Examples of Touch Screen PLC Implementations

Solar Unit and Battery Monitoring Implementations

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The MTR Railway System linking Hong Kong Island and Mainland China

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Tank Levels, Status and Temperature Monitoring Implementations

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Other Examples using Unitronic's Range of Touch Screen PLC's

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Examples of Unitronics PLCs

The range of applications that can be implemented using a Unitronics touch screen PLC is truly vast. The large number of different screen sizes - from 3.5 inch to 12 inch touch screen - combined with the highly flexible software and I/O features of each Unitronics PLC means that there will be a touch screen PLC to meet just about any design problem a manufacturer may have.

Here we can give just a taste of what's possible with a touch screen plc, by presenting some examples of Unitronics PLCs in use by real companies and real applications.

Touch Screen PLCs. Click here to view our range of Unitronics PLCs with built in touch screens.

Vision 280 Graphic Touch Screen PLC

The Vision 280 combines a 4.7 inch LCD graphic touch screen with a range of customisable push buttons. This combination of inputs makes it ideal for simpler applications which are going to be operated by skilled personnel, but where an element of graphic display and touch input is still required.

This made it an ideal choice when Black and Decker were designing a new automated printing machine for printing finished jigsaw blades with logos and product information. They specifically wanted an intuitive interface, the ability to track processes within the PLC and connect to the wider data collection system in the production plant. The Vision 280 allowed the operator to directly enter data such as part numbers and operator id into the system - making use of the dedicated numeric buttons. The touch screen was able to display a range of process data including efficiency measures, faults and a production count - data which was also logged and transmitted via Ethernet connection.

The presence of manual buttons was especially useful in the case of an Ammonia Refrigeration system created for Seagull Refrigeration in Ireland. The Vision 280 was used to control the speed of a compression motor to refrigerate ammonia gas to a specific temperature. It needed to monitor 18 different analogue inputs including oil pressure, gas pressure, motor bearing temperature, motor amps and oil filter pressure; and it needed to control 17 digital outputs and 2 analogue outputs. A touch screen was considered unsuitable for use in a machine room, and so the manual keys could be used instead.

Vision 350 Palm Sized PLC

The Vision 350 has a 3.5 inch touch screen with 4 programmable function keys. Its size and simplicity lends itself to smaller applications and simpler processes, but where graphical user feedback is helpful in managing the application.

It was successfully used on the Zootechnika range of milk pasteurizer machines which are used by a large number of producers where pasteurisation is required, such as milk, yogurt and juice. The PLC controls both temperature and pressure of the liquid to be pasteurised, utilising temperature and pressure measurement modules, controlled by a PID function, to ensure that milk or other liquids achieve precise temperatures for precise amounts of time. The current status of the process is displayed on the Vision 350 screen and logged to an SD card, enabling full record keeping necessary for this type of application.

The compact nature of the Vision 350 combined with configurable touch screen input proved a winning combination when it was used to control a "Dry-Spinner" for use in clean room laboratory settings. The Dry-Spinner is used to dry semi-conductor wafers by spinning them very fast to throw off any water. A very high speed motor is used to produce the necessary centrifugal force - and the speed and duration of the spinning needs to vary according to a number of parameters which a user needs to specify. The Vision 350 enabled touch screen input of the necessary variables and associated commands such as "Start", or to increase or decrease speed. The PLC also detects and feeds back important status information, such as informing the user that the lid of the machine is open and preventing operation. The user interface has been made so intuitive that operators can now use the machine without reference to a manual.

Vision 560 Colour Touch Screen PLC

The Vision 560 allows input via either its 5.7 inch touch screen or 24 programmable buttons. This makes it a useful hybrid HMI solution where it is desirable to have some touch input capability, but also keypad input from skilled users with knowledge of the process.

This combination made it an excellent choice for implementing a casino chip counting system for Austrian Casinos. Keeping track of the casino's chips is essential to prevent losses or fraud and ideally needs to be done in real time (as opposed to waiting till the end of the night when it may be too late). The Vision 560 was programmed to use inputs from photoelectric sensors to track chip movement. Each gaming table has its own Vision 560 module and the touch screen is visible to the croupier as well as other casino staff who can quickly access key screens via dedicated keys. The mixture of touch screen and programmed key input helps to prevent tampering by unauthorised users. The 560's connectivity abilities are utilised to transmit data to a central server database.

