By Cara Bereck Levy in Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more 0We are proud to announce the Unitronics' Community MVPs for 2017!
In 2017, the Unitronics Community welcomed over 600 new topics, and over 3,000 new posts. Our MVPs help to make this possible.
These guys have great general expertise in all things control, specific expertise in Unitronics programmable controllers, and a knack for getting to the heart of a problem. All three devote a great deal of time and energy to the community—not only to help forum members, but also as community moderators, helping the forum to run smoothly.
This year's MVPs are:
Joe Tauser, of Joe Tauser & Associates, located in St.Louis, Missouri, USA, http://www.jtauser.com/
Barry Lanier—you know him as Flex727—located in Allen, Texas, USA (near Dallas) email@example.com
The one and only Ausman. On a personal note, I truly value the patience these individuals show in helping forum members pinpoint the source of a problem, the solutions they find—and their humor. A little humor goes a long way!
This year, I'd also like to give an Honorable Mention—a shout-out to Dustin Brewer, of Brewer Electronics, http://www.brewerelectronics.com, known as Hotwires, for his participation in 2017.
In recognition of their fine work, the profiles of our
MVPs will be marked with a new icon for 2017
Thanks, and may all your apps run bug-free in the year 2018!
By i4 Automation in i4 Automation (UK) 0All new customers get a free place on one of our training course's.
Plus we offer the option to "Fast Track" your project with focused training on your application.
2018 schedule is out now on our website. http://www.i4automation.co.uk/training.aspx
By Cara Bereck Levy in Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more 0We are pleased to present the Unitronics 2017 Roundup!
Read on to learn about some of our proudest achievements in 2017.
2017 was a year in which our tradition of excellence in innovation was recognized by:
- Frost & Sullivan, a major market research and analysis firm. Frost & Sullivan conducted an in-depth review of Unitronics products, specifically our 3 major product series--Samba, Vision, and UniStream--in relation to the dynamic, competitive market that challenges PLC manufacturers. Unitronics was awarded their Best Practices Awards for product innovations.
- Control Engineering, honoring our Samba 7" with an Control Engineers’ Choice Award in the category of Hardware – integrated HMI controllers. This was the 6th—yes SIXTH—year in a row that Unitronics' programmable controllers have received this prestigious industry award.
We welcomed two major additions to our UniStream line of PLC + HMI programmable controllers:
- UniStream 5" – PLC + HMI + I/O built into one unit
Compact, contemporary, and connected, these bring you bring you all of the power and functionality of UniStream, the same elegant, color-touch HMI panel, and a range of built-in I/O configurations. It is available in two versions: UniStream 5" (B5) and UniStream 5" Pro (B10). Both series support important fieldbus protocols such as MODBUS, Ethernet/IP and CANopen, as well as SNMP, VNC, FTP, SMS, email, and communications via GSM/GPRS modem.
The Pro version also offers a built-in Webserver, audio jack, video support–and SQL, a plus for OEMs facing Industry 4.0.
- Multi-touch HMI panel
UniStream USP-104-M10 offered our first integrated Multi-Touch panel, enabling gestures such as swipe, double-tap, press & tap, and more, including Two-Hand operation – a recognized safety measure.
The award-winning programming environment for UniStream received an all-new Hardware Configuration upgrade, and a number of added features, including CANopen EDS Import, View, Edit, and new EDS Ladder Functions, powerful MODBUS features: Aperiodic via Ladder, Add Aperiodic/ Periodic Operations per slave, singly or in batches. We also included support for MYSQL.
This year, our team participated in major trade shows:
• PPMA Processing & Packaging Machinery Association, in the UK
• SPS IPC Drives in Germany and in Italy
• ATX – the Automation Technology Expo, held in both New York and Toronto
• OTC2017, the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas
Contribute to our Roadmap for 2018!
Many of our finest products and feature addition have been jumpstarted by a suggestion from you, a member of the automation sector.
Don't be shy—write to us with your suggestions and ideas!
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Click on the icons below to keep updated with the latest and greatest from the Unitronics team!
Thanks for reading—may you have a marvelous 2018, and may all your applications run bug-free!
By tmoulder in Tim's Corner 6Like alot of people, I still use Windows XP for running my work-related programs. I know, lost in the 90's, but it works well for me.
