We 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) firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
VFD, inverter, AC drive - engineers call these adjustable speed drives by different names, but all use them to control motor speed and torque.
Now, you can obtain your VFDs from the same supplier as your PLC + HMI controllers. Unitronics VFDs can be used as a stand-alone product, or as part of a complete All-in-One package with our PLC+HMI controllers: UniStream®, Vision™ and Samba™.
This simplifies workflow by enabling you to:
Obtain your VFDs, PLC + HMI controllers and related components, as well as technical support, from a single supplier.
Operate your VFD directly from the controller’s HMI panel
Use the same programming software as the PLC control and HMI application, to:
Set-up and configure multiple VFDs in a snap
Monitor and debug your VFD
Remotely Access your VFD
For more information, check out the VFD page in our website: https://unitronicsplc.com/vfd-variable-frequency-drive/
Joe Tauser - if you've spent 5 minutes on this forum, you know Joe as a forum moderator, expert in all things Unitronics. If you have ever asked for help, you have probably benefited from his broad knowledge of control engineering.
Joe offered some good, cautionary advice for those implementing IoT in their applications that appears in the May edition of Control Engineering, European edition, in an article on machine control technology developments, spotlight on IIOT,
Click here to see the May issue, the article is on page 33 - I've captured that page below:
Legacy Applications Wanted!!!!
**Call for 'Legacy' PLC application stories!** Our first generation PLC's are controlling applications decades (!) after their release. Do you use Unitronics' first generation PLCs?
Let us know!
A SEVEN-year winning streak--our UniStream Multi-touch programmable logic controller is the Grand Winner of the 2018 Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards, winning out over 80 finalists spanning more than 25 product categories!
Click here to read all about it!
We 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.
- UniLogic 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!
Follow us on Social Media
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!
Read 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.
Here's a great one - Clean drinking water for a remote village—without electricity. Learn how University of Johannesburg’s School of Engineering used Unitronics programmable controllers, a Vision1210 and a Jazz PLC, to accomplish this project and monitor ongoing status locally via the built-in HMI and remotely via GSM modem.
Read about it here!
Our very own UniStream 10.4" Multi-touch PLC+HMI is a finalist in Control Engineering's Engineers Choice award for 2018, in the category of Hardware: Integrated HMI Controllers!
If you would like to help us maintain our 6-year winning streak (last year won by our Samba 7" HMI + PLC), please go here and place your vote!
* Note that CE is using a new platform for this year's voting--you may need to register, a quick and easy process.
Coating Systems International deploys their products worldwide. They needed a low cost, flexible controller for machines with a payload of up to 500 liters., as well as an operator interface that could be easily customized to suit different markets. UniStream 7" fit the bill--as one engineer noted: “With the use of a base GIF animation file and almost unlimited overlay for conditions such as off, warnings or alarm status, a comprehensive screen can display everything the operator needs to know with little requirement to build up many different screens as has been done in the past, one screen replaces three.”
To read about their fascinating implementation, click here.
Eurotech had previously used Unitronics Vision series all-in-one PLCs to control their extrusion equipment, but had started using a competitor’s product. However, they switched back to Unitronics products following the launch of the UniStream line; these modular, all-in-one PLCs offer a flexible, easy to use control platform. Eurotech uses UniStream line, 7, 10, and 15" models .
Read all about it here: https://unitronicsplc.com/testemonials-category-carrousel/?category=miscellaneous&tid=10406
Located in Belgrade, Aqua Interma Engineering manufactures and install solutions for drinking water purification and waste water treatment. They select the right-sized PLC + HMI controller, Samba, Jazz or Vision430 to create applications that dose water with chlorine to eliminate micro-organisms and test the residual levels of chlorine in order to ensure water purity.
Read about it here: https://unitronicsplc.com/testemonials-category-carrousel/?category=waterwaste-water&tid=10833
What do you do if you have an existing system, different devices running on different protocols...and you've got to implement control, plus hook up via IEC104S to a SCADA...and that is only part of the picture.
Well--if you are Rene Tomingas FIE of Estonia, you use Unitronics All-in-One PLC + HMI programmable controllers , models Vision1040 and V570, to get the job done!
