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800xA PLC HMI - PLC Connect

Embedded connectivity in 800xA for PLC-type controllers

Tightly connect all ABB and third-party controllers, PLCs and RTUs with 800xA, providing typical DCS and PLC functionality in the same integrated system

PLC Connect makes it possible to configure System 800xA as a hybrid DCS/PLC system HMI. It enables the remote connection of controllers and PLCs in single as well as redundant systems.

PLC Connect uses of Real Time Database to store all process information before it gets presented to the operator, a benefit in particularly useful for slow or fragile connections as the database at all times keeps an image of all connected signals on the hard drive of the computer. PLC Connect supports OPC, serial and dialed communication.

The basic idea of PLC Connect is to give engineers the ability to create a logic, object-based environment in Plant Explorer independently of how the actual PLC structure looks. Collecting variables from a PLC and organizing them into object types enhances the overview and understanding of the system.

PLC Connect gives operators the same user experience for devices controlled by a PLC as for embedded 800xA DCS controllers. This experience is based on patented Aspect Object technology, which brings real-time data, live video streams and any other type of asset information to the fingertips of personnel involved in plant operation.

800xA offers a functional building-block approach to system design for all sizes and types of process application. It enables customers to add new functions and migrate to larger configurations as their needs grow, without compromising existing investments.

This means that traditional system capabilities, typically requiring a large number of process IOs to be connected through a range of controllers from different manufacturers, can now be realized with 800xA PLC Connect.

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Objects and object types

PLC Connect provides a set of basic object types for PLC signals, as well as configuration tools for creating and editing your own PLC based plant objects.

Real-time database

All dynamic process data from connected controllers, PLCs and RTUs is stored in a real-time database. Current values and status are always available and constantly updated. Values are available directly, so you don’t need to wait for the OPC server to set up subscriptions. Nor do you need a browser interface in third-party OPC servers.

Communication

PLC Connect has a built-in communication server for traditional PLC and RTU protocols, the built-in OPC DA client and Modbus RTU. It also includes a dial manager for remote communication with PLCs. Dialed communication with controllers supports Modbus RTU or Comli protocols and includes scheduled dialing and local time-stamping of dial-ins, as well as local storage of historical data.

Alarm handling

Alarms are generated in PLC Connect when a polled boolean variable from the controller changes state or when a polled analog value passes an alarm limit. The alarms can be time-stamped in the connected PLC.
Time-stamp functionality on alarms from the PLC is only supported for Comli and SattBus. (It applies for OPC only if the OPC server supports it, but is not configurable from PLC Connect).

Open interfaces

A number of open interfaces are available in PLC Connect for access by external applications. Real-time access for reading and writing process values is available through COM Methods. Application-specific pre-treatment calculations can be added for received process values as well as detected alarms and events.
We recommend using the messenger system extension. The OLE DB provider for alarm & event access is no longer part of PLC Connect due to changes in PPA.

Engineering

The PLC Connect configuration aspect is used from the 800xA system Plant Explorer to create, organize and edit PLC-type objects in the Aspect Object directory. Bulk Data Manager in Engineering Workplace will efficiently create these objects for large applications. Engineering can be performed online or offline.
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