Unitronics is AMPS’s choice for Integrated PLC + HMI
AMPS has been a Unitronics distributor and system integrator for about 15 years. You could say we were early adopters. We have sold thousands of their integrated PLC + HMI controllers and designed hundreds of systems on the Unitronics platform. The goal of this short article is to explain why they are our almost always our choice.
Unitronics has a wide range of choices
From complex machines to simple PLC control, Unitronics offers many choices. There is lots of variety within each series but here are the main product categories:
- UniStream series programmable controllers for the most challenging and complex automation projects.
- Vision series programmable controllers for advanced machines and automation projects.
- Samba series programmable controllers for small machines.
Each series has different communication, i/o and screen size options. How much data do you need to log? What type of remote access do you need to provide? Is execution speed important? We understand each Unitronics PLC and can help you make the right choice. Give us a call to discuss. 419-868-1920.
Integrated PLC and HMI
Unitronics controllers all have a built-in HMI. Today, almost all of those HMIs are touch-screens so that’s really what we mean when we say HMI. The screens are available in various sizes but each PLC has the screen built right in.
This offers many benefits:
- Single programming environment for PLC and HMI
- Tag database is inherently taken care of for you – no need to import/export tag databases
- Simplify your ladder code by doing more with the screen
- No need to configure a communication network just for the HMI
- Debugging and commissioning is much easier when you only need to write one program
- Troubleshooting is much easier with just one piece of software
Lots of Communication Options
Unitronics offers many communication options and protocols.
- Ethernet ports
- RS485 and RS232 ports
- USB host ports
- RTSP, VNC
Powerful Software and Outstanding Support
All software and cables are provided at no extra cost. The software is powerful and offers high-end features you don’t necessarily expect at the price.
AMPS is able to provide expert technical support and training. We have many years experience working with each controller series. If we get in over our head (which rarely happens) we have a complete tech support team at our disposal in Boston. Unitronics is really outstanding in this area.
Remote Access Options
Unitronics (and particularly the UniStream series contollers) offers several options for remote access. AMPS has dozens of installations across the United States with remote access enabled. This allows our customers to remotely troubleshoot, update software and monitor processes using any computer, phone or tablet.
Rich in Features
All-in-One Ergonomic Design – Everything is Visible
The software solution explorer shows it all: Hardware configuration, ladder functions, HMI and webserver screens, actions, data tables, data samplers, communication protocols, SMS and emails. Context-sensitive toolboxes display only relevant options and functions.
Structs – Tag Database on Steroids
You create structs — groups of data tags of different types organized into a single, logical unit — and reuse them across programs, especially with user-defined function blocks. UniLogic’s built-in structs enable you to configure and control hardware and complex functions such as communications and PID.
Power Data Tools – Data Sampler, Data Tables, Recipes
Data samplers record dynamic application data, such as output values, at fixed intervals into files. Then, you can display it as a trend graph on the screen.
Data tables are a unique power feature. You can organize and manipulate data via ladder, create data logs, implement recipes, import/export values to/from Excel, allow users to enter/edit data into tables via the screen.
Web Server – Easily Create Web Pages
You do not need to know any HTML to design elegant web pages. The drag-and-drop0 interface is identical to the HMI editor. A rich graphics library is at your disposal. The web page toolbox offers user controls and widgets, enabling the end user to view and enter application data via any web browser.
Design Beautiful HMI Displays and Stream Video, Audio and PDFs
HMI screens appear as if they were designed by a graphic artist when you use the extensive, free library and HMI widgets. The simple HMI editor supports layers, image transparency, overlap and rotation.
Video and audio player widgets, complex trend graphs and gauges for the display of run-time values, and data table display, are visible in the HMI toolbox. Just drag and drop them onto your screen.
Alarms are Built In
Built-in alarms follow ISA 18.2 standards for alarm management systems in the process industries. Intuitive features allow operators to detect alarms, analyze them and take action. Export your alarm log via FTP, send it via email or copy it directly from the controller using a USB flash drive.
Implement Communication Networks with Configuration, Not Programming
Incredibly fast and easy to configure and implement, data communications function independently of ladder. A single PLC can contain multiple definitions and communicate with any device via plug-and-play for protocols mentioned above.
Best Choice Overall
For the reasons listed above, we believe Unitronics has the best PLCs on the market for the price. You get high-end features at a much lower price than other high-end options. Everyone loves a bargain but nobody likes it when they buy a cheap PLC only to spend extra hours and days trying to make it work. That never happens with Unitronics. You always come away with what you want and you do so at a lower price than options such as Allen-Bradley or Siemens.
We love these controllers and we’d love to help you use them. Give us a call or drop us a note to discuss your application.