25 Jul 2024


Fine-tune your PLCs for a fast payback

Fine-tune your PLCs for a fast payback

A Canadian company claims it can improve the performance of PLC-based installations by revealing previously undetected flaws, allowing users to fine-tune their installations. Vancouver-based Binnington Development Corporation says that, in most installations, its Focus-HSDA (high-speed data acquisition) software will pay for itself in a matter of weeks.

Binnington believes it has found a previously undiscovered gap in the market. It argues that because it is impossible to observe all of the complex interactions that occur in high-speed industrial processes, even the best-run installations suffer from inefficiencies and production losses. Over time these losses are compounded, resulting in “drastic and unnecessary wastes of money, time and resources”.

To identify such problems, the Focus-HSDA system monitors and logs high-speed processes by sampling PLC data tables 60 times a second – 60 times faster than typical HMI-based monitoring. This data can be used to reveal previously unknown defects in the hardware and process logic.

As well as troubleshooting current problems, the software identifies inefficiencies that could signal future problems. Binnington says that the system can be used to troubleshoot and optimise any installation involving complex, repetitive PLC-controlled processes. It is designed to integrate with existing data applications, and is said to have little or no impact on the operation of the control system.

One company which has implemented the Binnington technology – a Canadian pulp producer called Millar Western – says that the system has helped to boost its throughput by 10%, delivering estimated savings of $15,000 a day. Millar is using the system on a hydraulic press used to bale pulp. Data is collected by a VMEbus card plugged into the GE Fanuc Series 90-70 PLC that controls the process, and this information is analysed on a PC. As a result, Millar has been able optimise the press process and can now create a bale in 38-40s compared to the 45-48s it took previously.