Monday 14 November 2016

Software to program PLCs.

Version 8.2.2 of IDEC's WindLDR PLC programming software has been launched. This is a PC-based platform used to program their FC6A MicroSmart PLC. The software can also be used to program IDEC’s entire line of PLCs.
IoT capability is provided by custom web pages which can be configured for remote monitoring and control. Web pages are created with the built-in Web Page Editor using simple drag and drop functionality with no HTML programming required, a major advantage over competing products.

When used with the MicroSmart FC6A PLC, these web pages are stored in the PLC, which functions as a web server when its built-in Ethernet port is connected to the Internet. These web pages can be accessed via any web browser running on any Internet-connected device such as a remote PC, a tablet or a smartphone. Connecting the MicroSmart to the Internet also provides email and text notification functionality, which can be used with third-party email servers such as Gmail and Yahoo.

WindLDR is an icon-driven programming tool combining logic and intuition with an easy-to-use interface. Programming IDEC’s controllers with WindLDR is simple and intuitive with either Ladder Logic or Script, the latter similar to the C programming language. The Script language can be used to create more complex programs, particularly those with multiple sub-programs and custom function blocks. Even without Ladder Logic prior programming experience, programmers can use the built-in editors, shortcuts and debuggers to quickly configure programs.

Once a program is created, it’s ready for transfer to a PLC, with the option to include accompanying comments. Programs can be downloaded with the comments attached to operands and rungs, with this information stored in the PLC processor. Using these comments, users can review programming code to provide clarification and streamlined maintenance.

Shutting down a PLC to make minor changes can be a major hassle, so WindLDR allows editing and downloading of programs while the PLC is still in Run mode. This function allows users to write new values to counters, timers and registers at any time without switching between editor mode (used for programming) and monitor mode.

Ladder programs can be simulated in WindLDR with the built-in Simulation mode. This function provides a means to test and verify functionality of ladder programs without having to download the program to an IDEC PLC. Software programs from IDEC FC4A and FC5A PLCs can be automatically converted by the WindLDR programming software for execution on the MicroSmart FC6A PLC.

As with all its products, IDEC offers free tech support for WindLDR programming software, with no service or support contract required. WindLDR PC-based software includes no cost updates for the life of the product, so there is no concern with recurring renewal fees.


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