Localised decision making for industrial automation

Published:  07 March, 2017

The phrase ‘localised decision making’ immediately conjures up images of council meetings where a group of people make decisions that will affect those in the immediate vicinity.

We can equate this to industrial automation in a modern process plant where the PLC represents the national government but it doesn’t necessarily need to be involved in localised decisions. For example, zero pressure conveyors are widely used in industry to protect packaged goods from being damaged by packages backing-up in the event of a conveyor jam. The sensing logic in this type of application doesn’t necessarily need PLC involvement and could be employed locally to the conveyor. It can also be expanded as required, without the need for PLC re-programming.

Demonstrating its commitment to flexible, custom solutions, Turck has developed a field logic controller (FLC). FLC solutions are made possible by ARGEE, a programming environment that allows users to set conditions and actions directly at the field level. By using HTML5, Turck provides a complete engineering environment for users to write, run, simulate, debug, and monitor code, all without the need for a PLC.

Using a simple “condition” and “action” principle that is integrated into a flow chart user interface, ARGEE allows users with little or no experience to configure and programme FLC devices to carry out tasks that fieldbus devices have never been able to do before. This simplified, straightforward approach allows programming at the fieldbus level, eliminating the need for a PLC in some stand-alone applications, while still allowing the device to communicate with a PLC as necessary.

Using FLC’s, Turck’s multiprotocol block I/O devices can act as simple I/O devices or as stand-alone logic controllers.

While ARGEE programming is not designed to replace a PLC outright, it can be used to change the way we think about control, allowing FLC devices to be used without a PLC in stand-alone applications, perform arithmetic functions, timing functions, counting and even toggle bits and share data with a PLC via assigned I/O variables. In short, ARGEE challenges what an I/O device can do by creating a hybrid between simple block I/O and higher level PLCs.

For further information please visit: http://www.turckbanner.co.uk

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