Enhancing software for data acquisition

Louise Smyth

Plant builders, service technicians and control programmers can now benefit from extended options of ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer. Two new interfaces have been added to iba’s data acquisition software. Now it can also be combined with Beckhoff controllers and B&R systems. 

With the new TwinCAT-Xplorer interface, the user has access to Beckhoff controllers with the Beckhoff-ADS protocol. It supports the TwinCAT versions 2 and 3. As for most of the ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer interfaces, the signals to be measured can be selected by their symbolic names in ibaPDA‘s  symbol browser. All symbols that are stored in the controller or in a symbol file are available.

There is another new interface designed for B&R controllers, eg the X20 system. Here, the signals to be measured can also be selected as symbols in ibaPDA‘s symbol browser. As a prerequisite for the use, the B&R PVI Manager has to be installed and licensed. The PVI Manager is not included in the ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer license.

Acquiring the measurement values directly on the controller

Both systems benefit from the advantages of the ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer: the software acquires the signals of a controller without the installation of further hardware or software components. No interventions in the control system are needed. A total of 64 digital or analogue signals from up to 16 independent controllers can be recorded with the basic version. With appropriate licensing options, the system can be extended to much larger numbers of signals – up to several thousand. Moreover, more interfaces, analogue connections and field bus sniffers can be integrated with appropriate additional components. This can turn out to be a major advantage in automation environments with different controllers by various manufacturers. 

Acquiring and analysing data independently

One feature of ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer is that the data are acquired and analysed in two steps. The software for the acquisition of measurement values records the signals, visualises them online and generates the measurement data files. Subsequently, the signals can be analysed and evaluated independently with ibaAnalyzer, which is licensed free of charge, either during the recording process or later. For complex requirements and analyses, ibaPDA-PLC-Xplorer can be combined with other iba tools. 

The system is suitable for commissioning purposes and troubleshooting, as well as for long-term analysis and process optimisation. It is an economic entry-level solution for PC based acquisition and recording of various measurement data in automated processes. It will be regularly supplemented by additional interfaces.