DMC's customer had multiple, automated research benches running on outdated, unreliable control equipment and a complicated, single-client SCADA system. Procuring spare parts for hardware and updating control code was difficult. DMC worked with the customer to replicate the hardware and software functionality of the original equipment with little electrical or controls documentation, all in a turnkey solution. By upgrading the research bench system to PLC control, code execution and batch run recovery was more reliable and efficient. Since the biological experiments could run for several days, the control system was developed to be resilient to a power outage or PLC/HMI restart.
The client selected DMC due to our extensive experience migrating old hardware and projects to modern platforms. DMC utilized TIA Portal's modular and reuseable code development tools to create a consistent code library which allowed for quick implementation and functionality changes during commissioning and for future systems. By using WinCC scripting and access to the application PC’s Windows operating system, DMC developed many high-performance features which expanded the capability of the user interface compared to the legacy SCADA application. End customer benefits included the ability to create and import custom CSV forms for populating setpoints, custom data logging triggered by batch runs, streamlined visualization development through use of WinCC library faceplates for repeated objects, and a PLC/HMI package maintainable in a single, reliable project.
DMC consulted on optimizing control functionality, user interaction, and features by demonstrating the software to the client’s team during development. This iterative phase helped the client gain confidence in the functionality of the new software and reduced the amount of time needed for on-site commissioning. DMC also assisted the customer in optimizing functionality of sensitive electrical components by providing remote support and data analysis as the process was brought into production.