IDEC iOS and Android apps for PLC access
Company: IDEC Corporation
Technology Snapshot: IDEC Corporation has announced the release of its WindEDIT Lite app for iOS and Android devices, providing two-way access to its family of MicroSmart FC6A PLCs. The app provides much quicker, simpler and easier connection as compared to browser-based access.
With the WindEDIT Lite app, users can monitor any PLC parameter, and change set points and other values. Data register, input, output, timer and counter values can be monitored and controlled using the standard Dialog Interface. The WindEDIT Lite app also has a custom Dialog Interface which the user can configure to allow only certain PLC parameters to be monitored and controlled. Trending is supported within the app, with users able to plot multiple register points for graphical views.
The WindEDIT Lite app runs on any iOS or Android mobile device, typically a smartphone or tablet. Once the app is downloaded to the device, it interfaces to the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Ethernet for two-way local or remote access. Bluetooth is an ideal solution for local, limited-range connections where an Ethernet network may not be available, such as within an industrial plant or facility. Wi-Fi has more range, and can be used for communications over longer distances.
Because the connection is wireless, users never have to worry about having the right cable or the latest programming software to download or upload a MicroSmart FC6A PLC user program, as these tasks can be accomplished with the app. Users can also update the PLC to the latest firmware.
The WindEDIT Lite app provides access to an SD memory card installed in the PLC, so logged information stored in the SD memory card can be easily accessed. The logged data can be viewed, and then attached to a text message or an email, either of which can be sent to recipients.
Logged data can also be pushed to a local or cloud-based database, or to a data storage platform such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, etc. In addition to logged data, other data such as user programs, firmware, recipes, etc., can be sent and retrieved from databases and storage platforms.
To provide the required security, access to the PLC via the WindEDIT Lite app needs to be configured in the PLC for each user, with each app user required to provide his or her correct username and password—otherwise access will be denied. Read/Write protection is configurable for each designated user, allowing restricted access based on the user’s needs; for example, only read and no write privileges.