Archive for December, 2010

Using a Unitronics Jazz PLC/HMI to collect Provideam Data

December 30th, 2010 No comments

We were recently asked to supply a ProvDAQ based on the Unitronics Jazz PLC and HMI combo. This blog describes how we assembled and tested the ProvDAQ-Jazz. We tested the unit both with the Unitronics ‘free’ OPC server and the Kepware Modbus Server.

Fig.1: Photo of ProvDAQ-Jazz with Test Box.

The Jazz is a low cost controller which, with a little coding, provides a highly effective interface between Provideam and your control system. The Jazz will accept between 6 and 18 digital inputs depending on the model you select and these can be configured to drive Good/Defect Part Counters or to indicate Machine Operating/Downtime Modes. In addition the Jazz front end can be used to indicate the current status of the Machine and also to allow the user to select from a list of pre-defined Downtime Reasons.

To test the Jazz we built a Pushbutton Test Box which allowed us to simulate hardwired signals from a Machine. We then modified the Provideam Demo Application so that the signals for ‘AssemblyMC1’ were generated by the Jazz, instead of the Provideam Demo Application.

The Test Box provided the following controls;

Run/Stop Switch:

While the switch was set to ‘run’ the ProvDAQ-Jazz displayed the message, ‘Machine Running’. In addition the Green LED, of a combined Red/Green LED lamp, lit. 

Fig. 2: Jazz Display while Machine Running



When the Run/Stop Switch was set to ‘stop’, the Red LED lamp flashed and the Jazz prompted the user to enter a reason. Once the user entered a reason the Red LED lamp lit continuously.

Fig. 3: Jazz Display when Machine Stops



By pressing the down arrow the user could scroll through the list of available Downtime Reasons. 

Fig. 4 Jazz Display while scrolling through Downtime Reasons



When the appropriate Downtime Reason is displayed, the user presses the Enter key to select the reason. 

Fig. 5: Jazz Display when Downtime Reason has been selected.



Once a Downtime Reason has been selected the Red LED is lit continuously.

Note: If at any time the user wishes to change the reason, a new selection can be made by pressing the ‘information’ key on the Jazz.

Downtime Reason 1 Pushbutton

As well as being able to select a Downtime Reason via the Jazz interface we also assigned Downtime Reasons to two inputs. Pressing either of these buttons caused the associated Downtime Reason to be selected.

Downtime Reason 1 -> ‘Output Block’

Downtime Reason 2 Pushbutton

Downtime Reason 2 -> ‘Welder Stuck Up’

Good Parts Pushbutton

Pressing the Good Parts Pushbutton incremented the Good Parts Count. Two Defect Counts were also assigned, one for ‘Defects at Tester’ and the other for ‘Defects at Vision System’

Defect Parts 1 Pushbutton

Defect Parts 1 -> ‘Defects at Vision System’

Defect Parts 2 Pushbutton

Defect Parts 2 -> ‘Defects at Tester’

To integrate the ProvDAQ-Jazz with the Provideam Demo the OPC configuration must be modified. We integrated the Jazz both with the Kepware Modbus OPC Server and the Unitronics OPC Server. Our preference would always be to use the Kepware Server, however the Unitronics OPC Server is free and if price is an issue it is perfectly acceptable for smaller applications.


Kepware Modbus Configuration.

1)      Open the ProvSimDemo.opf Kepware Configuration provided with Provideam.

2)      Add a new Modbus RTU Serial channel, ‘Modbus’, to the existing Simulation Driver Channel

3)      Add a device, the ProvDAQ-Jazz, ‘AssemblyMC1’, [Default: Device ID = 1, Comms: 9600, N, 8, 1,]

4)      Add OPC Tags:

Tag Name Jazz Native Address Modbus Address
Mode MI 0 400001
GoodCount MI 1 400002
Defect1Count MI 2 400003
Defect2Count MI 3 400004


Fig. 6: Provideam Demo Kepware Configuration with additional Modbus Channel

5)      Link these new tags to the ‘AssemblyMC1’ configuration in Provideam

Fig. 7: Provideam Station Yield Values linked to Modbus Tags.

Note: The Mode, see Machine Admin > Details page, must also be linked to the Modbus Tag.

6)      Restart the Provideam OEE Monitoring Service and Data Collection from the ProvDAQ-Jazz will commence within 30seconds.

Unitronics UniOPC OPC Server (Version 1.3.8) Configuration.

1)      Download and install the Unitronics OPC Server

2)      Register the UniOPC Server as an OPC Server – this is a function in the UniOPC Server.

3)      Configure the OPC Server to communicate with the Jazz. In the figure below you will see that the Jazz device is called PLC1 and that the communications settings are: 9600, N, 8, 1.

Fig. 8: Configuring the UniOPC OPC Server

Note: Provideam Data Collection Services run as Windows Services. However the UniOPC Server does not run as a Windows Service. Due to Windows security measures it is not possible for Provideam Services to access the UniOPC server if it has been opened by in a user account other than ‘system’. To enable Provideam Services connect with the UniOPC Server it must be stopped and shutdown. Once the Provideam OEE Monitoring Service starts with UniOPC Server Tags, it will call for the UniOPC Server to run under the general ‘systems’ user account – thus allowing the Provideam Services to connect to the UniOPC Server.

4)      Update the Provideam Configuration to read from UniOPC Tags. First specify that the DataServerRef is ‘UniOPC.Server.1’. By selecting the local PC name, in this case ‘DTL-Test1’, from the DataSource combo box, a list of all registered OPC Servers will be returned in the DataServerRef combo box. Select the ‘UniOPC.Server.1’ option.

Fig. 9: Provideam Machine Configuration with UniOPC OPC Server

5)      Update the Mode ID tag with the DeviceName.TagName. In this case ‘PLC1.MI0’ (ie Memory Integer 0 from PLC1.

6)      Scroll to the end of the page and click the save button.

7)      Next update the Station Yield Values.

Fig. 10: Provideam UniOPC OPC Server Station Yield Tags

8)      Finally, re-start the Provideam OEE Monitoring Service. Ensure that the UniOPC Server is shutdown before restarting the ProvOEEMon Service.

Note: The UniOPC Service doesn’t stop when you stop the ProvOEEMon Service. You may need to stop it from the Task Manager if you encounter problems.

We hope you found this post interesting. Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like any further information on this post.

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