Read about it here: https://unitronicsplc.com/testemonials-category-carrousel/?category=Power-Energy&tid3170
Check it out!!! Errdue, an Italian company that manufactures equipment for generating and purifying gases on the customer site, wanted to develop a new line of products.
They chose our very own Vision350 for the job.
Erredue got the functionality and communication support they needed, in a physically compact device that fit right in--plus, the V350's quality color touchscreen boosts them ahead of their competitors.
Read about the application, and check out Engineer Claudio D’Angelo's rave review of the V350 PLC +HMI here!
Let me tell you--this is going to be GREAT!!!!
We are proud to introduce an addition to the UniStream family that is going to be a favorite among those of you who enjoy the compactness, the no-hassle approach of the All-in-One Vision series.
UniStream 5" is a PLC+HMI+I/Os , with the impressive UniStream user panel built-in, available in a number of I/O configurations, that you program in UniLogic.
Below is the official release document--you can access specs, etc, over here.
UniStream® 5”: PLC+HMI+I/Os
Compact. Contemporary. Connected
Unitronics’ newly-released UniStream® 5"- a multi-function programmable logic controller in a superbly compact hardware profile: PLC+HMI+I/O built into a single unit.
All-in-One, compact PLC + HMI with built-in I/Os fills a niche in the programmable controller market—serving OEMs and system integrator who need space-saving controllers that deliver the functionality to control complex machines, while creating a competitive advantage via a color-touch HMI panel.
This All-in-One controller is available in two series: UniStream 5" and UniStream 5" Pro. Both series support SNMP, VNC, FTP, SMS, email, and communications via GSM/GPRS modem.
The Pro version also offers a built-in Webserver, audio jack, and video support, as well as SQL, a plus for system integrators and OEMs facing Industry 4.0.
UniStream 5", with its resistive color touch-screen reduces space and wiring requirements, and eliminates the need to set up Panel-PLC communication.
Built-in I/O configurations vary according to model, offering digital, analog, high-speed and temperature I/Os. Users can expand the configuration up to 2,048 I/O points.
Built-in COM ports include Ethernet, 1 USB host and 1 Mini-B USB device ports; additional add-on ports for serial and CANbus are available.
The rich feature range of UniStream includes auto-tuned PID, data logging, data tables and Recipes, data sampling displayed via built-in Trends and Gauges, Alarms, multi-level passwords, and plug & play communications for CANopen, CAN Layer2, MODBUS, EtherNet/IP, and more.
A Re-Use paradigm enables the programmer to build Ladder and C functions, design HMI screens, and create Web pages in multiple languages including Asian languages—then save it all in a Library to reuse in other projects.
Another benefit to the bottom line for the OEM and system integrators is Unitronics standard policy of customer care—no hidden costs or tiers. All software, utilities, and support—including membership in Unitronics’ Community Forum—are provided at no additional charge
Nice story here: Bimetec, a company specializing in agricultural solutions, used a Unitronics Vision1210 and a 4.3-inch Samba programmable logic controller for this retrofit project.
Read about how they boosted speed and efficiency by clicking here.
Are you a machine builder/OEM? Are you new to Unitronics products - or would you just like to learn more about UniStream for your future projects?
If so, this webinar is for you! Click here to sign up.
So. You may be smack in the middle of your first Smart Factory project...or you may be wondering what all the hype is about..or, you may be looking around for a brand of programmable controllers that will talk to an ERP SQL database.
No matter what your particular scenario is, we invite you to attend our webinar to learn how easy it is to communicate data via SQL, from the production floor up to management levels using Unitronics All-in-One PLC + HMI controllers.
To sign up, click here
This major release introduces a number of new features that will boost your productivity, such as wide Ladder nets and dynamic I/O configurations. You can download it from here: https://unitronicsplc.com/software-visilogic/
In addition, when you install this version and open it for the first time, a pop-up will allow you to access app store links for Unitronics’ Remote Operator for Mobile app.
Remote Operator for Mobile
The Help menu now offers a link that will access the App store. In addition, the Help topic Remote Operator via Mobile App now contains QR codes that you can scan with your mobile to get the app.
2X the Space
VisiLogic Ladder nets are now wide, and reach completely across your PC screen - no empty areas. This gives you twice the editing space.
