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This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation

This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance. For instance:

  • Machinery, processes in factories, boilers, and heat-treating ovens
  • Steering and stabilization of ships
  • Aircraft and other applications and vehicles with reduced human intervention
This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - an industrial automation area

All sorts of machinery are examples of automation. The common control types are On/Off which is discrete; it’s either doing it or it’s not doing it. There’s PID (proportional integral derivative) which is interesting, and logical sequence or state system control – “moving from step A to step B” types of activities. Achieve Automation by integrating Visuino and Windows Software Maker: Rad Studio for best automation and control.

What does lab monitoring and instrumentation mean?

Lab monitoring and instrumentation is just the process of reading sensors to collect information from devices that define physical qualities.

For example, in a lab, if you’re experimenting and you need to know what the state is of the experiment at all times as you’re collecting data. In industry, an example would be if you need to be monitoring machinery and make sure they are working properly.

There are some examples of the type of settings information you may be gathering through monitoring or instrumentation.

What single board devices are available for starting automation?

Thousands of different single-board computers can be utilized in automation. Typically, these devices have an interface called ‘GPIO’ pins on them. These pins can, for example, be attached to and thus read and write various sensors.

This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - a picture of a Raspberry PI

Here are some examples of single-board devices:

  • UDOO x86 II – Intel Celeron N3160 2.24Ghz
    • 4GB RAM / 32GB eMMC
  • UP Board – Intel Atom x5-78350
    • 1GB RAM / 16 GB eMMC
  • LattePanda Delta 432 – Intel 8th Gen Celeron N4100
    • 4GB RAM / 32 GB eMMC
  • Atomic Pi – Intel Atom x5-78350 quad-core with 2M Cache
    • 2GB RAM / 16GB eMMC

What is a PID Controller?

Essentially a PID Controller creates a control/loop mechanism to use feedback for continuous correction. This means is it measures the performance of the control system.

  •  PID – AKA “Three-term controller”
  • A control loop mechanism employing feedback for continuous correction
  • For example, cruise control on a car.
This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - a PLC
Image by Siemens

What is a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)?

A PLC is a programmable logic controller – this is similar to Arduino. 

  • Ruggedized industrial digital computer
  • Replaces hardwired relays
  • Makes use of multiple digital and analog I/O
  • Function as a real-time system collecting information and constantly correcting operations
  • Similar o Remote Terminal Units except RTUs do not have control loops or algorithms
  • Often networked together with other PLC and SCADA systems
  • One of three common Industrial Control Systems with SCADA and Distributed Control System (DCS) 

What communication libraries are available for Delphi & C++ Builder?

  • AsyncPro – https://github.com/TurboPack/AsyncPro
  • ComPort Library – https://sourceforge.net/projects/comport/
  • WinSoft ComPort – https://winsoft.sk/comport.htm
  • TciaComPort – https://www.mestdagh.biz/
  • ZylSerialPort – https://www.zylsoft.com/serialport.htm

Moreover, when you install Delphi and C++ Builder these components will be installed:

  • Indy Components
  • THTTPClient
  • TBluetoothDevice
  • TBluetoothLEDevice
This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - Visuino Pro
Visuino Pro in Action

What is Visuino?

This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - Visuino Pro Socket configuration
Visuino Pro Socket Configuration in Action

Visuino or Visuino Pro is visual programming for Arduino and PLC. It is built by Boian Mitov who is the founder of Mitov Software.

Besides Visuino, Mitov Software offers a set of components and libraries like:

  • ControlLab for industrial automation components
  • SignalLab for digital signal processing (DSP)
  • LogicLab, Plotlab, and more

Visuino Pro is designed around the additional use case as additional functionality that comes with programmable logic controllers. It also has the ability that you can see the code that it’s going to generate back and forth. 

  • Graphical development environment for Arduino
  • Automatically generates Arduino code, and programs the boards
  • Direct mapping of software and hardware components
  • Provides uniform communication over serial, or socket-based channels
  • Includes serial port, socket communication, and MQTT components compatible with CommunicationLab for Delphi & C++ Builder
  • Includes Modbus components
This Is How To Outsmart Your Peers On Automation - RAD Studio with Visuino
RAD Studio + Visuino Pro

You can watch this workshop and learn about Visuino Pro by the creator of the Visuino Pro, Boian Mitov 

For further information, the video below from CodeRage Xi goes into a lot more depth on automation and control.


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About author

Software Developer | B.Tech-CSE at AUT | Delphi/C++ Builder Enthusiast | Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador | Microsoft Azure Certified | Udacity Alumni
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