Tag Archives: PLC

Back Up Your PLC Program, Don’t Be Sorry

Posted January 19, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) are vital programs businesses use to control different industrial processes. They monitor inputs from system devices and make decisions based on their programming. They’re like the nerve center for your industrial systems.


PLC Backup

They’re used to control everything from factory assembly lines, conveyor belts and amusement rides to lighting fixtures and water displays. With so much depending on a PLC’s proper functioning, any gaps in their service can hurt your company’s bottom line.

Backing up your PLC is like buying an auto insurance policy. In the event of a car wreck, your insurance policy will pay to replace all or most of your car. The same goes for backing up your PLC. Power surges, natural disasters, system glitches and incidental damage can cause your PLC to go offline, creating a dip in your productivity. PLC data can also become damaged and improperly function, resulting in potential equipment damage and safety issues for employees.

Each PLC is programmed with its specific purpose in mind and requires custom coding. In the event of an incident, the PLC’s programming data can be wiped out and need to be reprogrammed before productivity can resume. This is a lengthy process, requiring skilled programmers that can cost your company a good deal of money and time. And with the average facility having anywhere from 12-30 PLCs, the problem can magnify quickly.

Backing up your PLC’s programming will preserve most, if not all, of the programming, saving you a lot of trouble.

Talk to your System Engineers about creating hard copies of all of your PLC programming and setting up an emergency data back-up plan. You can also contact Innovative IDM for advice and to set up an appointment with one of our PLC professionals who can help guide you through the process. -- Robert Dominguez

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Hydraulic Presses Improved With PLC and HMI

Posted December 22, 2011 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Omron

Tags: , ,

by Rami Hassouneh, Innovative-IDM Application Engineer


A plastics manufacturer suffering from poor productivity, inefficiency and a large number of operator errors acquires an automated solution to alleviate the problem. Using a simple setup with an Omron PLC and Omron HMI, the manufacturer reduces wasted time and material and utilizes his hydraulic presses to their full potential.

The Challenge:

The process in question was a fully manual process. It consisted of an operator filling a mold with resin, setting the pressure, and activating the hydraulic press. The operator would wait for a given time as indicated in the “recipe”, then increase the pressure setting. The operator, again, would wait for a given time, and then disengage the hydraulic press. The mold is flipped over and the process repeated. The total time of production for one part could run from 30 minutes to 300 minutes depending on the resin composition and size of the finished product.

This type of process, while simple in nature, is actually inherently prone to productivity issues. The process relies completely on the operator to accurately set and control variables such as pressure and pressing time. Human error, and unfortunately a lack of care by the operator, was resulting in these variables being inaccurate and ultimately many parts were rendered useless. On a typical day the manufacturer had 10 presses running, and was losing 2 parts a day due to operator error, at an average of $175 per part.

The Solution:

Our solution was to automate the process by installing an Omron CP1H PLC and an Omron NS series Industrial Touch Screen HMI on each press. The operator from then on would only need to select the “recipe” from a user friendly menu on the HMI, and press start. The PLC from them on would control the process by starting the hydraulic press, setting the pressure required, and time to hold. It would alert the operator when the process was completed either to flip the part over, or to remove the product. It also would trigger an alarm if a mechanical failure had occurred in the press and the set pressure could not be achieved.

The total cost for setting up the system, allowing for programming, hardware, and installation was $130,000.


The Results:

The manufacturer eliminated the losses due to defective products coming out of the presses. While that alone would have covered the cost of the automated solution in approximately one year, and directly increased his revenue by $127,750/yr from then on, there were also added benefits that became apparent. Productivity was increased as now a visual alarm allowed the supervisor to quickly see when a press was sitting idle, and the situation corrected immediately. The solution provided also reduced the manpower required to run the ten presses from five operators to two.

Materials Used:

OMRON CP1H Series PLC with Ethernet Interface.

OMRON NS Series Industrial Touch Screen HMI, 8” with Ethernet Interface

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