June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.89.1 - 11.89.12
A Novel Approach to Simulating Factory Control System Problems through a PC and Four Microcontrollers
Real-World Factory equipment often incorporates various types of communication, interface and control features to provide reliable equipment performance and meet demanding production requirements. This paper discusses a novel simulation project developed to address such common problems as they may be encountered by factory equipment control systems. The reader will gain insight about typical problems and solutions.
The module was written in Visual Basic (VB); provides a PC-Based, control and monitoring, Graphical User Interface (GUI); and interfaces to four industrial microcontrollers. Each of these controllers is from a separate manufacturer and programmed with a different software language, including BASIC-52, assembly, ladder and C. RS-232 protocol serially communicates with the VB program through four serial ports that are provided by a PC-Based RocketPort system. Bi- directional serial communication with both binary and ASCII data was developed to study, document and compare methodologies. The GUI was designed to monitor and control factory simulation activities, inputs and outputs (I/O) and alarm functions via microcontroller serial communications.
The factory simulation layout is comprised of a variety of components to focus on diverse design and assembly challenges. These include a controllable motor driven propeller with rotation tracking capability, a closed-loop self-balancing pendulum, a hand-held pendant, temperature and light sensors with controllable sources, a light tree, motorized cam-controlled switches and a mechanical counter. The GUI enabled excellent serial communication with the four microcontrollers to provide factory simulation control and monitoring. The Microsoft VB MSComm drivers and the RocketPort system provided simultaneous and robust bi-directional serial communications. Both binary and ASCII data communications proved to be effective methods by providing fast and accurate control, alarming and monitoring.
Production factories are continuously challenged with providing a large variety of cost competitive products with short manufacturing durations. Fast, flexible and reliable electrical and electronic communication, interface and control systems are crucial for factory processes to run efficiently, provide manufacturing flexibility and deliver a wide range of products. Generally a manufacturing process is an equipment collection developed by various manufacturers and operated with various controller types. A modern flexible manufacturing area requires equipment integration into one seamless system. This is challenging due to combinations of computers, microcontrollers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) or other controller types. The controllers are programmed and wired to control or monitor sensors, actuators, switches, indicators, alarms and similar devices to provide required system functionality2.
Dangelo, D., & Sundararajan, R., & Macia, N. (2006, June), A Novel Approach To Simulating Factory Control System Problems Through A Pc And Four Microcontrollers Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--307
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