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About this blog

Tips, Tricks, and News from Unitronics

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Cara Bereck Levy

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

WEBINAR_SQL_7.17.jpg

Cara Bereck Levy

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.

Unitroniics Remote Operator for mobile.png

Features                                                                                       

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.

Ladder:
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".

Project
Navigation Tree

Simple, static HMI elements such as lines and circles now appear on the Project
Navigation Tree under Static.

Remote Access:
Alarms

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

PID Server

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 .

HMI Zoom

You can now zoom  HMI displays to twice their size, when editing displays for V700 and V1040, V1210 .

Operand
Export/import

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.

Printing

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.

Keyboard symbols

 Virtual keyboards now have the underscore symbol where the copyright symbol was held.

 

Cara Bereck Levy

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

Frost & Sullivan.png

Cara Bereck Levy

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.

Hardware Configuration

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.

Communications

CANopen

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.

Heartbeat

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).

CANopen
CPU Stop Mode

Switching to Stop Mode will automatically send a reset command to all nodes.

MODBUS

 

New:
Aperiodic via Ladder,
Operation Batches

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:

smallred.gif   Use simple Periodic Operations to read/write data from/to many sensors,

smallred.gif   Use an Aperiodic Operation to write a single setpoint as the result of a run-time condition,

smallred.gif   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.

Troubleshooting MODBUS

You now have new MODBUS troubleshooting options:

smallred.gif   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.

smallred.gif   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.

Other Communications

SMS:
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.

SQL Server

Now supports MYSQL, and the option to use either Instance Name, or Port.

Message Composer

Float values are now supported.

EthernetIP

The Scanner Node struct now contains the parameter Connection status. This contains the response status of the connection attempt.

 

HMI & Web

HMI:
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:

smallred.gif        Assign Column Width/Visibility to each individual widget

smallred.gif        Move the focus and highlight a specific row in a data table by writing a value to the property Tag: Selected Row Index

smallred.gif        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:

smallred.gif        Live Trend values are not drawn from a Data Sampler.

smallred.gif        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.

Web:
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.

 

Usability Boosters

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.

Drag Tags:
Assign Tags via
CTRL +
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.

Handy "Find"
ptions

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

Programmable controller UniStream Multi-Touch .png

Cara Bereck Levy

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!

Cara Bereck Levy

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!

 

Cara Bereck Levy

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:

  • Joe Tauser
  • Barry Lanier (forum name: Flex727)
  • Ausman

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:

large.Uni-Guru2016.png

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!

Youtube Channel

 The official Unitronics Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitronicsWebinars is growing. In 2016, our top video clips were the:

 

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!

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!!

 

 

Cara Bereck Levy

Hello - welcome back! The holidays are over, the New Year is here.
Here at Unitronics headquarters, we are at work, setting up our development Road Map for 2017.

As Unitronics users, you know that we pride ourselves on listening to our user community.

And so, we ask you:

What would you like Unitronics to develop in 2017?
You can post suggestions to this blog, PM me, or email me at cara.levy@unitronics.com.

Here is a summary of Unitronics major developments in 2016, many of which were the results of user requests – so, without further ado, I hereby present:

The 2016 Unitronics Roundup!

First, Hardware:

New Samba models

Samba now offers the TA22 configuration in 3.5", 4.3", and 7" screen sizes.

·        SM35/SM43/SM70 J-TA22 comprise 12 digital inputs, configurable as 1 hsc/shaft-encoder, 2 analog/digital, 2 thermocouple / pt100 inputs, and 8 pnp plus 2 analog outputs.

·        SM70-J-RA22 offers a 7" screen and the same inputs as the TA22; the outputs comprise 4 relay and 4 npn outputs.

New Jazz models

·        JZ20-T20HS offers 6 digital, 2 analog/digital, 2 analog, 3 high-speed inputs, and 8 transistor, plus 5 high-speed outputs supporting PWM via hardware configuration.

·        JZ20-R16HS offers the same inputs, plus 6 Relay Outputs.

UniStream additions

UniStream welcomed new I/O Modules:

·        UIS-WCB2 Wide I/O comprises two temperature and 2 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, and 10 digital inputs, 10 digital pnp outputs including 2 high-speed outputs.

·        Slim temp module UIS-4PTKN Comprising 4 RTD inputs that support PT1000/NI1000.

KNX connector

UniStream supports a KNX to MODBUS Gateway device, available as GW-KNX1.

