Pull/Push Pneumatic Force – Test Stand Control System

Unitronics with Load Cell and Amplifier


Performance Testing of Allendale, Michigan does cycle and stress testing of manufactured products. They had been using a solution with a low cost PLC and load cell system, including a analog load cell amplifier.

The program and touch screen interface make the system easy to set up, and effective for checking the test status.

Or solution was much more robust, combining a Touch screen, PLC and high resolution (24-bit) into a single control.


See a YouTube video for more information:

PLC and HMI – combined in one control

Many controls manufactures are combining HMI operator stations with PLC in a single package solution.
This solution is very attractive for reasons that may not initially be obvious. Consider how large ware house controls system were designed in the 1980’s. These were the days of large centralized control systems. It was just easier to work with a single control program than with the headaches of programming multiple processors.

It is much easier today to place the PLC in smaller zones in a centralized control solution. Ethernet communication has made it easy to monitor and program distributed small control systems. Part counters, rate meters, temperature sensors are now smart devices, fully networked to the factory network.

There is an important advantage to many of these small HMI/PLC solutions. Most of these control platforms support SD (solid state) of CF (compact flash) for operating system and program backup. In the event a control fails, it is only necessary to place the memory storage in the new control and power up the system.

Data Highway Plus Conversion allows partial retrofit of equipment

The Data Highway Plus is a legacy communication system, very popular with PLC5  processor systems.  There are many older machine systems that will eventually updated to CompactLogix and ControlLogix processors.

The retrofit process is easier and less costly when the systems are installed in phases.  The challenge we found was to locate a conversion method to phase out the original Xycom HMI computer and Wonderware software.

We have found the Red Lion HMI, with the very flexible programming language, to be a great replacement for the Xycom.

Because Data Highway Plus is no longer popular, it was difficult to locate communication convertor.  The Data Highway Plus to DF1 convertor from Datalink Technologies Gateways, Inc  is a great solution and economically priced.

ProducTVity Station :: RED LION CONTROLS ::

New from Red Lion comes the ProducTVity Station. This product makes a Key Performance Indicator and Andon Message Board out of any 720 or 1080 hi definition television. Capable of communicating directly with PLCs, drives, and other equipment, the ProducTVity station brings a readily visible display of almost any Key Performance Indicators right to the factory floor.

In addition, this product provides Email and SMS text message alerts and includes a built in web server for remote viewing from any PC connected to the internet. Finally, the ProducTVity Station can sync data logs to FTP servers and comes with a 2GB Compactflash Card for storing incoming data.

ProducTVity Station :: RED LION CONTROLS ::.