About a year ago, I had a PC crash that set me back severely. I didn't lose any data - for years now, I've kept all my project data in a single folder, and copy-pasted to my backup hard drive regularly. However, it took three days to reinstall all the software after I recovered the PC.
That got me thinking - there's got to be an easier way to do this.
As the first entry on this blog describes, I've dabbled with Linux for a while, and with some sound advice, I decided to make the leap. I wiped Windows from my PC and installed Linux Mint 11. Then I downloaded VMware Player, created a new Vitrual Machine, and installed XP on that.
I was prepared for a raft of headaches arising from this - oh no, linux! oh no, vmware! - hardware issues, software issues, pain, hate, discontent! What I got was - nothing at all. No problems, no issues. The whole thing ran magnificently. Best of all, I can now back up my entire windows virtual machine to my backup drive.
Why is this so grand, you ask? Because my work PC is now essentially indestuctable. I can drop my laptop in the swimming pool, buy a new one, load Mint and VMware, drag-drop my saved VM into my home directory, and get right back to work. Alternatively, I can upgrade to a new pc and get rolling equally fast.
In the process, I've learned a few things, so if you decide to go this route, you may find these experiences helpful -
1. You can't do this with a netbook, at least not an Acer. Not enough ram, and atom chips lack the needed horsepower. Get a laptop with a 64-bit architecture, that you can upgrade to at least 8 Gig of Ram, and a hard drive large enough to accomodate everything you'll need. On the ram side, get as much as you can - mine has 5 gig, and I'll be upping it to 8 gig after the holidays.
2. The temptation is to use a minimalist distro, so you can allocate maximum resources to the VM (where you are doing all the work, after all). Resist this. I've played with Puppy, DSL, Bodhi, and Mint LXDE, and what you gain in performance for the VM is neglible, particularly in relation to the difficulty of using a minimal distro (unless you're into that kind of configuration headache).
Choose something that provides all you need up front. Linux Mint is an excellent option - it's based on the widely used Ubuntu, but includes alot of extras that Ubuntu makes you find yourself. I'm using Pinguy OS, which is derived from Linux Mint, and offers even more eye candy - who wants an ugly desktop?
3. As you can probably guess, I tried a lot of distros. Everybody makes a big whoop about live cd and live usb, but I found testing them that way to be a little pointless - you can't add software (need to test with VMware) and performance lags going that route, so you don't get a true flavor of what you'll have when installed. Apart from seeing if you like the screen, you'll pretty much have to install it to try it out.
So the first time you go to set up linux, create a home partition on your hard drive. When you install most distros, you'll have the option to assign this partition as your home directory. You can install the new system into the rest of the drive, and usually not have to move your important personal files around.
WARNING - that's not fool-proof, so make sure you back up your files first. If it works, it will save you alot of time and aggravation. But if something gums up, it'll kill you if you haven't backed up first.
4. When creating your Windows VM, dedicate some thought to division of responsibility. Simply put, if it doesn't need to be in the VM, put it in the linux host instead. I have about 2 gig of PDF reference files that used to be under windows, that now rest comfortably in my linux home directory, outside my VM. Accessing them is a breeze, with or without windows open, and it keeps the VM smaller. When you do run a backup, you can just backup the contents of the home directory - drag, drop, done - and preserve everything you need, including your VM and external files.
On the hardware side, 99% of everything I've tried has worked great. The most obscure thing I use is PCanOpen Magic Pro, with a USB adapter, and it worked right out of the box. I use an Iconcepts USB to serial adapter for most programming jobs, and it runs flawlessly.
Oddly, the only thing I've had trouble with is a Unitronics 1040 PLC - can't do direct USB to the panel. Apparently, there is a known issue with the linux driver for the usb-serial chip Unitronics used in this device. It's a linux issue, not a Uni issue (just to make that clear). So I just use my usual serial port adapter instead - no problems there.
Detailed instructions for how to do all of this are readily available on the web. Personally, I've found it a huge help (already recovered once [me and my distro hopping]).
Best of Luck, and remember - backups are your friend. This mainly about making them more complete and portable.
By Cara Bereck Levy in Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more 0Read about how Nicolaides & Kountouris Metal Company LLC, manufacturers soundproofing and insulation panels, needed a system to efficiently cut panels to correct dimensions; their old cutting machine was inefficient and required constant operator supervision. Learn how the UniStream 10.4 PLC+HMI from Unitronics automates their cutting system, boosting it more reliability and efficiency.
Access the story here.