Control software opens up, prices come down

Senior Technical Editor Rich Merritt showcases the latest software offerings that are becoming more open to the web, networks and fieldbuses in this month's Product Roundup of control software products.

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Acqiris USA  

Orchestrated Control
The Orchestra integrated software platform combines embedded Linux with OSE, a hard real-time operating system, thus enabling telecom and datacom OEMs to deploy distributed fault-tolerant, high-availability software solutions across multiple processors. It also comes with embedded Linux development technology from Metrowerks. An evaluation kit is available for a one-time price of $5,000 that contains all the necessary software and hardware, including evaluation boards.
Enea Embedded Technology   

HART Configurator
The FDCM Field Device Configuration Manager manages all smart devices based on the HART protocol, and simplifies typical tasks associated with smart instruments, such as configuration, diagnostics and maintenance. It is fully compliant with the HART open communications protocol and supports all universal, common practice and device-specific commands described in a vendor’s HART DD file, so it can configure and support all device-specific parameters and methods for any HART device.

Plotting Software
Analyze-Plus can collect data by importing text via DDE, from DCSes, or by A/D conversion from the company’s CVF2 data logger. It can plot individual or overlaid plots with multiple y-axis labels including statistics, zooming, and Fourier analysis with frequency and period scales, auto-correlation and cross-correlation. It has an equation processor with 50 functions, such as filtering, averaging, convolution, trigonometry, derivative, log and manipulation of frequency spectrum.
Innovention Industries      

PLC Programming Software
Enhancements to V 2.0 of Telemecanique Unity Pro programming, debugging and operating software for Modicon PLCs include reduced file sizes for faster processing, hot-standby capabilities, interactive operator screen to streamline maintenance, full-function simulator to enable application bench testing and user-defined function blocks to simplify programming. User-definable Ethernet protocols allow direct connection to RFID tag stations, bar code readers and competitive PLCs.
Schneider Electric 

Batch is Under Control
I/A Series batch software allows process engineers to create recipes and simulate their execution against a model of the process before writing one line of control code. Users model their process on display screens from icons and pull-down menus. They then configure recipes by specifying unit and phase data interactively. All recipes are represented graphically in IEC 61131-3 based sequential function charts. The software runs under UNIX or Windows XP.

Programming Software Uses Old Code
RSLogix 5000 V.13 programming software allows for the reuse of previously written code and documentation. The Ladder Diagram (LD) Partial Import/Export capability allows users to create libraries of code that can be reused from project to project. Specific rungs of code can be exported from a project using XML tag formatting and stored in an external file. Later, this code can be imported back into the same project or applied to new projects.
Rockwell Automation      

DAQ and Control Software
Inet-iwplus data acquisition software program for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP enables a user to digitize, plot, control, analyze, and save to disk A/D, D/A, and digital I/O data from the company’s instruNet DAQ hardware. It allows a user to define an instrument front panel with buttons, pop-up menus, edit fields, dynamic text, text editor regions and waveform graphs. Price: $199.
Omega Engineering  

Programming Software
The 759-333 IO-PRO CAA software for the company’s programmable fieldbus controllers and  industrial PCs is compliant with the IEC 61131-3 open programming standard and the CoDeSys Automation Alliance. It includes editors for programming in sequential function chart, instruction list, function block diagram, structured text, ladder diagram and continuous-function chart languages. Price: $600.

Secure Network Software
NetOp provides secure, cross-platform, remote support and access for network administrators and remote sites. RSA SecurID authentication sets up access privileges through the NetOp security server by verifying identity against an RSA ACE/Server using user name, password and a SecurID security token. It works with all Windows operating systems from 98 to the Windows 2003 Server, plus Linux, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X, CE 4.x, DOS and OS/2 systems. Price is $189. Free demo is available.

OPC Server Software
Ctcopc Windows OPC server provides real-time client access to automation controllers and software applications.  Conforming to both version 1.0 and 2.0 OPC-DA standards, it provides users with a non-proprietary, widely supported, bi-directional interface among industrial controllers and third-party applications. By using OPC technology, users can avoid using custom, single-vendor application programming interfaces (APIs) and drivers that are traditionally required for exchanging data between factory-floor devices and the enterprise.
Control Technology   

Universal PLC Programmer
Proficy Logic Developer PC allows programmers to develop IEC 61131 control logic for many open I/O and PLC systems, including GE Fanuc Genius and Series 90-30, PROFIBUS, Allen-Bradley, DeviceNet, Interbus-S, Modicon, and Honeywell SDS, using Ladder Logic, Sequential Function Chart, or Instruction List languages. It runs under Windows NT or 2000, and is available with an RTX hard real-time kernel.

GE Fanuc Automation         

Soft PLC Sees Networks
Enhancements to TwinCAT software include programs for sequence and motion control and an I/O configurator for networks, such as DeviceNet, Profibus and Ethernet. It automatically scans and recognizes network scanners, network nodes and terminal and signal channels, and simplifies address assignment. Other enhancements include an event logger, configuration backup, debugging and automatic configuration. It runs on Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Embedded NT 4.0 Embedded XP, and CE .NET.
Beckhoff Automation   

Communications Drivers provides a library of drivers for major industrial brands and protocols such as A-B, Modbus, GE, and Automation Direct. Users can license one or more drivers for an application. Drivers can be added without affecting existing code or requiring special handling. Drivers are self-contained; no third party driver purchase is required. 30-day free demos are available.
Automated Solutions 

Software Enhancements
Enhancements to Industrial IT System 800xA include an extensive software library of pre-defined and user-defined control elements. These functions provide the power to design complex control strategies to fit any control application including continuous, sequential, batch, and advanced control. 

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