Vision 570 Colour Touch Screen PLC

The Vision 570 consists of a 5.7 inch touch screen with no additional function buttons, making it best suited to applications where it is important to tightly control user input possibilities. It has a high Ingress Protection rating making it suitable for applications involving some presence of liquids or dirt. Multiple PID loops means it can control processes where different types of variable require independent control.

It was a perfect choice when Tindall Packaging were designing a filling machine designed to fill cartons with semi-liquid foods such as ice cream and yogurt. The particular challenge was to be able to fill 4 different cartons at the same time, via 4 nozzles. Rather than all nozzles doing the same thing, Tindall wanted to be able to control each nozzle independently, perhaps filling different favours of a product, or starting a new batch of flavours. The Vision 570 was used to control a servo-drive which controls the nozzle output, enabling the time each nozzle is open to be controlled to within 0.1 seconds. The remote access facility also helped to improve overall management within the factory by feeding status information to PCs in managers' offices.

The Vision 570 also came into its own when it was used to control a new biomass boiler created by Total Energy Solutions. The boiler was designed to efficiently generate heat through combustion of a variety of biomass fuels. In order to maximise efficiency it was essential to precisely control oxygen levels, as well as controlling the rate at which biomass was fed into the system. One of the Vision 570's PID loops was used to monitor and control oxygen levels, while another was used to control the fuel feed rate. The generously sized touch screen was able to display real-time gauge readings and indicate faults and alarms necessary to the safe running of the equipment. A pictorial representation of the boiler on screen allowed all the relevant status information relating to the boiler to be displayed in one place in an easy to understand way. Above all, using the Vision 570 Unitronics PLC enabled fast development time, with the boiler being prototyped and then refined into a finished product in just 8 months.

Vision 1040 10 inch Touch Screen PLC

The Vision 1040 comprises a 10 inch touch screen with 9 programmable keys, as well as a fully featured PLC with the usual range of I/O options and independent PID loops available on a Unitronics PLC. This means the Vision 1040 lends itself to applications where a large, clear display is needed to guide a user through options and to display feedback data in a way that relates easily to the physical world. The presence of some dedicated function keys means that it is best used by skilled or semi-skilled users with some familiarity with the process - such as factory workers.

Brenner & Fiedler Pneumatic and Automation Solutions made good use of the Vision 1040's features when they used it to control an automated shoe testing machine. The PLC controls and monitors the movement of 6 different electric actuators which press down into the shoe to simulate steps being taken. These movements need to provide specific and precise pressures, for a predefined number of repetitions, and the pressure applied needs to be easily changed between tests (e.g. to simulate people of different weights). As well as controlling the pressure, the PLC logs all test cycles to an SD card for record keeping and analysis. The 10 inch touch screen shows the options available for each of the 6 testing stations, laid out in a way to match how each station is positioned on the physical machine - making it easy for an operator to choose which testing station relates to which controls.

Vision 1210 12 inch Touch Screen PLC

The Vision 1210 is a 12 inch touch screen PLC with a high IP rating of 66. This makes it ideal for food and beverage applications where food or liquids may be present. The large colour touch screen makes it easy to representing a system graphically, showing physical layout and the relationship of different parts of a system.

It was perfectly suited for controlling a new automated pipeline pigging system created by Hygienic Pigging Systems in Nottingham. The pigging system offers a solution to food and drink manufacturers who need to regularly clean out pipes used in food and drink processing. Instead of flushing out the pipes with a liquid cleaner - which results in the contents of the pipes being wasted, and a considerable amount of changeover time between batch changes - a "pig" (a plug which fits snugly inside the pipe and prevents liquids moving past it) is moved in a highly controlled way through the pipework. The pig is moved through the pipes using a series of valves - controlled by the Vision 1210 - pushing out one liquid and allowing the pipe to be refilled with a new liquid behind it. Meanwhile, on screen, the entire pipe system can be displayed and the current position of the pig and contents of the pipes can be shown in one place. HPS designs systems for a wide range of liquid process companies, each with different pipe systems. The Vision 1210 allows each client's system to be easily configured to their own specific pipe system with bespoke user interface screens.

To discuss how a Unitronics PLC can help to solve your next application design problems, and to help you choose the right model for your task, talk to one of our consultants today.

 

 


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