 

 

 

Our Remote Operator mobile app for the Vision™ and Samba™ series, a major user request, was released in 2016—here are links for Apple and Android:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unitronics-remote-operator/id1063107386?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.unitronics.remoteoperator&hl=en

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the features we added to UniLogic in 2016:

 

User Access Control (UAC)
Security

UAC enables you to require users to log in via the HMI application, and restrict access to HMI elements, including whether an element is visible or enabled.

SQL Connectivity

·        Access SQL databases via IP address or Hostname

·        Build SQL Queries and execute them via Ladder functions

·        Connect Data Tables to SQL databases and transfer data

HMI Screen to Web Page

Click to convert existing HMI Screens to Web Pages.

Reusable HMI Custom Controls

Create your reusable HMI Custom Control, drag and drop it from the Solution Explorer, export/import it between projects, and add it to the Library.

Hardware Interrupt: UID-0808THS

A new Scenario, Measure Length, supported by the UID-0808THS module, allows you to implement length measurement via hardware-based interrupt.

HMI File Selector Browser

Enable your operator to select files from an SD/DOK/memory stick, store the Path and Name of the selected file in a Data Tag.

Video Streaming Widget: RSTP

Allows you to provide the RSTP url in the format required by your particular application and device.

HMI Indirect Images

Display indirect images hosted on the SD card or DOK.

HMI Trends: FIFO

Display a Trend as Standard or FIFO.

HMI email Configuration Widget

Your users can add recipients in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields of an e-mail via the HMI keyboard.

Web Server –  new features

·        Trends: view Trend graphs via web browser.

·        mailto fields, and a new widget enable your users to add recipients in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields of an e-mail via the HMI keyboard.

·        A new Web Data Tables Widget allows a user to view, edit, and enter data via web browser.

Print to pdf

The Tools tab on the UniLogic ribbon offers Print Project, enabling you to print your Hardware Configuration and Ladder Modules.

Data Tables

·        New Functions: Convert .CSV to UDTF, UDTF Count counts number of columns and rows

·        email .csv files as attachments.

MODBUS

You can now run Modbus via Serial COM Module/USB ports

Ethernet/IP

·        Explicit Messages support for both Scanner and Adapter in addition to I/O (Implicit) messaging.

·        Scanner Node support doubled, from 16 to 32.

DNS Resolver

Ladder Function: resolves a server IP address from its host name.

UID-0808T
Advanced Functions

New functions for counters, Immediate Reset + new Scenarios

UniLogic
Advanced Layout

Pin/unpin, undock and float pane options. If you use two monitors, float panes onto different monitor screens.

USB keyboard support

Just plug a keyboard into the UniStream USB port.

Alarms - Additions

·        Language Localization for French, Russian, Polish, Finnish and Czech.

·        Alarm History Widget

 

 

large.gallery_3_4_99261.png

Cara Bereck Levy

The R&D gurus at Unitronics headquarters have been hard at work - and so, we present you with:

>drum roll<    UniLogic 1.18.37  >drum roll<

Here are a few version highlights:

SQL Connectivity: Highly convenient and easy to use, UniLogic enables programmers to build SQL Queries and execute them via Ladder functions, including data transfer data between UniStream’s Data Tables and remote SQL databases. 

sql.png

 

HMI Custom Controls: A programmer can create an HMI Custom Control, and then drag and drop it from the Solution Explorer, export/import it between projects as .uluce files, or add it to the Library.  Programmers can also define tags that are local to a specific Custom Control; local tags are exported/imported along with the control.

Other convenient features include an HMI email Configuration Widget, the ability to edit email accounts via UniApps as well as UniApps interface translations for Russian, Polish, and Chinese. To enjoy these as well as other additional features and enhancements, download it from  http://unitronicsplc.com/software-unilogic/

CC.png

 

U90 Ladder version, 6.6.24 + New Jazz® 2

We have also released a new U90 Ladder version, 6.6.24.  This version brings you the option to create a download File (*.d90) without connecting to a physical PLC.

You can then use the *.d90 file to create zipped project via UniDownloader Designer to be used in Unitronics' UniDownloader software utility (*.udc)

This version also supports a new Jazz® 2 controller model, a compact, full-function PLC that comprises an excellent built-in I/O configuration, plus an integrated
text display.
  

The new model, JZ20-UA24, offers 15 inputs:
9 digital, 1 high-speed counter, 2 inputs that can be wired as analog or digital, and 2 analog inputs that can be wired as thermocouple or PT100 . The output configuration includes 5 relay, 2 transistor, and 2 analog outputs.

 

 

Like all Jazz® 2 controllers, JZ20-UA24 brings you 48K (virtual) Ladder Logic memory, a built-in mini USB programming port, and is 30 times faster than Unitronics’ standard Jazz® controller, allowing industrial control processes to enjoy more power, speed and functionality at the same low price.

