Alan C

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About Alan C

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  1. Help with PLC communication basics

    Thanks for the very helpful replies everyone.  I'm going to chew on this for a little while before making any more decisions.
  2. Help with PLC communication basics

    Thanks Twigums.  We don't know yet what data we want to read, it will either be something we simulate, or could be anything from client devices.  I'd like to know if can I just load data (values, etc) directly into the registers via Ethernet or do those registers have to get their inputs from the input ports and programming?  Thanks for the heads up about the licensing, I was not aware of that.  It would be great if there was a PLC simulator device, rather than us having to build something with production hardware and software.  My manager thinks there is but I have not been able to find simulator hardware. There are really two communication/interface issues here, one for programming and one for control/reading (OPC, etc.).  Can they both be via Ethernet or does it have to be programmed via a serial connection?  Thanks again.
  3. Hi everyone, first post.  My company provides software that manufacturing businesses use to track their tactical and strategic KPIs.  We wish to add the capability to pull data directly from the manufacturing processes, PLCs, the client sites and I have a couple of items I'm hoping I can get some help with here: 1. I have purchased an Allen Bradley Micrologix 1400 series PLC (1766-L32AWA/B) that we want to use for simulation purposes in our office and possibly at trade shows, etc.  I don't need to learn everything about programming and operating these devices (at least I hope not), but mainly need to understand how to load data into the PLC and read it out.  We also have purchased Kepware OPC software that should talk to it. We are connecting via Ethernet.  In my research so far I have learned a little about how PLCs work and ladder logic programming but I have a couple of fundamental questions: Do PLCs store data (say the values of temp probes, etc.) over time or do they have to be read instantaneously before those registers are overwritten?  Is there a way to load data into the PLC without having to physically fabricate test objects that it can measure and/or do a lot of programming?  Can someone recommend a resource that can explain what I need to learn without having to become a full PLC/Automation expert? 2. We would like to purchase or create a device that we could take onto the shop floor and temporarily connect to stand alone PLCs to read and store their data so we can show it to them in our software.  Something portable that we could connect, read data for a few minutes and disconnect.  Does anyone know of such a device, or would it simply be a laptop running OPC server and client software? I realize this is a lot to ask, especially for a first post and I greatly appreciate any help.  Most of us are very new to this particular technology and I for one need all the help I can get!  Thanks so much in advance for any assistance. Alan C