Collaborative, synchronized system integration

By Control Engineering Staff June 14, 2004

A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & Schneider Electric| June 14, 2004

Simplify control system design and managementNeed to lower system design costs and turn projects around faster? Try Unity, the innovative Telemecanique collaborative automation software from Schneider Electric. Click here for a free trial.

Take the adventure out of system integration

Experience the speed of UnityTake the controls for a free, 21-day trial of Unity Pro and a narrated demonstration of Unity Studio software. Just register online at and we’ll ship you the software on a CD with complete instructions. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

click here for free trial ______________System integrator sourceIf you are a professional system integrator, you may qualify for more free software and other exclusive rewards as a Schneider Electric TopIntegrator. Register to become a TopIntegrator at . It’s your one-stop source to learn more about Schneider Electric products and services. The TopIntegrator program is designed specifically for system integrators who use and specify Schneider Electric products. Register today!

The biggest challenge in any automation project is keeping everyone on the same page. It’s those last-minute surprises that arise from merging the activities of many different specialists that can delay startup and add costs. Now an innovative Telemecanique software suite from Schneider Electric—called Unity—can take the adventure out of system integration by helping to ensure proper collaboration and protecting against unwanted surprises.

With Unity, system integrators can manage multi-application projects and synchronize them over Ethernet. Tools like Microsoft’s Visio are used to graphically describe the process to be automated as well as the topology of the architecture, so that individuals and teams can work together more effectively. Libraries of components provide hundreds of re-usable, application-specific objects that make it easier to integrate specific devices, thereby simplifying control and process design.

Unity software’s most powerful capability comes from XML, the universal standard for Internet data exchange and the source format for all application variables, programs, I/O configurations, and other project elements. Using XML to import or export all or parts of applications and combine them with other project elements, Unity enables integrators to achieve an entirely new level of project collaboration.

By integrating commercial IT technologies like Ethernet, XML, and hyperlinks within the traditional control framework, Unity software enables integrators and their customers to boost productivity and reduce the cost of automating both discrete and batch control applications.

Shorten design cycle

By creating a standard architecture for project design and management, Unity provides new tools for system integrators to make project design more efficient and reduce errors or omissions. PLC simulation tools, for example, allow control designs to be easily tested before installation, reducing field delays.

Unity’s ability to host custom intelligent libraries is particularly valuable to system integrators who frequently design multiple projects with similar design elements. With Unity, you can automatically generate essential project elements from a simple pipe and instrumentation diagram, including:

Customer quotes;

Bill of materials;

Control drawings/configurations;

Sections of PLC application code;

HMI and drive configurations; and

Documentation packages, including user manuals, drawings, and spec sheets.

This advanced functionality, performed through Microsoft Visual Basic macros, can automate the now time-intensive process of quotation, specification, development, and delivery preparation of systems. In turn, this can save man-months of engineering and administrative time for each job quoted and built, resulting in faster quotes, faster development, faster documentation delivery, and faster start-up.

Unity enables system integrators to provide increased value to customers at a lower cost. It can be a significant productivity enhancer, helping you increase profitability and expand your potential for business growth.

Powerful new processors

The Unity platform encompasses both hardware and software, including a new generation of Modicon Quantum, Premium, and Atrium controllers with the industry’s fastest and most powerful CPUs—at least 3 to 5 times faster than competitive PLCs in benchmark studies. Faster processing speeds give the new controllers greater bandwidth for diagnostic functions, a critical advantage in controlling process quality.

With an onboard Ethernet TCP/IP link, Web server and high-speed (12 Mbps) USB port, Unity simplifies and optimizes the integration of PLCs into a customer’s communication architecture. The controllers boast significantly increased memory capacity for programs, data, and data file storage.

Automatic software conversion

Unity Pro is the common programming, debugging, and operating software for large- and medium-range Schneider Electric PLCs, providing new functionality for greater productivity and openness to other software solutions. The built-in converters in Unity Pro automatically convert PL7 and Concept IEC 61121-3 standards and applications, optimizing your software investment and reducing training costs.

Unity supports all five IEC 61131-3 languages (LD, ST, SFC, IL, FBD) as standard, with graphic editors and all debugging functions either on a PC-based PLC simulator or directly online. Diagnostics are immediate with a display window, which provides updates in chronological order of all system and application faults. The navigation function for tracing the cause of a fault automatically returns you to the source of the missing conditions.

Collaborative engineering platform

With engineering teams in mind, Unity Studio provides a much-needed tool for project management and collaborative control applications. Incorporating Unity Pro, PowerSuite software for drives and motors, XBT-L1000 software for HMI programming, and OFS (OPC Factory Server) for real-time communication, Unity Studio offers application experts an easily customizable engineering platform.

Microsoft Visio provides a powerful graphics editor at the project or plant level. As well as control system objects provided by Schneider Electric, such as PLCs, variable speed drives, terminals, networks and other control devices, thousands of specialized objects are available for mechanical, electrical, P&ID process, HVAC, and other applications. Customized objects can also be added.

Made-to-order solutions

Customized programs can be created using Unity Developer’s Edition, which includes additional software for development engineers through XML, VBA, VB, or C++. It provides access to all Unity Pro and Unity Studio object servers. The developer’s edition can be used to develop made-to-order solutions such as the creation of interfaces with an electrical CAD system, a variables generator, or PLC programs. Several of Schneider Electric’s partners offer complementary software tools to further enhance productivity in design, installation, operation, and maintenance of a plant or process.

Optimize process applications

For process applications, Unity Application Generator is the design and generation tool for PLC/HMI integration. It enables plant design based on reusable standard objects (valves, PID, motors, etc.) compliant with the ISA S88 standard. It generates the PLC application code and feeds the HMI system, providing single database entry integration. This significantly reduces time and cost in the design, commissioning, and validation phases of automation projects.

Robb Dussault Schneider ElectricOne High StreetNorth Andover, MA 01845 978-975-9679

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