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PLC Emulation to test HMI

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#1 Uncletg1

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

Does anyone know of a program that will emulate a PLC so I can test my Red Lion HMI? If I had the PLC I could emulate the HMI and test buttons and aesthetics, I have just the opposite... An HMI and no PLC. Is there software that will allow me to link with a "Virtual PLC" for testing?

Thank you,

#2 Ken Roach

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

One of the neatest things about Red Lion is that you can easily make the tags into Internal tags, and test the way the buttons and displays look and feel that way. Where that's limited is that you need to either use the Watch Window or add other pages/objects to modify the values of the tags.
The best thing is to have an Emulator for the type of controller you plan to use.

Some emulators can communicate with the outside world over serial (RSEmulate 500) and Ethernet, and some are limited to their own tools or special OPC drivers (like RSLogix 5000 Emulate).

One thing you might try is PLCSim. This started as a Modbus emulator but added some DF1 capability to emulate Allen-Bradley SLC-500 controllers.

http://www.plcsimulator.org/

What type of controller are you planning to use ?

#3 Uncletg1

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:45 AM

Thank you for the reply, PLCSim seems to be what I was looking for. My current need was for a GE RX3i, however, I never thought about converting my tags to "Internal" and using the watch window. This is such a simple task in the .csv that I can't believe I overlooked this for so long!

Thank you for the tip,

T.

#4 Crossbow

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:45 PM

This really depends on which PLC you are planning to connect it to. I assume in the Red Lion you had to specify the connected controller type. You didn't say in your post what PLC you needed to emulate.

#5 OkiePC

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

Using internal tags can be very useful. If you are careful with your naming strategy and tag structure, you can change them all from internal to the PLC source after the project is mostly developed.

The built in emulator can communicate with a real PLC through your PC serial port in most cases.

The built in emulator can do all sorts of cool stuff all by itself, even with PLC source data missing or done completely with internal tags.

The built in emulator in Crimson 3.0 requires a 32 bit operating system to install and run at all.

I use it for test apps at work where I have RSLinx Classic Gateway, so I have all sorts of quick display programs I run to monitor things. I can double click a cd3 icon, hit download and in a few seconds I can monitor it for up to 15 minutes just as if the real hardware were running.

I have not tried to use a real G3 with an emulated PLC, but I suspect the emulated G3 will be better for you anyway, and the real hardware will run exactly the same when you get it properly connected and downloaded.

I did have problems getting it to work within XP mode in Windows 7 Pro x64, but I have heard it works fine with a virtual machine (32 bit) running in VMWare through the hardware serial port to a real PLC. The same should be true for a software PLC and redirector software.

#6 Uncletg1

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:50 PM

Thank you for the replies to my question, at the moment I am using a GE processor, however, that is subject to change often. My question was more in general, I was hoping there was a single piece of software that could do multiple variations. In hindsight, probably not very do-able due to all the proprietary protocols out there. The Internal tag setting accomplishes what I need at this time.

Thanks Again!


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