Case Studies

Existing Plant Upgrade to Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 Using Standardized Reusable Code

Posted in Civil Infrastructure, HMI and SCADA, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, Motion Control, PLC Programming, Specialty Machinery

Summary

DMC worked with an established metal working company to modernize an existing automated custom metal-forming plant. DMC programmed new TwinCAT 3 PLCs with consistent code structure following best practices, which allows for easy feature additions to the system.

Solution

DMC's customer had five types of custom multi-axis metal working machines running on outdated controls hardware with code that had become clunky over the years. The client is very vigilant in making continuous improvements, and the old code was making upgrades troublesome and time consuming. DMC utilized our standard control library and code structure to program the new Beckhoff TwinCAT 3 PLCs entirely in structured text. The result is consistent code which is easy to build upon for future upgrades or feature additions.

The Indusoft HMI screens were updated and standardized between machines where possible to help minimize operator training time. DMC added additional fault handling and servo drive status displays to facilitate maintenance of the machines. Additionally, DMC improved the SQL reporting system to allow for more detailed record keeping, production monitoring, and process control.

Since initially reprogramming the machines at the plant, DMC has maintained an active relationship with the client. We have provided ongoing support as needed, and assist the customer in implementing new features and adding functionality as the machines are upgraded. Implementing new features has become much quicker and easier for the client, reducing downtime. 

Learn more about DMC's experience with Beckhoff and TwinCAT3.

Customer Benefits

  • Utilized DMC standard libraries to quickly provide well-structured code
  • Standardized code across machines allows for easy improvements and upgrades
  • Standardized reporting to SQL from all machines
  • DMC provides on-going support and improvements