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Old 07-23-2020, 10:42 AM
dlong
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Programmable Logic Controller



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Any of you tech guys familiar with PLCís. Attached is a pic of a PLC controlling a 5 door airlock in a pharmaceutical manufacturing area. Does it need a special software program via a laptop connection to program?? Itís a Modicon TSX Micro, I believe made by Schneider.
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum...1&d=1595518918
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:05 AM
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Sounds like you have already done some investigating Dave. Of course it needs special programming software. Might require a specialized cable for the connection also. Someone on here was who has more experience than me was posting on here about PLC's and hopefully will chime in.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:19 AM
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I haven't messed with any PLC controllers since 2005 so things may have changed. The controllers at that time used a console cable (serial cable) to connect to a laptop. We had special programs installed on the laptops to program the different manufacturers' PLC's.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:21 AM
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I don’t claim to know anything about it but a simple internet search on those terms brings up software from Schneider for Windows systems, cable connections, etc.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:15 PM
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have some experience with them, but limited.

when it comes to things like that, where i came from and worked, once you dive into it you become the "Expert" and guess who they call - all the time?

Alos, we had guys that live/eat/breath/dream of them so i was small potatoes.

Quote:
Does it need a special software program via a laptop connection to program?? It’s a Modicon TSX Micro, I believe made by Schneider.
Usually yes. we had some Opto22 stuff and then some A/B Slic500s and then move up to MS VB.

But yes, you will need some PC/SW and maybe a SW key to access it.

some comments....

> not sure what your endgame is on this adventure.

> but its been my experience if there is something wrong you may want to look elsewhere first. Yes if some code isn't written good the first time, you may have issues down he road, but for the most part, all of the equipment i have worked on, the PLC is the last thing i look at. Yes, you can get ideas on faults/bad sensors, but many sensors now have idiot lights. Most of the times, ime, its usually some external i/o that is bad or faulty.

> getting into the program can be A way of TS an issues too, but i would look elsewhere.

> if you are trying to add/remove something externally, i would look for a programmer that knows the what nots and let them do the work. I would also make sure the program is backed up before anyone goes into it and iirc, any of the external lookup data tables.

> if you expect to come face to face with the PLC in the future, i would also look for someplace like the OEM and see if they offer any on/off site training into their PLCs. And if your place has other PLCS mfg, i would think of maybe adding those to the mix too.

good luck and have fun...
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlong View Post
Any of you tech guys familiar with PLC’s. Attached is a pic of a PLC controlling a 5 door airlock in a pharmaceutical manufacturing area. Does it need a special software program via a laptop connection to program?? It’s a Modicon TSX Micro, I believe made by Schneider.
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum...1&d=1595518918
Yes. Started with Modicon 584’s and Allen Bradly PLC’3. Preferred Distributed Control Systems (DCS) systems which were optimized for continuous process control vs discrete control. Nowadays, PLC’s and DCS’s systems have merged into one controller.

That is a very small processor with two local IO (input output) cards mounted in a small rack. The lack of wire numbers show this is not a professional installation.

A cat 5 cable is most often used to talk with processors though I’m not familiar with this model.

Will need a licensed copy of programming software that’s compatible with the CPU firmware revision. The programming language should be ladder logic or function block. Many PLC’s host and execute both program types.

Most helpful will be prints showing IO card connections with field device’s. Often called electric elementary’s.

Even more helpful will be internal programming comments but based on the looks of the IO cards and wiring, I wouldn’t count on it.

Edit. Bangbangs advice to check field devices is very sound. You’ll have lights on discrete cards for all the channels.

Last edited by Cattleman30; 07-23-2020 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:55 PM
dlong
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I'm in the electronic security industry. Nothing professional about it. Most work is sloppy because the customer doesn't want to pay. Its low price all the way.

The customer has the software, but no one knows how to use it.

No asbuilts or documentation. Just a bunch of junction boxes jammed with wires and wire nuts.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:02 PM
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^^^^This.


It will take you Longer than you expect to learn the language used to program this PLC, and without drawings and documentation you cannot imagine how difficult it will be to reverse engineer what's there. If it was done slap dash to begin with there is probably little or no intelligent planning or design applied to the work so that it could be maintained. Such is the nature of digital controls installations that are awarded to the LOWEST bidder.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlong View Post

No asbuilts or documentation. Just a bunch of junction boxes jammed with wires and wire nuts.
dlong. What does the customer want to do? Wire nuts are never a good sign. Implies no terminal blocks.

You should be able to look at PLC program offline via the customers laptop. Don’t have to be attached to the PLC. If it’s ladder, it’s not too bad. Mostly NO NC contacts, timer on and off blocks and coils.

The first input will show as 10001 with the others following the input card channel sequence. Modicon uses coil numbers for outputs so the 1st physical output will be the first coil number in the program.

There’s usually a key switch on the PLC that is needed to enter a programming mode. Sometimes attaching to the processer is the hardest part. The Modicons I worked with had a Modbus number that was set by dip switches on the backplane. This told the software what processor it was.

Last edited by Cattleman30; 07-23-2020 at 06:45 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlong View Post
I'm in the electronic security industry. Nothing professional about it. Most work is sloppy because the customer doesn't want to pay. Its low price all the way.

The customer has the software, but no one knows how to use it.

No asbuilts or documentation. Just a bunch of junction boxes jammed with wires and wire nuts.
something to consider....

> im a mechanical side of things, so electrical stuff isnt over my head, but i shy away from it.

> from what i was told "ladder logic" isnt that bad and if you are electrical, it should be easy to figure out. when i was using it, i was dreading it so i wasnt that all excited to do anything and is why i avoid it. It could be a - for someone in the field, but it is what it is to me. And it was easy to follow in my opinion.

> you may want to go back to that mfg and see if they have any info on the software. With the internet now, you may find something for "online" training or a sample software where you maybe able to do some minimal stuff or learn if you want. See what it will cost to get software or a laptop setup. And it wont cost you anything. Depending on what you want to do, you can see if they have any programmers and classes.

> If you want to learn, you can look at other PLC mfg and see what they have for online classes. We had AB come in and give some onsite training for all of the Engineers and technicians. we also had 1 programmer that was killer in the field so everyone looked to him for the fix. But as you may know its not good to put all your eggs in 1 basket.

> If you are an employee of the company and if they are willing to let you into the PLC and do some OTJ training, go for it if you want.

> but as i said before, i would do any backups you can. Also if you are lucky the program has ALOT of comments about what does what. If there isnt any comments, then good luck.

also you dont say what your endgame is or what the companies endgame is?
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:19 PM
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Watch the movie "Black Hat".
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