By Cara Bereck Levy in Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more 0Hi people!
We listen to you. The requests and discussions in this community helps to guide our R&D, and helps us to develop the hardware and software you need.
Please click here to take our short survey. It is anonymous, and takes about 2 minutes to complete.
Your answers will have an impact--will help us to direct our development to the best solutions for our community.
Thanks--may all your apps be bugless 😄
By Cara Bereck Levy in Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more 0EtherCAT! If you use UniStream PLCs models USC-B5 or USC-B10,
you can now easily integrate EtherCAT into your applications,
via our new EtherCAT master communication module.
This new module, UAC-01EC2, brings you the following benefits:
Simple, flexible, transparent system setup. Easy wiring – reduce costs, minimize complexity. 3rd-party devices easily integrated - just import the ESI. Motion: via Unitronics UMD-xxxx-E3 servo drives, you can support up to 8 axes. UniStream Remote I/O supports up to up to 8 Remote IO EtherCAT Adapters, URB-EC1; each adapter supports up to 16 standard UniStream Remote I/O modules. Include a total of up to 32 EtherCAT nodes--all components are supported by the EtherCAT Fieldbus. Seamless integration with UniLogic – 2 clicks & you're ready to roll with EtherCAT!
A few words about Motion
Do you have an existing Motion application?
Adapt your CANopen Servo projects to EtherCAT—a few quick clicks in Hardware Configuration enable you to enjoy the same great features:
Totally transparent, automatic setup and management Download Ready-Made Motion code and get moving immediately – No programming needed! Diagnostics: view servo run-time performance via UniLogic’s built-in powerful, high-speed scope Tune your system: using only one single parameter
By tmoulder in Tim's Corner 7Like 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 2It's smooth. It's simple. Our R&D department has created a complete Motion Solution that includes all the hardware you need - AC Drives, Motors, Cables both standard and robotic – all seamlessly supported by Unitronics’ PLCs, HMIs, & VFDs. You can enjoy the simplicity of obtaining all components from a single supplier, plus our efficient Ready-Made Motion code - read on to learn more!
New Motion Solution: Servo Made Simple - Easy to Set Up, Painless to Program
Unitronics new line of AC Servo drives and motors changes the traditional and complicated approach to Motion Control.
Unitronics launches a complete line of AC Servo drives and motors – along with a surprisingly simple approach that enables users to implement Motion Control easily. Ready-Made Motion code, Embedded Diagnostic tools, Automatic communication setup, are just some of the easy-to-use features embedded in this new line.
The offering includes 1 and 3-phase drives and motors, operating at a wide power range of 50W to 5,000W (0.06-6.7 HP) to suit any machine size, with robust, high-resolution built-in serial encoders (absolute: 23-bit, incremental: 20-bit), IP65.
Simplicity translates into solid profit
Unitronics, recognized for industry leadership by the prestigious Frost and Sullivan Best Practices Award, applies an innovative approach that brings time-saving benefits to motion control:
· No coding needed: Ready-Made Motion code, provided with every purchase, enables Unitronics’ customers to test their completed system; this code can be opened and adapted to other applications via PLCopen standard functions
· One software for all project needs: set up and program PLC, HMI, Servo, VFD, and I/O—no need to struggle with multiple software tools to build an application with up to 8 axes
· Automatic communication setup: absolutely seamless
· Minimal room for error: UniLogic software automatically analyzes mechanical properties and recommends safe values for the user application
· Diagnostics: UniLogic includes a built-in powerful, high-speed scope to view servo run-time performance
· Tune the system: using only one single parameter
· Embedded Diagnostic tools: no PC needed. Use Via an HMI panel – or a virtual HMI screen on their mobile device – users can:
- Set motion parameters
- Monitor Axis behavior and I/Os
- Execute movements, such as Point-to-Point, Jog, and Homing
One Integrated Solution for Control & Automation
The company’s Motion Control solution includes all the elements required for precise motion control: award-winning PLCs, HMIs panel, VFDs, I/Os, along with broad communication support, including Industry 4.0, and now Servo drives and motors.
All products are programmed in the same, easy to use software studio, giving users a complete solution for control and automation from one supplier.