything.
3. User Defined Tags.
4. Structured Text.
5. Higher PID capablities
6. Task/Named programming
7. Complex rung structure. And/Or/If to your heart's content.
8. Built in functions like S-Curve, derivative, integrate, etc.
9. MultiVendorInterface - (Couldn't get the AntiSway package I use for my cranes in AD. CLX & Siemens only, & I don't do Siemens.)
10. Produced/Consumed tags
11. Event driven tasks

And this isn't a bash on AD, I still have & use quite a bit of the AD line of PLCs for non complex stuff, but when it gets complex, I want my CLX.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #11
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Just to name a few:

Multiple processors per rack.
Tag based programming
User defined data types
User defined function blocks (next release)
Multiple tasks (continuous and periodic) with multiple programs per task.
Multiple programming languages are supported - you are not limited to just ladder.
Producer/consumer data model.
Object oriented programming.
Memory can be structured as needed - if you only need 1 timer you define only 1 timer. If you need 25,000 timers, you define 25,000 timers. Then you could make it 25001 on the fly by simply naming a new tag and designating it as a timer. Memory is arranged much more like a conventional computer.


--------------------------------------------------

This never was intended to be an AB vs AD thread. We have had lots of those. I was just sharing a link so that others who wanted a chance to tinker with AD could.

Last edited by TConnolly; April 7th, 2006 at 06:50 PM.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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I used AD and they are fine stuff but anytime one wonder into Process or Motion control then there is really no choice but to get the big gun like Siemen or AB.

For me:

-Structured Text for complex decison making (otherwise have to go with Visual Basic or C++)
-Communication. CIP (Controlent, Ethernet/IP) AD got some of these as well.
-Support - One get get AB support or even a AB expert out when *#% hits the fan. Small price to pay when downtime is counted in millions/hour.
-Oh, yes, hot swap I/O card and processor redondency.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #13
jstolaruk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elevmike
I havent run into anything that couldnt be handled by an AD CPU, but on the other hand my projects arnt all that complicated. So haven been self limited to AD in the past 5 or 6 years, when tackling someting new and complex I sometimes wonder if there's a better-faster way then ALWAYS using AD stuff... The problem is I really dont have time to learn a whole new product line.
I agree that its best to fit the PLC to the application. More power than what is required is overkill and expensive. Nice thing is A-B has priced their ControlLogix/CompactLogix line cheaper than the SLC line. That in itself will motivate users to move in that direction.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alaric:
Is this a smart move on AD's part? I think so.
Absolutely this is a smart move. You can look at hardware capability all you want but a big decision point is 'Can I program the darn thing?'. Letting people answer that quaestion on their own, any time they want, for free is a great idea. I used some AD stuff (technically PLC Direct stuff) several years ago in my old job. I'm going to bring this up at my new place and see what people think.

Keith
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Old April 8th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #15
katratzi
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Sorry, Alaric. Didn't mean to move the thresd into an AB vs. AD direction. I don't think I actually meant to compare the AD capabilities to the Controllogix capabilities, just their software costs. Controllogix is probably overkill for our project, but I would have liked the chance to work with it.
Oh well.

But I agree with you. I think what AD did will indeed introduce more people who have not previously done so to look into their products.
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