Success story: purification equipment
“Because the operator interface is integrated with the PLC and programmed simultaneously, the development process is much easier and smoother: there are no annoying obstacles, no additional communication software, communication hardware or other support costs. There is no cumbersome software protection – all you need to do is build the architecture and design the interface.”
Integrated PLC+HMI controller enhances portability and simplicity of reverse osmosis machine
Summary: Malcolm Ltd. specializes in pure water purification equipment and disinfection related products for the medical, pharmaceutical and other life science industries. They provide products and solutions not only for water purification systems, but also for dialysis, disinfection and filtration systems.
In order to develop a portable reverse osmosis water purification system and develop a home dialysis system, they needed a compact, easy-to-use PLC to automate the purification and disinfection process. Malcolm chose Unitronics’ Vision 570 PLC, which incorporates a 5.7-inch color touch screen HMI making it reliable, compact and flexible in communication settings.
Malcolm wanted to find new points of innovation and, whenever possible, they consistently improve their products. For example, they have developed a portable reverse osmosis system for the medical industry that can be disinfected at high temperatures; their goal is to create a water purification system that is reliable, easy to use and can be placed indoors. To achieve this goal, Malkel needed a compact controller with a user-friendly human-machine interface, and they also needed the controller to have Ethernet communication and data logging capabilities.
Clint Hulme, a research and development engineer at the company, says the Unitronics product had many “attractive features. “Through testing, we quickly found that Unitronics’ products were more cost effective than any of the other major leading brands, and that their all-in-one programming software, VisiLogic, was relatively easy to master”.
After some initial testing and prototyping with Unitronics’ Vision 350, Markel decided to go with the somewhat more advanced Vision 570 with an integrated 5.7-inch color touch screen. hulme explains, “The Vision 570 offers a lot of flexibility in terms of operator interface configuration, and its size was perfect for the size of our equipment, while its on-screen information readability was not too bad.” The Vision 570 offers 0 to 5v DC to control pump speed, relay outputs to reflect valves and heating elements, discrete voltage inputs to control safety switches, and voltage and current analog inputs to reflect temperature, pressure, and water quality conditions. Malcolm also uses the controller to record key data and use its Ethernet communications to send the information to users via email.
The Vision 570 is a feature-rich product,” said Hulme, “and the Unitronics support team is like a very familiar friend. The integration of the operator interface with the PLC and simultaneous programming made the development process more integrated and smooth. There are many applications for this product and getting specific application advice is just a matter of a few emails. There are no annoying obstacles, no additional communication software, communication hardware or other support costs. There is no cumbersome software protection – all you need to do is build the architecture and design the interface.”