Switching I/O Configurations
Once you have added I/O Expansion Modules to your project, you can create variations called 'IO Module Configurations'.
Configurations are hardware profiles that enable a controller to run the application if it has a physical I/O configuration that is different from the full I/O Configuration in the project. Each profile that you create has an index number.
You determine which configuration is active by storing a value in SI 205. The application will run according to the selected Config without error.
To enable your program logic to run correctly when switching configurations, you must map the digital inputs and outputs to MBs, and use these MBs as program conditions instead of Input and Output operands. Since analog I/Os are linked to operands, they do not require any special handling.
Run As Admin
VisiLogic and other software utilities are now set to "Run as Admin".
Simple, static HMI elements such as lines and circles now appear on the Project
Navigation Tree under Static.
You can now Jump to Display in Alarms when running Remote Access.
V700, SI 184: Port
SI 184 Indicates which port is installed: 0-none, 1-serial, 2-ethernet,4-Profibus
You can now export using different pictures and data formats. Note that the Excel file is saved as .xls file that cannot be opened in office 2013 but can be opened in office 2010 .
You can now zoom HMI displays to twice their size, when editing displays for V700 and V1040, V1210 .
Separators are now supported when importing/exporting.
You can also select whether to import Fast operands, preset/current of timers and counters.
The CSV of operand descriptions now includes a row of operands types.
While importing, VisiLogic now displays a progress bar.
Data Table Import
When importing a .UPD file, you now have options to Select all and Clear all
Project Memory Map
Project memory map now displays topic sizes.
SMS Configuration (V2xx only)
SMS configuration now supports Eastern Europe language set.
VisiLogic GUI: Russian
The VisiLogic Interface can now be translated to Russian.
Comments are fully printed when printing Ladder.
Data Table export
Each Data table field can be assigned a special caption and format for export to Excel.
FB Protocol, CRC
A new type, CRC-16/BYPASS is now supported.
Virtual keyboards now have the underscore symbol where the copyright symbol was held.
We've had some nice application stories recently
Here's a cool one about timber drying kilns that require reliable, automatic temperature control - and implement it with Unitronics Vision350 PLC+HMI controllers
Read about the Timbersoft Kiln Drying application here.
We are truly proud to announce that Frost & Sullivan, a major market research and analysis firm, has honored Unitronic's with the Best Practices Awards for 2016.
The prestigious award for Global Advanced PLC Product Line Strategy Leadership was given after 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.
Read all about it here: https://unitronicsplc.com/press-release/?prid=12146
This major release of UniLogic, the programming software for UniStream programmable controllers, introduces Multi-Touch HMI screen technology, familiar to us all from the world of cell phones and tablets.
Our new UniStream model, the USP-104M10-PLC, supports a range of gestures such as “Swipe” Navigation, Press, Press & Hold, Double-Tap, Press & Tap and more.
Use these to boost your client’s user experience, as well as Two-Hand Operation to increase the operational safety of your end-users.
Other important features in this release:
CANopen: EDS Import, View, Edit, & Ladder Functions
UDFB Online: view running values in UDFBs, including local tags
MODBUS: Aperiodic/ Periodic Operations per slave, singly or in batches
Receive SMS: new Ladder Element, plus Authorized Numbers option
SQL: supports MySQL Server and an option to communicate via Port or Instance Name
*Cyber-Security Update for FTP & VNC All applications using FTP or VNC must now use passwords of 6 to 8 characters that contain upper and lower-case letters and digits. Upgrading older applications with passwords that do not meet these criteria will result in a compilation error.
New UniStream: Multi-Touch panel
Hardware Configuration now offers the USP-104-M10.
This multi-touch model offers gestures such as Swipe navigation, and enables you to trigger actions via Press, Long Press, Press & Tap, double-tap and more, including Two-Hand operation – a recognized safety measure.
A single screen can contain elements configured to different triggers. This enables you to add a layer of safety to your screens. For example, you can implement a 2-point press (two-handed operation) that requires the user to press the screen in two distinct locations to activate a task.
EDS Import, View, Edit
You can now easily import, view, and edit EDS files for CANopen devices, as well as automatically create PDO structs.
New EDS Ladder functions
EDS functions enable you to initialize the device with values currently in the EDS file, including values that you edit/enter via UniLogic's EDS utility. In your program, use the In Progress bits to condition the functions.
