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Old 09-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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Talk with your company, and let them know you have a strong desire in learning more about the Siemens units. They maybe willing to send you to seminars/courses, to better your career . My company lets me attend classes once/twice a year at Rockwell Automation here in Milwaukee. Let me look around, I have a boat load of Demo software somewhere you can have to play with if you want.


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Old 10-23-2012, 04:01 AM   #12
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I am very interested in incorporating a PLC to create a fully automated home brewery. I have been looking at the Unitronics V570, but they are pretty expensive. I have been playing around with the free software, but not getting anywhere fast. I need a hands on course.


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Old 10-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #13
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Hm never heard of that one, you might like something Allen Bradley Micrologix, they're only about $150 and includes some I/O built in. Some programming software uses ladder logic; others use C or a version of Basic or what A/B calls structured text, some can combine all those methods.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:18 AM   #14
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http://www.thelearningpit.com/
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #15
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Unitronics is what Sabco uses on the Brew Magic. It is an integrated Plc and HMI. Sabco could used it to control the burners instead of getting a silly message to turn them on. I like the Unitronics over Allen Bradely because the software is free. The only thing I don't like is that they don't have a simulator to test the programming.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillium View Post
I like the Unitronics over Allen Bradely because the software is free. The only thing I don't like is that they don't have a simulator to test the programming.
I agree. Allen Bradley software is very expensive and not reasonable for the consumer market. I have to imagine most people that use it for personal use have access to it through their job.

Plus, you would need some type of HMI. If you take the AB route that's even more money and software.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:53 PM   #17
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None of the big brands will be reasonable for the consumer market. I'm an S7/505 tech and I looked long and hard at incorporating them into a build but decided that even with free (to me, employer paid for) software it didn't make sense.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:50 PM   #18
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Yeah, I've got Building Management Controls that would be more than enough to get the job done for a home brewery. But if I ever parted ways... I'ld lose the software after 1 year. And it's pretty useless without the interface. I haven't been able to dig into this much more. But I'm keeping the links and will be starting some research.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:46 AM   #19
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The software for a home brewing system automation is the hard part, factory software will get you part of the way there. For most hardware there is a communication protocol that they use, and usually an interface to Ethernet can be found, it is just a matter of creating an application that can deliver the proper commands and decode the responses. Most hardware communication setups use a variation of RS 422 / 485 to get network distances needed, and serial / Ethernet interfaces are available. A Java IDE is usually free to download and develop with, just takes a bit of time to build what is needed. Having done that with the Opto 22 G1 hardware I use, it is not rocket science if I could learn Java and build the needed code ( lot's of trips to the internet to work out code problems). You just have to work at this a bit, break it down to hardware interface, commands configuration /response data decode, and sequence of control steps needed and not get bogged down with the big picture at first.
The brewing hardware design I use is scaled from various industrial process's and is way more complex than needed for just making beer with 3 vessel single infusion designs. The software used is way too much for just a simple system, so development time should not be anywhere near the time I have invested (2,500+ hours writing and testing).
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #20
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I know we've diverged from the original post. But I've also been looking into Phidget USB-based I/O (http://www.phidgets.com/). It has native support for several languages, e.g. C/C++, C#, java, python, labview, matlab, iOS, android, flash action script, etc. (http://www.phidgets.com/docs/Program...System_Support) It's supported on all major platforms: widows, OS X, Linux. And it's supports mobile platforms like iOS- and android-based smart phones and tablets.

You can also use the Phidget I/O with some third party software. One of them that looks cool is Soapbox Snap. It is an open source PLC ladder editor. (http://soapboxautomation.com/products/soapbox-snap/)

So all you need is a spare PC and who doesn't have a spare one laying around the house these days.

Phidget seems like a great alternative to some of the options out there.


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