Steeplechase Controller Includes Automation Diagnostics
Without front line manufacturing information, control and automation software isn't worth diddley. To help users gather and organize diagnostic data, Steeplechase Software Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.) recently unveiled its Visual Logic Controller (VLC) 3.5.This latest VLC version includes a new method for incorporating diagnostics into automation control programs that doesn't require additiona...
Without front line manufacturing information, control and automation software isn't worth diddley. To help users gather and organize diagnostic data, Steeplechase Software Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.) recently unveiled its Visual Logic Controller (VLC) 3.5.
This latest VLC version includes a new method for incorporating diagnostics into automation control programs that doesn't require additional development time. VLC 3.5's other improvements include execution tails, remote programming and monitoring, and an InstaWatch window.
VLC 3.5 can add diagnostics to control programs with the help of a Diagnostic Wizard, which is similar to the Wizard tools found in standard Windows software. The new VLC uses a fill-in menu that allows users to add diagnostics with up to 31 possible fault conditions and actions per decision element. The flowchart logic and messages required to perform diagnostics are generated automatically by the VLC, which can help reduce both development time and machine downtime. For example, VLC 3.5's Wizard can cut programming time for a typical machine control program based on flowcharting or ladder logic by as much as 50%.
Execution tails is a new debugging feature that enables VLC 3.5 to provide immediate and historical displays of flowchart execution paths. The tails are also stored to allow visual representations of the historical logic flow. Likewise, VLC 3.5's InstaWatch Window is a maintenance and debugging feature that allows users to click on flowcharts and view block contents and tag status.
VLC 3.5 is now available at no cost to current Steeplechase customers with extended support service contracts. Current beta customers include Cutler-Hammer/Eaton (Milwaukee, Wis.), Alvey Systems Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.), Honeywell Microswitch (Freeport, Ill.) and BER Systems Inc. (Payson, Ariz.).
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