Thank you for your interest in the Superior Integrated Systems (SIS) LadderLAB™ Automation Suite. LadderLAB is a revolutionary solution to the age old problem of combining the reliability and ease of programming a PLC/HMI for machine control, with the high speed data acquisition and analysis capabilities of National Instruments’ hardware and software platforms.
Let’s face it, the traditional approach of extending PLC’s data handling capabilities by adding a PC running LabVIEW has been clunky at best, and slow and expensive at worst. Multiple software and hardware platforms need to work together, and be developed and maintained independently. LadderLAB is a completely integrated software package that executes a ‘soft’ Windows based PLC and HMI, with LabVIEW drivers that allow variables to be shared between the applications in essentially real time. Multiple data types from Boolean to arrays to User Defined Data Types are supported, allowing easily maintained, scalable programming implementation.
The PLC/HMI environment has been developed by Axel S.r.l., an Italian firm who has been a leader in the Windows based PLC environment for many years. The programming environment fully supports IEC 61131-3, and developers can program in Instruction List, Structured Text, Ladder Diagram, Sequential Function Chart, and Function Block Diagram. PLC programs are compiled, then executed in a separate Windows service run-time environment with high priority tasks. For real-time critical applications, a separate real-time engine running underneath Windows can be implemented. Supported field busses include Modbus TCP/RTU, TCP/IP, and EtherCAT.
The PLC and HMI development environment includes a rich set of tools for the programmer. Live debug mode shows states and active steps in real time. Triggers and breakpoints aid in debugging, as does real time tracing for multiple variables, which can be displayed graphically and features zooming, measuring, and saving data to files. A simulation mode allows debugging code before implementing on actual hardware. In conjunction with Axel, SIS has developed a driver library for LabVIEW which allows LabVIEW to access the symbol library within the PLC and HMI. This allows near real time data sharing between the programs. LabVIEW can then run silently behind the HMI, and manage data collection and analysis, reporting, and more – all the things it is designed to do. Of course, adding a 2 nd monitor to the system creates a visual space for LabVIEW if desired.
For the machine operator, and the plant maintenance personnel, the ease of use and maintainability of the PLC/HMI provides a high degree of comfort.
If you wish to try out the automation suite, please Click Here for downloading and installation instructions.