Summary: Tills Innovations specializes in the design and installation of beautiful custom water features. For a recent large-scale project, Tills selected a UniStream 10.4 PLC + HMI. The powerful, multifunction controller automates multiple pumps, valves and lighting for the feature, while enabling remote monitoring and control via an easy to use interface.
Tills' Quote: “I have used PLCs for over 20 years, but since using Unitronics, with their large range of choices, I will not need to look for any other PLC manufacturer for any of our many and varied projects.”"
Tills Innovations, working with local Unitronics distributor i4 Automation in the UK, designed a control system for a large water feature commissioned by a university, with close and professional support from Golden Coast, UK’s largest independent distributor of wet leisure products.
Based on their past experience with Unitronics, they decided to use the UniStream 10.4 programmable logic controller. UniStream provided all of the communication and control features they needed, and the 10.4-inch touchscreen was a perfect fit for the amount of HMI detail required to run the system.
Their water feature includes two control stations. The top station houses the main touchscreen and a 3G/4G GPRS router for remote access, while the second station is 70 meters away down a hill. The bottom station houses remote analog and digital I/O modules connected to Unitronics EX-RC1 remote adapter; Unitronics’ UniCAN CANbus protocol enables efficient communications between the adapter and the PLC.
The system has controls for the seven feature pumps, two filter pumps, and various water top-up valves, along with the chemical dosing and lighting, as specified by Tills Innovations. The UniStream’s Data Tables are used to commission the pumps; as the jets run up the hill, each pump’s flow has to be adjusted to standardize the water height. A second set of Data Tables then stores and activates preset patterns.
UniLogic™ All-in-One software is both intuitive and easy to use, which helps speed up the programming process. One of the important software features for this project is the built-in Alarm management system; the university monitors the system remotely on a daily basis to check for any problems. The UniStream PLC triggers alarms that are easy to understand and to resolve.
Additionally, UniLogic™ programming software enables the programmer to create both the PLC and HMI applications in one simple environment. Provided at no charge, the software also offers features to cut programming time, like the ability to store Ladder functions, HMI screens, and Web pages in a code library for use in other projects. Engineer Andy James explains, “The technical help could not have been better; some parts of the software were new to me, but with the UniLogic software and i4’s help, it all came together as a total package.”
UniStream kept the overall cost under budget and was very easy to use. Thanks to the help and knowledge of the Unitronics staff, Tills Innovations will continue to use both the UniStream and Vision series programmable logic controllers in their future projects.
James summarizes his experience as follows: “I have used PLCs for over 20 years, but since using Unitronics with their large range of choices, I will not need to look for any other PLC manufacturer for any of our many and varied projects”.
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