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IDEC releases iOS and Android apps for PLC access

12 February 2018

IDEC announces the release of its WindEDIT Lite app for iOS and Android devices, providing two-way access to its family of MicroSmart FC6A & FC6A Plus 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, change set points and other values. Data register, status of inputs & outputs, timer and counter values can be monitored and controlled using the standard Dialogue Interface. The WindEDIT Lite app also has a custom Dialogue 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 programme, 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 (a standard feature on all FC6A PLCs), 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 programmes, 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. For additional security, Read/Write protection is also configurable for each designated user, allowing restricted access based on the user’s needs; for example, only read and no write privileges.

Application example - Case 1

Problem: An OEM machine builder sold its equipment to a customer, who needed to make a minor modification to the PLC programme to accommodate a change in its production process. 

Solution: The OEM made the PLC programme modification and sent it to the customer via email. The customer opened the email on his iPhone, and used the WindEDIT Lite app to download the updated programme to the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via a Bluetooth connection.

Application example - Case 2

Problem: A plant operator needed to send production status to the plant manager at the end of a shift, and to store this data in a historian (cloud based storage).

Solution: The operator used the WindEDIT Lite app installed on his Android tablet to retrieve the logged data from the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via Bluetooth. He then attached this logged data to an email, which he forwarded to the plant manager via Wi-Fi. He also sent the logged data to a cloud-based historian, also via Wi-Fi.

Free to download

The WindEDIT Lite App is available for free download in the Apple App Store or at Google Play.

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