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Remote Access--Success Stories!


Cara Bereck Levy

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Read these success stories to see how members of our community take advantage of different aspects of Unitronics' powerful Remote Access capabilities!

Grupo Electrotecnia Galiana: UniStream, HVAC application

The challenge: create a high-performance test bench to test HVAC compressors over the word-wide range of voltages & frequencies, while enabling remote commissioning & operation via Web browser & VNC.
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Schepers-Techniek: UniStream, swimming pool application

Schepers Techniek BV is a system integrator offering custom control panels and automation solutions. For one customer, Schepers needed to replace the automation system on a local swimming pool. The customers wanted to the new system to offer basic control that could also monitor energy consumption; in order to keep the control platform easy to use they wanted to avoid using a SCADA or PC based solution. Other concerns included keeping the total cost low, reducing the system downtime during the replacement process, and ensuring the system had the flexibility to expand if necessary. Schepers Techniek selected the UniStream all-in-one control platform from Unitronics. They chose the 15.6-inch color touchscreen HMI panel, as a large easy to use display was important to their customer. The CPU and I/O modules snap to the back of the panel, creating an all-in one PLC+HMI. UniStream also has several powerful features that enable the customer to remotely monitor the system and react quickly if problems arose. One of these is UniStream’s alarm management system; if an alarm is triggered an email notification is sent to the operators so that they can address the problem as fast as possible. They can also view the alarm history via the HMI. The application can also be monitored remotely via either a webserver or using a VNC connection on any mobile device.
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EPS: Vision1040 PLC: Boiler application

EPS can remotely access any of the Vision1040 PLC installed on one of their boilers using Unitronics complimentary software utilities. Justin Butler, Senior Electrical Engineer, explains the advantages, saying “With Remote Operator, we can see exactly what the operator sees from our office at the other end of the country via a VPN at absolutely no cost either financially or in development time. This is a huge advantage if the client requires assistance to solve a problem.” The Unitronics Vision1040’s powerful communication options also allow for necessary safety features. The boiler control system includes an Enfora GSM modem, enabling SMS messaging. If a fault condition triggers an alarm, the PLC sends an SMS message to a list of operators in sequence to inform them of the condition. The operator receives an actual description of the fault, rather than just a generic “boiler fault” message, allowing the operator to assess how urgent the response needs to be. If an operator responds to the SMS alert, it prevents the message being sent to the remaining operators on the list, avoiding duplicated efforts to fix the problem. The fault messages also appear on the HMI panel; this HMI alarm message and the SMS alert are the same and are pulled from the same string library, meaning that EPS didn’t need to code two different messages.
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NPP Tehnoavtomat: V350: power station project

How can you keep power stations running in the Russian wilderness? PLC control with reliable remote monitoring. NPP Tehnoavtomat installs power stations in Russia’s many remote regions; they need excellent remote access and monitoring and responsive alarms as well as impeccable control. They implemented a Vision350 PLC+HMI from Unitronics to control and monitor on such remote electric power station. This PLC ensured the station could run smoothly and autonomously without issue.
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Tills InnovationsUniStream 10.4 PLC + HMI: complex water feature control

Tills Innovations specializes in the design and installation of beautiful custom water features. For a recent large-scale project, Tills selected a UniStream 10.4 PLC + HMI. The powerful, multifunction controller automates multiple pumps, valves and lighting for the feature, while enabling remote monitoring and control via an easy to use interface….

One of the important software features for this project is the built-in Alarm management system; the university monitors the system remotely on a daily basis to check for any problems. The UniStream PLC triggers alarms that are easy to understand and to resolve.
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 AquaRD z.o.o.: Vision130: wastewater application

Here, the Vision130 PLC also collects data from one of AquaRD’s GSM/GPRS modules, the CellBox-UxR. This allows the system to respond to events as they happen and display the changes in real time. If an alarm is triggered, the information is immediately sent a SCADA server where it is processed and presented in a variety of charts, graphs and reports. Some alarms will also send notifications via SMS messaging to ensure a speedy response. The Vision130’s advanced communication options make it easy for AquaRD to monitor the compressor station remotely and respond quickly if any problems arise.
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 University of Johannesburg’s School of Engineering: Vision1210 + Jazz: drinking water project

 The team from the University of Johannesburg’s School of Engineering worked on a service project to bring clean drinking to a remote village.  They believed that by implementing automation and remote monitoring technology they could prevent a “give and forget” effect, where service projects fall into disrepair after a few years.  Using twUnitronics programmable controllers (PLC+HMI units), they were able to control a solar powered water pump, record data on the pumps performance and report the status of the pump via cellular communications.   These versatile PLCs made it easy for the team at University of Johannesburg to ensure that the water pump continued operating at optimal levels long after the initial installation.
To make sense of all the information collected by the Jazz PLC, the PLC, configured as a Modbus slave, transmits the data using a radio modem to a radio to cellular interface station. Once the data is converted to a signal on the cellular network, it is transmitted to a second PLC, configured as a Modbus master, via a GSM modem. This PLC, a Unitronics Vision1210, is installed at the University of Johannesburg, where it displays the status of the pump, power supply and tank.

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