CimQuest INGEAR , a publisher of runtime-free software development solutions for industrial applications, has introduced a new version of its NET.LOGIX software. All versions of the company’s NET.LOGIX software contain a library of drivers for Allen Bradley ControlLogix, CompactLogix, SoftLogix and Micro850 programmable automation controllers (PAC) that Visual Studio.NET programmers can use to create HMI (Human Machine Interface) applications. NET.LOGIX software provides direct access to the controller memory, data bases, I/O and communications, letting programmers obtain the information they need from the controller, process it in a PC, and send commands back to the device for control. The software does not require third-party components, drivers, APIs or tools such as OPC Servers. This approach, in contrast to proprietary PLC supplier solutions, is a dramatic improvement for machine builders in that NET.LOGIX completely eliminates costly runtime fees applied to each unit sold.
The new version, NET.LOGIX v5.0, stands out because it allows programmers to upload the tag list stored in CPU memory then browse for names of data items. “In contrast to competitive software which comes packaged as a separate software title and as a result does not integrate with user applications, NET.LOGIX v5.0’s browsing capability lets programmers easily integrate data items into their application-specific solutions for industrial HMI and SCADA for immediate use,” says company spokesperson.
In addition, NET.LOGIX v5.0 now enables programmers to retrieve controller properties such as Program Name, CPU Model, Firmware Revision and Serial Number. The feature lets programmers easily see valuable statistical data from the Allen-Bradley controller they are communicating with. NET.LOGIX v5.0 also adds support for the new Allen-Bradley Micro850 controller, which targets customers requiring lower-cost, stand-alone machine solutions.
With NET.LOGIX v5.0, programmers can read and write large blocks of data at one time, instead of having to break large data blocks into smaller blocks through code. This capability speeds programming time significantly.
Other new important features include:
• The TagTemplate class, which lets the programmer know the properties of any tag item uploaded from the CPU memory. The developer can examine the tag name, determine if the tag item is atomic, pre-defined, user defined or string. If the tag item is a structure, a list of members is accessible. If the tag item is an array, the number of dimensions and size is available. The TagTemplate can be easily converted into a Logix.Tag for immediate use within a program.
• Tag.Simulation allows a programmer to test code functionality without being connected to a physical device. NET.LOGIX generates simulated data values to mimic PLC operation.
• Tag.Scaling can automatically convert raw data values in the PLC to engineering units. For example, a raw PLC analog value of 0-4095 can be scaled to represent an engineering unit of measure such as pressure, temperature or velocity.
• The UIItem class links Windows Form Control Properties directly to Tag.Values, allowing the graphical user interface to be updated automatically. Properties can be Text, Numeric or Color and can also be combined. For example a Tag.Value can be linked to a Label control that will automatically update the .Text property and also transition a color property based on the Tag.Value.
NET.LOGIX v5.0 comes in four versions: Developer Edition, Compact Framework, Developer Team Edition and Single Machine Edition. Developer Edition is for designing, creating, and deploying Windows programs, system services and console applications. Compact Framework is for creating programs for devices such as Allen-Bradley PanelView, handheld scanners, HMI Panels, PDAs and other devices. Developer Team Edition is for developing automation projects in a Visual Studio.NET team environment. Single Machine Edition is for designing, testing, debugging and running Windows programs, system services and console applications on a single machine.
Applications developed with NET.LOGIX 5.0 can run on 64 and 32-bit Windows and Windows Server, Windows Compact Framework, and Windows Mobile. Existing NET.LOGIX 4.0 users under current support are eligible to receive version 5.0 as a free upgrade.
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