Architects Integrating Industry (Ai2SA), specializing in “optimally managing and scoping industrial systems projects” was recently contracted by a client to integrate Process Automation UniPro 4 weighing units to a Mitsubishi Q-Series PLC. Ai2SA was called to site to commission units already installed however values received from the weighing unit to the Mitsubishi PLC were deemed to be “garbled”, presumably due to significant amount of byte and bit swapping. Client agreed with our proposal that off-site testing should be done (which is typically the company standard procedure which is to do UPFRONT clarification). This was however not possible as units were installed on site already and running production.
Ai2SA proceeded to setup a complete test rig unit, kindly provided by Process Automation at their offices in order to be able to simulate the plant configuration. Mr. Ian Thornton, Research and Developer for Process Automation assisted to setup the test unit and with simulation of the values to the Mitsubishi PLC. A “driver” was successfully written to interpret the UniPro 4 weighing system to the Mitsubishi PLC via Profibus DP.
The figures below depict the testing station and a snippet of the software registers depicting successful “conversion” of received values.
While it is normal to assume that using “open” standards should work it is always recommended to make provision for pre-testing off site as it simply is a lot more cost effective and less time consuming overall. Ai2SA would like to thank the people from Process Automation, especially Mr. Thornton for excellent support. It is not often that one gets to work directly with the engineers who developed the products (or parts of it) and so it does not only make us proud to have such highly talented people locally in South Africa, it also makes sorting out problems much more easier and cost effective.
For further information, please contact: Ai2SA
T: +27(0) 12 348 6124
F: +27(0) 86 685 5061