Init Node EDS: Initialize a specific node with values edited/entered via the EDS utility.
Init All Nodes EDS: Initialize all of the CANopen nodes in your project
Restore Node Defaults: If your CANopen device enables this function, which refers to object 1011 in the node's dictionary, you can use this to reset all of the node's addresses to the manufacturer's default values.
CANopen Properties now include Enable Heartbeat.
Select this to send a heartbeat from the PLC, according to the time interval specified in the parameter Heartbeat time. The time range is 100 (default) to 100000ms (10 seconds).
CPU Stop Mode
Switching to Stop Mode will automatically send a reset command to all nodes.
Aperiodic via Ladder,
This version offers the ability to create both Periodic and Aperiodic operations, either one at a time or in batches.
Most application requirements are met by Periodic operations, which run according to the time intervals you set. However, you now have greater flexibility to:
Use simple Periodic Operations to read/write data from/to many sensors,
Use an Aperiodic Operation to write a single setpoint as the result of a run-time condition,
Use an Aperiodic Operation to turn a group of outputs ON as the result of a run-time condition.
Note that you can prevent an individual operation from running via a bit in the operation's Active parameter.
Two new MODBUS Ladder Elements, Aperiodic InDirect and Aperiodic InDirect Group to enable you to trigger a single operation, or a group of operations, via your application.
You now have new MODBUS troubleshooting options:
A new parameter in the Remote Slave's struct, Drops can help you to troubleshoot projects with a large number of sensors, where the entire queue of operations may not be able to run during the scan.
A Status field has been added to the MODBUS operation Parameters. This will hold the error codes from the MODBUS protocol itself. Note that it must be reset in your application.
Receive SMS + Authorize Numbers
Use this new Ladder element to receive an SMS message and store it along with its metadata.
You can also block messages from unauthorized numbers by creating an Authorized Numbers list in Modem Configuration.
Now supports MYSQL, and the option to use either Instance Name, or Port.
Float values are now supported.
The Scanner Node struct now contains the parameter Connection status. This contains the response status of the connection attempt.
HMI & Web
FTP Image Widget
Use this widget to stream files from an IP camera that uploads images to an FTP server. The images are cached in a folder on the SD card. Buttons the user to display images, clear the image cache, or to save the images currently being displayed.
Data Table Widget
This version brings added widget features. You can now:
Assign Column Width/Visibility to each individual widget
Move the focus and highlight a specific row in a data table by writing a value to the property Tag: Selected Row Index
When a data table is displayed, touch anywhere within a row to select that row
If you assign a Float value to a column, you can determine the location of the decimal point via by right-clicking the column and assigning it
HMI and Webpage Editor Redesign
Both editors have been redesigned for faster, smoother function, and load screens - even screens with many elements -faster than before.
Other added features include "Snap" behavior:
Rotation: While rotating, elements will now automatically snap to angles of 90-180° when approaching these angles. To rotate without snapping, first hold down the Alt button on your keypad, then click and begin the rotation.
Alignment: Now, the active element is marked by handles. When moving elements, a snap to middle line is displayed.
HMI: Live Trend Widget
New Live Trend displays a running variable integer value as a curve on a Trend graph. You may define up to 4 curves.
Unlike Trends derived from Data Sampling:
Live Trend values are not drawn from a Data Sampler.
Live Trends do not store any values, log any data, or create any files.
They are convenient for tasks such as representing temperature values, where only monitoring is needed and logging is not required.
State Machine Button
State Machine Button is now available for Web pages as well as HMI display; use the value of a register to display variable text within a button, and to drive multiple Actions via the button.
HMI Element: Password
A new attribute, Password Length, allows you to enter a number to limit the number of characters, 1-32, that the user can type into the field.
Asian Language Support
UniStream now supports the WenQuanYi Zen Hei font which supports Chinese, simplified/traditional, and also Korean.
HMI Elements: Digital Schedule & Digital Time
When checked, a new attribute, Retain AM/PM Space, retains the Placeholder space for AM/PM when H24 (24-hour format) is selected.
UDFBs: Online Values
View online/debug values within UDFBs, including local tags, along with a counter 'since last update': simply right-click the Call UDFB function in the Ladder, and select Monitor.
