How to programme PLCs to handle mixed units of measurement

How to programme PLCs to handle mixed units of measurement

It might be difficult to handle mixed units of measurement when programming a PLC, however there are various techniques that can be used to guarantee precise and dependable operation:

  1. Conversion:

Convert all measurements to a common unit before doing any calculations or procedures. This may be done by programmers by creating a conversion function or subroutine. The program will be easy to use since all variables will have the same units of measurement.

When a value is changed from one unit of measurement to another, it is said to be converted. In PLC programming, conversion is typically used to confirm that all measurements are in the same unit before starting any calculations or operations. Before a measurement may be used in a computation, for instance. If one is in feet and the other is in meters, they must be converted to the same unit.

a subroutine or conversion function that takes a value to convert. The PLC programming may be built to do conversions in the units it is currently in and returns the converted value in the required units. The function or subroutine can be called each time a value has to be transformed.

Check: Allen Bradley 1766-L32BXBA MicroLogix 1400 PLC

  1. Scaling:

Measurement data that fall into distinct ranges can be combined using scaling to form a single range. This may be achieved by multiplying or dividing the data by a scaling factor. The scaling factor may be computed based on the least and highest values ​​of the measurement.

Scaling is the process of altering the range or scale of a value. In PLC programming, scaling is a method for converting measurements from different units to a range that may be used in calculations or actions.

When programming a PLC, a scaling function or subroutine can accept as inputs the value to be scaled, the minimum and maximum values ​​​​of the current range, and the minimum and maximum values ​​​​of the desired range. The function or subroutine scales the value to the required range using a linear equation.

  1. Use of unit-specific libraries:

Most Rockwell Automation PLCs contain internal libraries with functionality for interacting with specific measuring units. These libraries can be used to scale or convert the measurements as needed.

Most PLCs include internal libraries with capabilities for dealing with certain measurement units. These libraries may be used to scale or convert the measures as necessary without the requirement for extra programming.

For example, a library may provide functions for converting between Celsius and Fahrenheit, other length or volume units, or both. You may ensure the conversions’ precision and reliability as well as reduce the likelihood of programming mistakes by using these library functions.

A library function is typically used by importing the library into your program and then calling the function with the required input parameters. Depending on the PLC and programming environment you’re using specifically. A library function’s exact import and usage procedures are subject to change.

Using unit-specific libraries can save time and prevent mistakes when dealing with mixed units of measurement in PLC programming. These libraries can be particularly beneficial for complicated operations or conversions requiring numerous units. To make sure that the library functions work with your specific application, you must ensure that the inputs and outputs are used correctly.

  1. Standardization:

When creating a PLC program, it is essential to standardize the measurement units used across the whole program. There should be a list of approved units for each form of measurement, and the program should only use those units.

In PLC programming, standardization is a crucial strategy for handling various measurement units. In order to guarantee accuracy and consistency, a PLC program’s measurement units must be standardized.

To standardize the units of measurement used in the program, you can create a list of acceptable units for each sort of measurement. For example, you may declare that all length measurements must be taken in meters or all temperature measurements must be done in Celsius. This list of authorized units ought to be made known to all programmers and maintenance personnel working on the project.

  1. Documentation:

The measurement units used by the program, as well as any scaling or conversions used, must be documented. Future programmers or maintenance personnel will find it simpler to grasp as a result, and they will be able to make any necessary improvements.

Documentation is crucial when using mixed units of measurement in PLC programming. By recording the units of measurement used in the program and any conversions or scaling that may be necessary, you can ensure that the program is accurately understood and maintained by others.

The documentation should provide a list of all the measuring units used in the program, including the accepted standard units. The documentation must also contain any necessary formulae or functions and explain how scaling or conversions were applied to the measurements.

Overall, maintaining precision and consistency across the program is crucial to handle mixed units of measurement in PLC programming. Using these techniques can help you reduce mistakes and guarantee dependable functioning.

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