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

JZ2UN.png

 

Cara Bereck Levy
blog-0095918001470729698.png

Did you know that Unitronics Remote Operator, the mobile app for the Vision™ and Samba™ series, is available--at no cost--from Apple’s App and Google Play stores?
Remote Operator application enables you to remotely access your Unitronics controllers using your smartphone and tablet. Via the app, you can view and operate the controller’s HMI —as if you are physically touching the controller. Using Remote Operator you monitor automation processes, press keys and touch HMI objects, change parameter values, view Alarms and process value Trends. You can define and access multiple controllers from a single mobile device.

 

We invite you to download the app, give a whirl--here's a link to our handy Quickstart guide to help you hit the ground running:

 

http://www.unitronics.com/Unitronics_Apps/Unitronics_Remote_Operator_AppQuickStart.pdf

Cara Bereck Levy
blog-0712834001456836456.png

2015 was a great year for Unitronics.

 

We introduced products to round out our existing lines: UniStream, Vision, and Samba. We also leveraged the UniStream platform with powerful new features such as EtherNet/IP communications and a full Alarms system.

 

This was also a great year for the Unitronics community. Check out some cool statistics for 2015:

  • We welcomed over 9,000 new members to our user forum…
  • …who made 2,300 posts in 571 467 new topics
  • …that were viewed 163,419 times!


In addition to our Unitronics support team gurus, there are some fine forum members who devote a great deal of time to helping others, writing detailed answers to questions and helping people trouble-shoot their applications.

 


This year, two of our top posters from 2014, Joe Tauser and Flex727, were again top contributors to the Unitronics community.
The list of top UniGuru MVPs for 2015 are:

  • Joe Tauser
  • Barry Lanier (forum name: Flex727)
  • Chris Antcliff (CantCliff)
  • Keith Walker (Walkerok)
  • Ausman


To show our appreciation, the profiles of our MVPs will be marked with a new icon:

 


TopPoster2015

 

Time is precious—to volunteer that time to help other people using your expertise is truly worthy of respect--thanks to you all!

 

Now, </drum roll/> please join me—for the Unitronics’ 2015 Roundup!

 

Our Industry Awards

 

For the fourth year in a row, Unitronics’ products have been honored by Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice awards.
This year, in the category of Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers, the winner was our UniStream 15.6" HMI panel – big and handsome, with an elegant LED touch-panel offering 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16M (24-bit) color range.

 

Unitronics Product Launches
These were released in 2015:

  • UniStream: our award-winning 15.6" HMI panel –snap on up to 5 Uni-I/O modules, expand up to 2,048 I/Os, and employ the advanced feature profile to execute highly complex control.
  • We also released 3 Uni-I/O™ modules offering new thermocouple and analog I/O options.
  • Samba 7": with its on-board I/Os and a larger, 7” color touch screen, Samba 7” is proving to be a popular choice for those small machine projects with a critical profit margin.
  • Vision700: this new member of our award-winning Vision “workhorse” series offers a 7” HMI color touch screen. Supports all Vision Snap-in and expansion I/O modules, and all advanced power features.
  • A gateway for MBUS
  • GSM-KIT-17J-3G (Cinterion EHS6T GSM modem)

 


UniLogic for UniStream: New Development

 

The feedback from our users tells us that UniLogic is a hit. This year, R&D added a number of strong features. Here’s a sample:

  • C Editor, enabling you to write C functions directly in UniLogic
  • Alarms system, designed in accordance with ISA ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009 guidelines
  • EtherNet/IP, scanner and adapter, supporting both implicit/explicit messaging
  • Video Streaming via RTSP
  • SNMPv1/v2/v3
  • WebServer Gauges
  • Password protection for Ladder Functions, HMI screens, Data Tables and Recipes

 


Media Highlights for 2015

 

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 the coming year!

Cara Bereck Levy
blog-0601286001444911358.png

New

Application

Story

**** Starring Samba in the role of theater grip! ****

People--high cool factor here B)

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

Compact, Cost-Effective Samba PLC+HMI Opens Creative Avenues for Local Theater!

“Motion Control with Unitronics PLCs has allowed us the freedom to reach for new heights of visceral creativity while expanding our technical innovation in a fast and cost-effective manner”.

Summary:

The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, New Jersey partnered with Unitronics’ distributor, Bayview Bearing and Supply, to introduce innovations to a regional theater. Using a Samba PLC with 3.5” color-touch HMI and onboard I/O, the theater implemented a simple motion control application for their set pieces. Since the initial installation, the Eagle Theatre has expanded the application, creating more complex moving sets that greatly enhance the mood and themes of their productions.

