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How to reduce downtime with an all-in-one programming software?

Industry - Building Automation

Summary: Schepers Techniek BV is a system integrator that has built automated equipment for a variety of projects and industries, including water management and building automation.  They pride themselves on providing excellent service with a fast turn-around time.  Working with Unitronics UniStream modular, all-in-one PLCs, they were able to redo the control system on a swimming pool with only a week of downtime.

"UniStream offers one unit and one programming environment."

Schepers Techniek BV is a system integrator offering custom control panels and automation solutions.  They have built automated equipment for a variety of projects and industries, including water management and building automation.  They work closely with their customers to create dynamic and innovative solutions to the problems at hand.  This close communication, as well as their engineering expertise, allows Schepers to maintain a fast turn-around time on projects; they pride themselves on their excellent customer service.

For one customer, Schepers needed to replace the automation system on a local swimming pool.  The customer’s wanted to the new system to offer basic control that could also monitor energy consumption; in order to keep the control platform easy to use they wanted to avoid using a SCADA or PC based solution.  Other concerns included keeping the total cost low, reducing the system downtime during the replacement process, and ensuring the system had the flexibility to expand if necessary.

Schepers Techniek selected the UniStream all-in-one control platform from Unitronics.  They chose the programmable logic controller UniStream 15.6 with color touchscreen and HMI panel, as a large easy to use display was important to their customer.  The CPU and I/O modules snap to the back of the panel, creating an all-in one PLC+HMI.  The application required analog inputs to read around 40 NTC nonlinear resistance/temperature sensors.  The PLC compiles this data using the data logging and trend functionality and generates reports about the system’s operation, including the energy consumption.

The UniStream also had several powerful features, to enable the customer to monitor the system and react quickly if problems arose.  One of these is UniStream’s alarm management system; if an alarm is triggered an email notification is sent to the operators so that they can address the problem as fast as possible.  They can also view the alarm history via the HMI.  The application can also be monitored remotely via either a webserver or using a VNC connection on any mobile device.

Schepers was impressed by Unitronics all-in-one design.  They were easily able to create a single unit customized to their customer’s specific needs, which was programmed using a single software.  One engineer comments that UniStream offers “one unit and one programming environment.”   Furthermore, Unitronics’ UniLogic software offers an intuitive, innovative environment; features like the structs functions made programming fast and simple.  In the end, Schepers Techniek was able to create the PLC program ahead of schedule; they had the new control system up and running with only a week of downtime.

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