Distributed PLCs, controllers, sensors, training, interlocks

In recent news related to machine control, controllers are becoming more flexible;training covers hydraulics, drives, and motion; high-speed, short-range sensors suppress backgrounds; a vibration calibrator is portable; and safety interlocks can secure a perimeter with a Category 4 safety designation.


In recent news related to machine control, controllers are becoming more flexible; training covers hydraulics, drives, and motion; high-speed, short-range sensors suppress backgrounds; a vibration calibrator is portable; and safety interlocks can secure a perimeter with a Category 4 safety designation. These are among recent developments from LeTourneau , Acculex , Bosch Rexroth , Migatron , Scantek , and Scientific Technologies Inc .

LeTourneau’s Icam is a called a “full-featured integrated control and monitoring system,” offering flexibility that traditional PLCs do not, the company says.

LeTourneau provides a more distributed alternative to conventional PLCs : LeTourneau Drive Systems Group says its Icam “full-featured integrated control and monitoring system” can serve as an alternative to ordinary PLCs for a host of heavy-equipment, manufacturing, machine design, and general control applications. The system is based on a fully configurable arrangement of remote control modules reporting to and governed by one master module. Three versions offer up to 864 input/output points; each can be custom-configured using the included Microsoft Windows-based Icam Developer software, which requires no programming knowledge. Depending on the application, 1 to 36 remote control modules may be mounted where required, without regard to fluids, dust, commonplace contaminants, or temperature ranges from -40 to 176 °F.
Advantages, according to LeTourneau, are increased versatility, affordability, less complexity, and more modularity compared to most PLCs, making Icam suitable for rebuilds and retrofits. Interactive, diagnostic, and system-interrogatory capabilities include off-site monitoring and troubleshooting via RF modem, telephone, or the Internet. Gold-to-gold military grade connections make Icam immune to shortcircuits and reverse polarity, and ruggedized housings endure high-pressure hot-water washes and prolonged exposure to industrial fluids. The base configuration is easily customized for added functionality using the Developer’s “drag and drop” procedures. A translator module enables interfacing with other “smart” systems, with PLCs, or with control computers.

The 200 mV, 5 V, or 10 V input range of the Acculex DPV-3 can be user selected. The 4-20 mA input range of the DPL-3 is compatible with most process control loops.

LeTourneau says its drive systems operate material-handling and transportation equipment, as well as mobile offshore drilling rigs worldwide. Comprising ac generators, dc or switched-reluctance (SR) traction motors, and Icam or traditional solid-state controls for locomotive, mining, drilling, hoisting, conveying, and other rigorous applications.
Acculex adjustable digital meters solve special display ranging problems: SPAN (gain) and ZERO (offset) settings of the DPL-3 and DPV-3 Series meters can be adjusted by the end-user to display any value over the entire%SDBLQ%%°C,” or no units on the display as well as decimal point location.
Bosch Rexroth offers hydraulics, drives, control courses in 2005 : Bosch Rexroth Service Automation business unit announces class schedule for January through March. Industrial hydraulic and drive and control training courses include introductions, theories of operation, functions of major components and other fundamentals and applications. Hydraulics courses are at company facilities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, and Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta, Canada. Electric drives and controls training will be offered at company sites in Illinois and Michigan. Many courses require students to bring a computer to class and may also require use of specific Bosch Rexroth software. For more information, pricing, and schedule, contact the Bosch Rexroth Technical Training Department.

Migatron’s high-speed short-range RPS-400-6 ultrasonic sensor operates in dusty environments, said to make it ideal for rugged conveyors, high-speed counting, and printed circuit board handling equipment.

Short-range ultrasonic sensor includes background suppression: Migatron ’s high-speed RPS-400-6 ultrasonic sensor is used for short ranges of 2-6 in. The 0.75 x 2.0 x 1.5-in. size makes it useful in tight locations. Reportedly, the senor is unaffected by changes in target color or material and it also detects clear objects. Background suppression is standard.

Vibration calibrating system VC-110 : Scantek VC 110 is said to provide full, traceable calibration of accelerometers for sensitivity and frequency response. Such calibration gives measurement of frequency response; built-in signal conditioning with transducer sensitivity display; built-in accumulator for mobile use; is traceable to standard; and is PC-controlled. The new unit replaces the popular VC 100 calibrator and adds higher measuring accuracy; doubled battery operating time; and ASCII command interface for external control. Scantek Inc. is an ISO 17025 NIST accredited calibration lab.

STI’s EC Series Electrically Coded Interlock Switch and Control Unit needs no additional equipment to perform the teach-in operation, and there is no limit to the number of teach-in operations that may be performed.

Electrically coded interlock package provides category 4 system: EC Series Electrically Coded Interlock Switch and Control Unit consists of a uniquely coded actuator, a read head (switch), and a control unit capable of monitoring up to four switches for applications with up to four guard doors. Guarding applications with more than four guard doors can be achieved by combining two or more control units in series. Each actuator has a uniquely coded element that cannot be reprogrammed, making the actuators secure against manipulation, according to Scientific Technologies Inc . (STI). EC Series control unit provides EDM (External Device Monitoring and can be operated in manual or automatic start mode, which allows the control unit to function as a safety-monitoring relay.
For other great technologies, see the

2004 Control Engineering Editors’ Choice Award

winners, posted this month at Control Engineering Online and printed in the January 2005 issue.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, MHoske@cfemedia.com

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