Full story:

The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, New Jersey is South Jersey’s only year-round professional Equity theatre. They are dedicated not only to bringing great theater to the region, but also to bringing innovation to their productions.

To achieve those goals, the theater decided to add moving elements to their sets for one of their productions. Three screens needed to descend at a consistent speed, but at different times. The team at the Eagle Theatre initially tried to use electric winch packages, but these were slow and too noisy to use during a performance. With only one week until the show opened, the theater reached out to Bayview Bearing and Supply, a Unitronics distributor, for help.

Bayview Bearing was able to solve these issues by implementing a Samba all-in-one PLC with 3.5-inch color-touch HMI.

They worked with Jared Smith, a contractor with Deerfield Electric, who built the panel and installed the unit. The Samba controlled Vacon 20 VFD’s (Variable Frequency Devices) and World Wide Electric Gear Motors in order to move the set pieces. Each of the moving pieces was assigned a virtual button on the Samba; these buttons raised and lowered the screens, while also displaying their current position. Not only did the new system work beautifully, Bayview Bearing was able to get it up and running with enough time for rehearsals with the new system before the show opened.

Not only was this particular performance a success due to the Samba, working with PLC control has created new options for the Eagle Theatre moving forward. Ted Wioncek III, Co-Artistic Director at the theater, explains “motion control with Unitronics PLC’s has allowed us the freedom to reach for new heights of visceral creativity while expanding our technical innovation in a fast and cost effective manner.”

In fact, the Eagle Theatre has already expanded the motion control application to other shows. For one production, the entire set shifted constantly, with the walls moving in and out independently of each other. A major theme of the show was misdirection, so the moving set was used to reinforce that theme within the physical space the characters interact with. As Ryan Mayer of Bayview Bearing explains, this isn’t a typical motion control application, “this is automation technology meeting the art community and producing fantastic results.”

To learn more about Bayview Bearing and Supply, visit them online.

To learn more about the Eagle Theatre, visit them online.

Cara Bereck Levy

Hi people! This is a great application story, because it combines two of my favorite things--the Vision1040 HMI + PLC controller and BEER!

Twisted Vine Brewery Achieves Consistent Control with Unitronics Vision1040

Twisted Vine Brewery creates unique, hand-crafted beers in the picturesque hills of St. Charles, Iowa. Beer is a labor of love at this three-man operation, where they are dedicated to both the art and science of brewing. The team at Twisted Vine needed a control system that would enable them to brew with meticulous attention to detail for a consistent, delicious end result.

TwistedVineBrewery

In order to produce their great craft beer, the team at Twisted Vine was searching for a robust and reliable controller. They needed to be able to monitor and control the fermentation temperature, to implement tools like the timers for tracking hop additions, and to monitors trends and outputs remotely. They also wanted a control system that would expand easily as their business grows.

Of course, there were some limiting concerns. Everybody at Twisted Vine was a first time PLC user, so they needed a controller that was easy to learn and to configure. They also wanted a feature-rich PLC and HMI that would provide a lot of functionality on a tight budget, while looking great when customers toured the facility.

Most importantly, as space in the brewery is very limited, the PLC would have to be mounted next to the mash tun. This mash tun is kept at 150 degrees Fahrenheit during the brewing process; at times the mash is rinsed in water as hot as 170 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions would require a PLC robust enough to be exposed to high temperatures and large amounts of steam and condensation without failing.

The Unitronics Vision1040™, paired with a V200-18-E3XB snap-in I/O module, was able to accommodate all these requirements with ease. The Vision1040 controls a rotary phase converter, which powers a three-phase chiller, glycol pump and the glycol valves on the jacketed fermentation and conditioning tanks. Using this system, the Twisted Vine team can also check temperature trends remotely, turning temperature loops on and off as needed from anywhere with internet access. Additionally, with a NEMA4X/IP65 environment rating, the Vision1040™ was able to withstand the hot steamy conditions.

Not only did Unitronics provide a powerful PLC, according to co-owner Steven Becker, the all-in-one design and complimentary, single-environment software made the Vision1040 an intuitive and cost-effective choice for their operations. “The free software and many online tutorials made it easy to learn and it was a low cost and powerful solution,” explains Becker.

In fact, Twisted Vine Brewery is already planning to expand their control system. They are introducing water-use monitoring and valve control to control the amount of water in their mash, which will improve the consistency of the product and free up their attention from watching the water meter to more productive tasks.

