PLC-Easy

Library for M340, M580 Epacs and Wonderware
Published by PLC-Easy
Starts at $20

Features

  • Building functionality vs. programming
  • Standardized Clean In Place
  • Routing
  • Energy monitoring and management
  • Exception handling
  • Safe shutdown management
  • Standardized functional redundancy
  • Standardized ISA 18.2 based alarm management
  • Operator status notification
  • Hardware diagnostics

Building functionality vs. programming

Due to the simplified architecture, functionalities such as energy monitoring/managing, clean in place, safe shutdown management, exception handling, routing etc. can be implemented without layering/scaffolding software but by directly linking software modules together.

All the software modules of the PLC-Easy library are self: - group controlling, - sequencing (for continuous (S106), - batch (S88) and state machine processes), - Clean In Place management, - routing, - energy monitoring, - exception handling, - safe shut down management, - redundancy management, - alarm management per ISA 18.2, - operator status notifying.
Building functionality vs. programming

Standardized Clean In Place

In conventional PLC-SCADA and DCS solutions, software modules controlling the physical field devices are scaffolded by other software modules (phases, procedures etc.) for process control, routing, batching, sequencing, CIP etc. functionality.

A high level of coordination/programming is required to correctly make these software modules work together. This introduces complexity in the software that requires expert level programming skills to develop, maintain and trouble shoot.

As the PLC-Easy software modules contain CIP functionality, a control module, equipment module, unit can be put into CIP mode by the hierarchical level above it. No scaffolding software surrounding the device controlling software is necessary to provide the CIP functionality, this significantly simplifies the software which in turn enhances software reliability and production up time.

Routing

Routing functionality is incorporated in every software module of the PLC-Easy library.

As more than 80% of a PLC-Easy based application consists of these standard software modules, no “scaffolding” software to provide routing functionality is required. By making e.g. a unit (ISA88) part of route X, all control modules and equipment modules (ISA88) that are part of the unit, will automatically be part of route X. This significantly will reduce development, maintenance and troubleshooting efforts.

Energy monitoring and management

Energy monitoring is a standard feature of the PLC-Easy library. Subsequent energy saving schemes like load shedding, peak shaving, water consumption reduction etc. can be achieved fast, easy and economically.

An energy consumption value can be associated with every software module in the PLC-Easy library. Due to the simplified architecture that follows the ISA88 physical model of the process (no scaffolding software required, nor a S88 procedural nor functional software model is required), operators are shown the energy consumption at every level of the process hierarchy (S88 physical model). Energy values can either come from a field instrument or from a calculation in the PLC (pump flow curves at certain speeds, valve openings, percentage control output to electric heating elements).

Starting with energy monitoring does not require a large initial investment, as one can start with calculated energy values, VFD speed feedback etc..

As the energy values are PLC based, they can be historized in the same historian that also contain the operator actions and process values. This would allow energy consumption analysis and the identifying of correlations between operator actions, process situations; without additional investments as the time stamps of the energy values have the same origins and share the same data repository as the operator actions, process values.

Exception handling

In case of an unexpected malfunctioning of a physical device or functionality, the PLC-Easy solution will revert to a process state that is permitted in the current process sate/situation. The application can also be configured to perform a controlled shutdown in the case of an unexpected event.

Safe shutdown management

To control processes, most likely, there is a startup procedure and a controlled shutdown procedure.

In the case of an emergency, for some processes/equipment a controlled shutdown procedure takes too long (or does not comply with regulations) and an immediate de-energization of all equipment is deemed dangerous. For these processes/equipment a safe shut down procedure is needed for an emergency abort.

The software modules of the PLC-Easy solution contain a safe shutdown algorithm that bypasses the process control functionality. The safe shutdown procedure is completely customizable within the ISA88 model of the application and bypasses the regular shutdown procedure without a complete de-energization of devices.

Standardized functional redundancy

The PLC-Easy solution offers standardized functional redundancy at any level of the ISA88 physical model.

Not only is the redundant functionality provided by linking software modules, but also notifications to the operator when a standby module is not capable to assume duty. Two or multiple modules (control, equipment module, unit or process cell) can be put into a redundancy scheme by linking the PLC-Easy software modules together.

Any module hierarchically below the redundant module, will automatically follow in duty or standby mode.

Standardized ISA 18.2 based alarm management

The PLC-Easy solution contains integrated standardized alarm management based on the "Effective Alarm Management Practices" guidelines by the ASM Consortium and ISA 18.2. The alarm management is PLC based, embedded in every PLC-Easy software module and subsequently an integral part of the application.

This significantly reduces the SCADA efforts and requires minimal maintenance once the application is commissioned and operational (in contrary to conventional SCADA based alarm management philosophies).

Operator status notification

In addition to alarm management, all status information regarding devices, sequences, redundancy, CIP; are embed in every PLC-Easy software module.

This results in that there is a standard dynamically created operator status message for every condition that needs to be met in order for a device to start, a sequence to progress, the dosing time of a batch process, the duty-standby status of a group.

This significantly reduces development and troubleshooting efforts of the controls application.
Operator status notification

Hardware diagnostics

The combination of an integrated alarm management system and the simplified architecture, allows for the integration of hardware diagnostic signals from any type of device and from any vendor.

This provides accurate information to an operator how a hardware error affects its' associated/dependent control/measurement signal and ultimately the state of the affected device or control functionality.

As the hardware diagnostics can be incorporated for any type of device and vendor (including existing VFD's, DOL's, Ethernet switches, I/O modules), it provides an opportunity to leave existing infra structure in place offering a higher level of return on investment.
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