Assign Tags via
Drag & Drop
A new, easy way to assign tags is via CTRL + Drag & Drop.
Press and hold down the CTRL keyboard key, click a tag, and then drag and drop it to assign a ladder parameter or an HMI option. You can drag tags from the tag database window, or a tag assigned as a ladder parameter or HMI option.
Formula: Drag from Ladder
You can now drag any Formula directly from the Solution Explorer, instead of placing a Formula Ladder element via the Ladder Toolbox and linking it to a Formula.
Start Online after Download
If you download the same project into UniStream, and are connected to the unit, Online mode now begins automatically.
You can cancel this behavior via the UniLogic Project tab, by clicking Options and deselecting Start Online after Download.
The Ladder ribbon tab contains two new icons: that enable you to find rungs that are disabled, as well as rungs marked "ToDo:".
To mark a rung, enter the text "ToDo:" including the colon. (the text itself is not case-sensitive)
The complete list of features, as well as Bug Fixes may be found at https://unitronicsplc.com/Download/Support/UniLogic/UniLogic_Example_Projects.zip
We invite you to take part in our webinar: SQL - Adding a Piece to the Industry 4.0 / Smart Factory Puzzle.
UniStream PLC + HMI controllers support MS SQL and My SQL, server and can connect to SQL databases. This enables you to set up UniLogic to communicate SQL data ERP/MRP servers - sign up to learn how!
Six year winning streak! We are very proud to announce that Samba 7" joins the ranks of Unitronics’ products that have been honored by Control Engineers’ Choice Award. Samba won the award in the category of Hardware – integrated HMI controllers. Read more about it here.
If you haven't checked out the Unitronics Youtube for awhile, you may want to check out our UniLogic Tech Tidbits Playlist. The most recent Tidbit shows you how to create your own, reusable HMI Custom Controls.
After you create a control, you can drag and drop it from the Solution Explorer, export/import it between projects as .uluce files, or add it to the Library. You can also define tags that are local to a specific Custom Control, these tags will be exported/imported along with the control.
It's all in the link below!
This was an excellent year - a year of growth - for the Unitronics community. We now number over 20,000 members!
I can back this up with hard statistics for 2016:
We welcomed over 3,000 new members to our user forum…
…who made 2,100 posts
… in 526 new topic!
We all benefit from forum members who devote big blocks of time to helping others. These people put a lot of effort into writing detailed answers to questions and aiding others in trouble-shooting their applications.
This year, three of our top posters from 2016 were again top contributors to the Unitronics community. Our top UniGuru MVPs for 2016 are:
Barry Lanier (forum name: Flex727)
In recognition of their fine work, the profiles of our MVPs will be marked with a new icon for 2016:
In recognition of their fine work, the profiles of our
MVPs will be marked with a new icon for 2016:
Our most valuable commodity is, always, time—to volunteer that time to help other people using your expertise is truly worthy of respect--thanks to you all!
The official Unitronics Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitronicsWebinars is growing. In 2016, our top video clips were the:
Webinar: HMI Tricks and Tips for VisiLogic, with over 8,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwhQkdbC6s
PLC Training: Introduction to UniLogic, HMI + PLC Application Software, with over 6,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV30MkDQYPk
WEBINAR: Unitronics Vision - CANOpen, also with over 6,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIkBJ4NheCc
Media - We're in the NEWS!
Unitronics was featured in a number of trade magazines in 2016—if you missed these articles, check 'em out now!
IEN, Industry Interview feature: How Will Industry 4.0 Influence the Future of PLCs?
IEN feature article. Hardware Division Benny Magrafta, Unitronics R&D Manager, Software Division, was extensively quoted: HMI checklist: What to consider when shopping for an HMI solution
IEN - Industrial Products in Spotlight IEN featured an application based on the UniStream PLC + HMI, 10.4, a project done for Djurdjevic is a meat production company based in Serbia Is it possible for an automated system to run so efficiently you forget it’s there?
We are proud to continue to bring you Unitronics true All-in-One value: our complete range of automation products and software from the pioneers of the PLC + HMI controller, backed by Unitronics unparalleled sales and tech support.
Enjoy them in 2017!!