Becker says, “my experience with Unitronics products has enabled me to produce systems that are more productive and user friendly … This system has kept our products at the optimum temperature while keeping our development and operating cost at their lowest.”

For more information on Twisted Vine Brewery, visit:

http://www.twistedvinebrewery.com/

http://madisoncountywinery.com/

For more Unitronics case studies, visit:

http://www.unitronics.com/plc-hmi/application-stories-videos

Cara Bereck Levy

Have you checked out our YouTube channel recently? We posted these new UniLogic how-to videos:

Our channel, UnitronicsWebinars, offers videos and recorded webinars on a variety of subjects. These playlists may be helpful to some of you:

These are short videos, just a few minutes long. Each simple how-to shows how to accomplish a single task, such as displaying Chinese on the HMI screen.

These are 'tech tidbits' for UniStream and UniLogic.

Happy viewing!

Cara Bereck Levy

We've had some new Application Stories submitted recently. I'm posting two stories and a video here--visit our site to see them all!

If you are interested in submitting your story, contact us at Usa.sales@unitronics.com for details.

Story 1 - Waterplay® Aquatic Play Pad Uses V130-33-R34 to Bring New Life to Communities

Waterplay® Solutions Corp. provides premium aquatic recreational features world-wide. They needed a PLC with a built in HMI that could meet their specific programming and space requirements.

Unitronics' V130-33-R34 was the perfect solution to their specific needs.

Waterplay

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With thousands of installations world-wide, Waterplay® Solutions Corp. has provided their customers premium aquatic recreational features since 1987. Offering a variety of innovative products that are designed to turn any space into an exciting attraction, Waterplay® responds directly to their customer needs; including aquatic play features, slide activity centers, waterslides urban water features, and water management solutions.

With one particular project Waterplay® was working on in Texas, they had an aquatic play pad that had a very small area where a PLC controller could be placed. In their existing line of controllers they were using at the time, they specifically needed a digital output to control a relay, and the particular manufacture they were using did not have a PLC with high enough rated built in relays to operate the valves that they used. As a result, they were on the search for a PLC with an integrated HMI. The controller need the following operations either built in or programmable to meet their requirements:

Programming requirements:

· Start/stop time for the week

· To be able to have the system on/off for each day of the week

· Receive an input from the field to start a sequence

· Log number of activations/per day and downloadable

· Automatically open/close each output

· To have internal relays that can operate a solenoid valve that requires 0.41 amps of in rush current (0.25 amps holding)

· Relatively easy to program with minimal cost for software

· Field reprogrammable with a flash card

Physical requirements:

· To be able to fit in a 6 x 10 inch space

· Multi line graphic interface

· Expandable without taking up additional space, or using minimal additional space.

"The Unitronics V130-33-R34 was able to reach these requirements and more." Said Carney Neave of Waterplay® Solutions Corp. "The controller was very easy to program and customize for our application. The staff and tech support of Unitronics are very efficient and knowledgeable”

Unitronics is proud to be a part of Waterplay's role in bringing the joy of water to people and communities. "We do more than build aquatic play features. We’ve helped turn crime-ridden downtown parks into family attractions." Says Neaves. "We’ve given new life to abandoned community facilities, bringing kids back to play in them. We work with you to create environments that promote exploration and discovery, fostering imaginative, interactive play."

Story 2 - MSI Tec Uses Vision570™ to Control the City of Tucson's Natural Gas Engine Well Pumps

MSI Tec needed to replace inadequate controllers for the City of Tucson's natural gas engine well pumps. Their main requirements were: Improved screen readability, remote connection to the customer's SCADA system, historical data availability, and an easy to use interface.

Unitronics Vision570™ was chosen and met each of their requirements and more.

MSI Tec Tuscon

Unitronics distributor, MSI Tec, was put to the task of designing a panel to control natural gas engines at the City of Tucson’s (population >500,000) well pumps. The control panels would need to be installed at 43 sites around the city. The cost per engine and shaft can be greater than $400,000. Rapid changes in RPM can cause a large column of water to shift up and down quickly and become a very expensive jackhammer, so the importance of a robust and reliable controller for these control panels was a necessity. The previous controllers that were used had screens that became increasingly difficult to read after a couple of years, which is why they needed to be replaced with a controller that had improved readability. Other necessary requirements were the ability to remotely connect to the customer's SCADA system, historical data availability- to diagnose possible causes of any issues that may arise- and an easy to use interface.

"The Vision570™ was selected because of its ideal size, color touch screen, and terrific feature set for the price." Said Matthew Cronin of MSI Tec. The Vision570™s are mounted in un-insulated panels outdoors.

