25 years ago, Unitronics launched the first All-in-One controller : an integrated HMI+ PLC with on-board I/Os. Compactly designed, this controller revealed immediate savings in eliminating time-intensive tasks such as PLC-Panel wiring and communication setup. Unitronics supported the All-in-One concept with a software that enabled the Ladder control, HMI application, and all hardware and COM configuration to be programmed in a single, simple environment.
Unitronics' innovation is driven by an in-depth knowledge of the needs of the automation control industry. This knowledge is gained through the company's decades of experience with projects in packaging and palletizing, energy production, agriculture, HVAC, food, dairy, chemical, wastewater, boiler control, plastic extrusion, and other industrial channels. The company produces a broad range of PLC products to fill the application requirements of any OEM, from the simple to the complex.
Simple: Automation on a budget, palm-sized PLC with on board I/Os and HMI color touch panel
Samba, released this spring, fills a growing niche-OEMs on a tight budget who need compact controllers for simple machine control, but want to get a competitive advantage of an elegant HMI color touch panel. This all-in-one, palm-size controller comprises an attractive looking HMI: 3.5" QVGA 16-bit touchscreen that enables data entry as well as the display of variable data, including color Trend graphs and alarm screens. Samba supports 24 user-designed screens, and up to 40 images per application. The integrated PLC controller offers a broad range of features including 2 auto-tuned PID loops, time-based RTC control, data logging, recipes and more. Internal memory holds 0.5 MB of application logic, plus 512K for fonts and 0.5 MB for images. Onboard I/Os offer digital, analog, and high-speed functionality.
Flat fascia and IP66/IP65/NEMA4X rating make Samba a good fit for the food & pharmaceutical industries, wherever spray/wipe down requirements apply.
The new device complements the successful Jazz series, which provides an economical solution where a simple PLC with text display and a few I/Os do the job. Both product lines are provided with free all-in-one software.
Complex Control: Cost-effective and scalable
Developed for applications that require complex control, the UniStream control platform enables automation engineers to conquer that complexity and remain within cost constraints.
UniStream's strength lies in its architecture, scalability, and software.
· Modular architecture
Powerful dual CPUs (faster scan time, supporting up to 2048 I/Os over 2MB of operand memory), elegant, high-quality HMI touch panels in different dimensions, and a selection of I/O modules-all snap together to create a single, compact controller.
· High scalability
The user can expand the on-board I/O configuration to meet application requirements, using local and remote I/Os, as well an option to integrate I/Os via CANbus at ranges of up to 1000 meters. External devices can be integrated into the system via UniStream's built-in Ethernet, serial, and CANBUS ports; additional serial and Ethernet ports can be added by using COM modules. In addition to supporting major fieldbus protocols, UniStream allows the user to use any third-party protocol.
· Time-saving software
UniLogic, All-in-One programming software for UniStream, enables the user to do all configuration, Ladder, and HMI programming in a single environment.
The supplier gave high priority to ease-of-use in designing the intelligent, ergonomic software interface. The programmer can customize the interface to suit personal workflow--everything is pinnable, floatable, and dockable. Also, no time is lost in searching for program components. In UniLogic, everything is visible-all program components are logically organized in the Solution Explorer: Hardware Configuration, Ladder functions, HMI and Webserver screens, Actions, Data Tables, Data Sampling, as well as all aspects of communications from configuration to SMS and emails. UniLogic is context-sensitive, changing to offer relevant commands according to what is open in the workspace.
Ladder programming is very fast. The Ladder Toolbox supporting Intellisense element location, combined with keyboard strokes, enable the programmer to place Ladder elements and to assign tags without touching the mouse. Editing Ladder is virtually error-free, with drag & drop action that automatically snaps elements into place.
HMI design is rapid-the rich library of free graphic images saves considerable time in image design. Attractive user controls and widgets eliminate the need for image design for underlying programming to support a number of tasks.
Hardware configuration is done fast via an intuitive interface: the user selects the controller model. The user adds I/O and COM modules either via drag & drop, or by typing part of the module name in the Toolbox search box and pressing Enter. No addressing is necessary-all of the relevant tags are automatically created by the system.
UniLogic's reuse paradigm is also a time saver. The programmer creates an HMI display, Web Server page, or Ladder function, and adds it to the Library, which may be ported between UniLogic projects. The UDFB, or User Defined Function Block is a powerful feature. These enable the user to create a function to perform a task, such as oven control, and then drag it from the Solution Explorer and drop it into another function-or add it to the Library.
Communications in UniLogic are a matter of configuration-not programming. Setting up and programming data communications is generally one of the most time-consuming tasks in a control project. This is one of the areas in which UniLogic's internal structure shines, since UniStream data communications are independent of Ladder. A single PLC can contain multiple slave definitions-and also multiple master definitions.
Unitronics is constantly adding new features to UniLogic such as VNC remote access, .pfd reader, audio and video.
Unitronics' customer focus is clear not only in the company's track record of high-performing HMI+PLC controllers and software, but also in its approach to marketing and customer technical support. With Unitronics, there are no hidden costs. The all-in-one package includes the purchased product, free software including utilities and updates, and free technical support via phone and email-plus free membership in the Technical Support Forum.
This explains why the Unitronics brand is becoming increasingly known in Europe and the US. Paul Marchinetti, a member of Unitronics' USA distribution network, says: "Unitronics is a fantastic product line to represent. They offer the best price/performance ratio in the market, hands down. The products are easy to work with, the people and the service are wonderful. Unitronics is one of my fastest growing lines". The company markets its products and services worldwide through a network of global professionals, including a US subsidiary, and over 160 distributors in over 50 countries.
In summary, Mr. Amit Harari, vice president of Unitronics' Product Division confirms: "We are in the midst of a very important process, making great investment of resources into perfecting our market offerings. Indeed, Unitronics is raising the bar".