Completing Simple Motion Control by a Cost-Effective Solution

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Dec 19, 2015 11:00:00 AM

The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) plays an important role in controlling and automating industrial equipment and processes. But despite its many advantages, it has disadvantages such as time consuming debugging, difficulty in identifying errors, and requiring skilled programmers. As more manufacturing processes implement automatic control, economic solutions to seamlessly integrate PLCs and stepper motors or servo motors is the key to achieve this goal.  

System Requirements

Due to the difficulties in programming and maintenance, a customer has been unable to effectively improve the functionality of its semi-automatic Printed Circuit Board (PCB) edge beveling machine. The company was trying to find another approach to cope with tough programming problems and lessen the PLC’s workload. Simplifying the wiring configuration to prevent improper wiring or settings and to reduce maintenance complexity is also the
customer’s main demand.

For these, the appropriate solution has to provide a combination of both hardware and software from one supplier to ensure compatibility; it must also support the standard Modbus RTU protocol for serial devices to PLC connection, offer various communication interfaces to link with peripheral facilities, and be in accordance with industrial
specifications to fulfill the requirements of harsh environments on factory floors.

Description

Advantech’s UNO-2362G AMD® Dual Core T40E Small-Size Automation Computer w/ 1 x GbE, 1 x mPCIe, HDMI/DP and is an ideal product for diverse applications involving in the use of PLCs, motion/thermal controllers, inverters and sensors and is bundled with HMI development and runtime software (Panel Express).

Panel Express is powerful yet intuitive software that can lower the project development time and its built-in standard Modbus RTU communication driver makes serial connection much easier while being able to link to multiple stepper motors to expand the number of axes.  Providing complete capabilities can assist users in creating their own HMI applications. For example, the Recipe function can not only display and modify recipe data at runtime but can also record stepping motor operating data according to different production orders. As a result,  there is no need for reentering parameters when changing manufacturing orders, as long as they select the right one from a recipe table. Secondly, the data exchange between the PLC controller and the stepper motor uses the easy-to-learn Macro language with simple syntax and lets developers program the commands to carry out better control procedures.

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Conclusion

Selecting the right method can maximize the Return on Investment (ROI). With a wide variety of hardware resources and ease-of-use software, Advantech’s HMI solution enables users slashing one-fifth of implementation cost because of eliminating additional module purchase fees, and saving a lot of intangible costs due to spending less manpower and time for project development and maintenance. Although it is for simple motion control projects it still has  excellent features and is a great choice for those who want to improve the degree of machine automation

Topics: Embedded Automation Computers

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