Tucson’s high temperature frequently climbs above 110 degrees (the record is 117 degrees), and the low often drops below freezing (the record low is 6 degrees). In the three years the panels have been installed, there have been over 250 days with the temperature above 100 degrees. Meanwhile, humidity ranges from an average low of 5% in June to an average high of 75% in July. The high quality of Unitronic's touch screens allowed them to be resilient to the temperature and sun exposure. "The temperature was so hot that we couldn’t keep our computers running for more than 10 minutes…in the shade. In order to update the stations, we used cars with air-conditioned seats. We had to leave the cars running the entire day to keep the air and the seats cool enough for the laptops to not lock up. Even if there were multiple PLCs at a single station, we still had to go put the laptops in the car for a few minutes between each code download to keep the laptops running. Despite this excessive heat, the Unitronics kept running without a problem. And they continue to do so to this day.” said Cronin.

Using Unitronics’ Modbus TCP functionality and a cell modem, Tucson Water’s SCADA system is able to communicate with each well site individually. They are also able to use the V570's SD card functions to write data out every 1-120 minutes depending on user settings- which aids in problem diagnosis. The Unitronics V570 also provides an elegant and reliable 5.7” touch screen for a comparable price to the customer's previous 2-line display system. Utilization of the touch screen system allowed for significantly easier interfacing.

“After the systems were all installed, an upgrade was requested. They systems are not networked, so this required an onsite code change to approximately 40 stations…in July. Interesting hurdles were experienced during this upgrade, but none of them were because of the Unitronics." Said Cronin. "The Vision570 was the most cost effective solution for this application. By combining low cost I/O, communications, PLC functionality, and an HMI in a single package, Unitronics delivered more capability for less money. Because Unitronics is an all-in-one solution, programming is very rapid because no time is spent trying to get the HMI to “talk” to the PLC. This system required a diverse combination of analog inputs and outputs, digital inputs and outputs, and high speed pulse outputs. Unitronics had a flexible and affordable set of I/O cards to accomplish this."

Video --This very cool app story features the SABCO Commercial & Home Beer Brewery

Cara Bereck Levy

This past year, 2014, was a stellar year for Unitronics. Not only did we introduce products to round out existing lines, we launched a brand-new line of PLC + HMI touch-screen controllers, Samba.

Samba, with its beautiful display, on-board I/Os , fine feature range, and highly competitive price was snapped up by small machine manufacturers, showing impressive sales volumes from day 1.

In addition to the great market response, our Samba was nominated for—and won—the prestigious Engineers’ Choice award.

This was also a great year for the Unitronics community. Check out some cool statistics for 2014:

- We welcomed 5,713 new members to our user forum…

-…who made 2,113 posts in 467 new topics…

- …that were viewed 132,568 times!

In addition to our Unitronics support team staff, there are some fine forum members who devote a great deal of time to helping others, writing detailed answers to questions and helping people trouble-shoot their applications.

Our top UniGuru MVPs for 2014 are:

  • Joe Tauser
  • Simon Webb
  • Barry Lanier (forum name: Flex727)
  • Ober Yela (forum name: HighTech)
    In addition to his activity on the forum, Ober has posted a number of videos featuring Unitronics products—check them out on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/oberyela/videos

To show our appreciation, the profiles of our MVPs will be marked with a new icon:

Top poster 2014

It is no small thing, when time is your most valuable commodity, to use that time to help other people benefit from your expertise – kudos to you all!

Okay—without further ado, please join me—here it is, the Unitronics’ 2014 Roundup!

Our Industry Awards

I am proud to note that this is the third year in a row that Unitronics’ products were honored to receive a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice award—and this year, we won in one category, and received an honorable mention in another!

Unitronics Product Launches

Samba, available in 3.5, 4.3, and 7”, was not the only new product line launched in 2014.

Vision™: our award-winning series of powerful PLC + Color-touch HMI controllers, welcomed additional offerings:

  • Vision430™, a new line comprising a beautiful LED 4.3” wide graphic touch-screen.
    Currently available in 9 models, the V430 offers an expandable I/O configuration with a broad range of digital, analog, high-speed, and temperature I/Os, USB programming and serial ports, and a CANbus or Ethernet port option.
  • Vision1210™ - Black, an elegant, big-screen model with a flat, black fascia and an NEMA4X/IP66/IP65 rating—excellent for applications that require a powerful, flexible controller with a big screen that matches the spray & wipe requirements of the food and beverage industry.
  • The EXF-RC15 -a stand- alone, remote I/O Module that brings you high-Speed I/O plus PWM/PTO.

