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  1. Hi everyone, I am newbie in here. I am associated with a rail integrator company in Finland, which is specialized in providing EN 50126/50128/50129 SIL 4 certified control solution for railway signalling and interlocking. As of now, we have been using HIMA PLCs (HIMax, HIMatrix), a proprietary HIMA OS and HIMA's IDE (SILworX). As of now, we are pretty satisfied about HIMA's performances. But we are also assessing some alternatives, which are based on open standards. As per our findings we are looking into the following: Hardware: Artesyn's ControlSafe Computer Platform and MEN Mikro Gmbh's MH50C Platform OS: VxWorks, QNX, PikeOS, Integrity IDE: SCADE (ANSYS), Prover, Flexisafe (Infoteam), Codesys, Matlab (?) Since SILworX is based on IEC 61131-3 languages, and our applications are made up of function blocks, we are trying to avoid platforms like C, C++, AdaCore etc. It would be great to have some inputs on these, and also about some other alternatives. Thanks in advance! :)    
  2. Hi guys, I'm in the middle of a little university project, I'm attempting to implement a control system purely based on artificial intelligence. A neural network will be used to map the characteristics of a power plant. A fuzzy logic controller will be used instead of the conventional PID and finally a genetic algorithm will be used to tune the controller while the system is online. This is all simulated of course. Each of those AI's will be developed in Matlab. Only problem with that is, is it outputs the code in C or C++ (From memory). I would have to convert this to structured text (Based on Pascal). So to circumvent this problem I thought I would just directly interface matlab to the PLC (Schneiders M340).  My idea being, all the calculations are done in matlab which are then sent back to the PLC. However this presents me with a new problem of how I would be able to interface matlab to the PLC. If anyone has experience with this sort of connectivity, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Luchek
  3. Hi, I work as an industrial programmer primarily dealing with Allen Bradley, Mitsubishi, and Omron PLC's as well as various peripheral devices. I would like to begin the process of learning computer programming as it pertains to the manufacturing industry. I'd like to learn how to write databases (SQL, etc) and VB apps and eventually I'd like to be able to write applications that can communicate with PLC's and other devices (although the last one would be a ways down the road).  I have very little experience with computer programming so I don't really know where to start. What language should I learn first? What free software is available to learn with? What resources do you recommend I use? I've downloaded Visual Basic Express and found some introductory courses online that I've just started but if there is something else I should've started with I'm open to suggestions. Thanks