The UniStream™ platform is our completely modular PLC + HMI controller for large-scale machine applications. This 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner also broadened its range:

  • UniStream 15.6" HMI panel – big and elegant, this LED touch-panel gives you 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16M (24-bit) color range.
    You can snap up to 5 Uni-I/O modules onto the back of the panel, integrate up to 2048 local & remote I/Os – and communicate with third-party devices via a broad range of CANbus and IP protocols, including EtherNet/IP.
  • Uni-I/O™ modules can be snapped to a panel or hooked up via Expansion adapters. New modules include a thermocouple module and new analog options, plus a new line of space-saving, densely-populated ‘wide’ I/Os.
  • Expansion Adapters are now available in more lengths, from: 125cm up to 3000cm.

Our Jazz line is the PLC + textual HMI + onboard I/Os that replaces “smart relays” with a real PLC—for the same low price. Two new models were launched in 2014:

  • JZ20-T10: 6 Digital Inputs, 4 Transistor Outputs
  • JZ20-T18: 6 Digital, 2 Analog/Digital, 2 Analog Inputs, 8 Transistor Outputs

Other products released to market are compatible with all of our PLC + HMI controllers:

  • GSM/GPRS modem
  • BACnet to MODBUS Gateway

More than ever, Unitronics offers you true All-in-One value: a 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 the coming year!

Cara Bereck Levy

Last month, I blogged about recent Application Stories. One was a retrofit application - a rice-filling machine - done by Imapsa Automation of Guatemala and Honduras.

The story was picked up by IEN. You can find it featured on page 22.

Hat-tip to Ober Yela (HighTech on the forum) for collaborating on the application story with us! Remember, guys - if you have an interesting application, we'd love to hear about it :)

http://digital.ien.eu/digitalMagazine?issue_id=573

Imapsa also posted

showing the application itself:

gallery_3_42_30163.jpg

Cara Bereck Levy

All-in-One HMI + PLC programming software, UniLogic™ version 1.12.20, introduces features and enhancements that extend the application reach of UniStream™, Unitronics’ award-winning All-in-One HMI + PLC controller.

Machine builders can now display streaming video via an Ethernet networked camera using the RTSP Real Time Streaming Protocol, enabling users to easily integrate a network camera and display its video stream output on the elegant UniStream HMI panel.

Streaming video

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) now enhances UniStream’s broad communication capabilities. UniStream can function as an SNMP Agent and communicate with an SNMP server. In addition, the Ladder Toolbox function SNMP Trap Send, enables UniStream to send SNMP Trap messages to an SNMP server. UniStream supports SNMP Versions 1, 2, and 3.

UniLogic’s Webserver’s Drag & Drop editor has added beautifully polished Linear and Circular Gauge widgets, to display running application values for remote users via Internet browser.

gauges

An enhancement of HMI action elements enables programmers to raise popup message boxes when these elements are touched; the message can ask the user a question, give instructions and warnings, and drive actions via buttons.

messages popup

This version also supports new hardware: a new Uni-I/O™ analog module comprising 8 13-bit analog input channels; with input ranges of 0-10v, 0-20mA and 4-20mA, and a new 3G modem, the Cinterion EHS6T.

A novel feature launched with this version, Hardware Configuration profiles, can save considerable programming. These enable a controller to run an application if it has a physical I/O configuration that is different from the full I/O Configuration in the project. The application will run according to the selected profile without error--even if the application uses data tags of I/Os that belong to the full I/O configuration, but that are not part of the selected profile. This feature can save time for programmers who may need to run the same application in systems containing different I/O and COM module configuration.

UniLogic 1.12.20 contains a number of additional features and enhancements. The software and complete feature list is available for free download at http://www.unitronics.com/support/downloads

Cara Bereck Levy
blog-0875730001422278204.png

The award-winning Vision controller series welcomes its newest member—the Vision430™. The beautiful, wide 4.3" built-in color touchscreen brings added value to any application that requires a compact PLC controller with onboard I/Os. The touchscreen and five function keys are housed in a flat fascia with an IP66/IP65/NEMA4X rating—a fine fit for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Each Vision430™model offers a unique onboard I/O configuration that can include digital, high-speed, and analog I/Os, including PT100/Thermocouple and weight/pressure measurement. Expansion modules enable local and remote I/O at distances of up to 1000 meters, making Vision430™ a cost-effective solution for applications up to 512 I/Os.

Power features include 24 auto-tuned PID loops to control temperature, level, and pressure. Time-based and immediate interrupt support make Vision430™ a natural for ‘rapid response’ applications such as packaging machines.

Built-in recipe capabilities are supported by Data Tables, which store the parameters required to control a specific process. Data Tables also enable the controller to store data logs to micro-SD card. The micro-SD card also stores application back-ups, and allows complete PLC cloning.

Communication options include Ethernet, cellular, and industrial protocols such as MODBUS, DF1 slave, BACnet, J1939, CANopen and more. In addition, the ‘Protocol’ utility allows Vision430™ to communicate via almost any ASCII protocol. The unit can be directly accessed via mini-USB programming port, and remotely accessed using GPRS/GSM/CDMA and other IP networks for data acquisition and program download. Another major benefit is the ability to notify supervisors of critical information via e-mail and SMS, enabling real-time remote management.

The machine operator communicates directly with the application via the resistive analog touchscreen—or remotely, via the free Remote Operator utility—which displays data, color trend graphs, and attention-grabbing alarm screens. Display options are almost endless, with more than 1024 user-designed screens supported by 12 MB of memory for images and 1MB for fonts.

OEMs and machine builders profit from intuitive, all-in-one VisiLogic software that enables rapid hardware configuration, PLC, and HMI application programming. VisiLogic includes a full library of Drag & Drop function blocks for complex automation control tasks, such as PID, and a rich, FREE color library of industrial images.

Produced by Unitronics, a global developer and manufacturer of PLC + HMI controllers, Vision430™ is backed by Unitronics standard policy of customer care, includings FREE software and utilities, plus FREE personalized technical support. This combines with reduced overall system costs—minimized hardware requirements, saved cabinet space, and reduced Panel-PLC –I/O wiring—to bring an excellent price-performance ratio.

Product page is here.

Specifications are here.

Happy Automating :)

Cara Bereck Levy

Hi guys!

We know that people sometimes use the forum to find Unitronics programmers, and that programmers have on occasion contacted members who they believe may require automation project services.

This is why we have added a new section to the forum: the Job Board. We hope this will make it easier for people within the Unitronics Community to locate each other.

The Job Board is located here:

http://forum.unitronics.com/index.php?/forum/71-job-board/

Please note:

**Disclaimer: Unitronics bears no responsibility. This is just a place for people to find each other**

Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, general Happy Holidays and good cheer to all!

holiday Art

Cara Bereck Levy

Oil recycling, textiles, retrofits in the printing and packaging industries - here are some of the latest application stories submitted by Unitronics customers .

Read, watch, and enjoy!

Company: Aaron Oil Company Inc., USA

Sector: Oil Recycling and Petroleum-Based Hydrocarbon Reclamation

PLC + HMI Controller: Vision560™ + V200-18-E6B Snap-on I/O module

Aaron Oil needed to track the amounts—and analyze the type—of liquid pumped through a collection truck during loading.

They also needed to communicate the analyzed data in real-time to a central office for accounting purposes.

An additional requirement was the ability to communicate with a GPS system in order to dispatch and track drivers.

Read the whole story here.

Watch

.

gallery_3_42_42243.jpg

Company: Imapsa Automation, Guatemala & Honduras

Sector: Packaging

PLC + HMI Controller: Samba, model SM35-J-T20

Imapsa was tasked with modernizing a rice packaging system. This particular machine had space limitation; as a company dedicated to providing its customers with beautiful HMI applications, Imapsa selected the palm-sized Samba™, which comprises a high-quality color touchscreen . Since speed was an application requirement, the SM35-J-T20 with its high-speed encoder inputs was an excellent fit.

Read the whole story here.

Watch

.

gallery_3_42_30163.jpg

Company: B3Servis d.o.o, Slovenia

Sector: Printing

PLC + HMI Controller: Vision570™

This company, which deals with bookbinding machines, had outdated machines that were only capable of reading 1-dimensional barcodes of up to 40 characters. These needed to be updated to support extended 2-dimensional barcodes. They needed a compact PLC with a color touchscreen able to support serial communications and Ethernet UDP—that could also log orders, production data, and generate reports. V570™ fit the bill.

Read the whole story here.

Watch

.

gallery_3_42_3533.jpg

Company: Turkmenistan Aşgabat Dokuma Toplumu (TDT), Turkey

Sector: Textiles

PLC + HMI Controller: Vision130™, model V130-33-TR20

Turkmenistan Aşgabat Dokuma Toplumu (TDT) plant comprises machines that process and size yarn preparatory to weaving, and that weave yarn into cloth for home products. Here, the application need was to collect process data and track operator efficiency, as well as to log and report alarms relating to yarn ruptures that require stopping the machine.

All machines are monitored by SCADA.

Read the whole story here.

gallery_3_42_38406.jpg

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