UNIGATE CL Gateways from Deutschmann Automation connect automation components and other devices via their serial interface with all commercially available Fieldbuses and Industrial Ethernet systems. Here the Gateways for DIN-rail mounting undertake the protocol converters' task of converting various interfaces. Just recently Deutschmann has equipped he UNIGATE CL-devices with a software-interface for the powerful diagnostic tool AutoSPy, which makes a comfortable monitoring and evaluation of process data possible.
An increasing performance range and a growing complexity of modern automation devices and installations also require an increasingly powerful measuring and analysis technology. For complex installations infrequent failures and malfunctions or insufficient interoperability of individual devices might become a nerve-wracking challenge for the service or commissioning staff. Suitable diagnosis tools have to provide significant process data and assure a clear handling. Therefore Deutschmann Automation opted for the diagnosis tool AutoSPy by the GWT-TUD GmbH for their protocol converters of the series UNIGATE CL. The Script, that converts the terminal equipment's protocol in this Gateway is directly addressed by AutoSPy via the UNIGATE CL debug-interface. Like an odometer a real-time recording of all incoming and outgoing signals can be made with the analysis software. Different diagram functions of AutoSPy allow a simple evaluation of the recording and the clear presentation of variables. By means of long-term recordings and search functions it is also possible to identify shortest or extremely rare appearing disturbances.
AutoSPy is a versatile software tool that cannot only be used for the analysis of infrequent failures during system operation but it can also be used as a testing instrument during the development of embedded or control software as well as for the parameterization and improvement of a process during the commissioning. So-called device-drivers are recording the process data that is to be examined. The device-drivers are separate software modules, that are exactly specified to a particular data source, such as a PLC, a communication device but also to software-based simulation tools and which is taking over the tasks of the device's communication, data recording, data pre-processing. After drivers for the PLC-series SIMATIC S5 and S7 and for OPC-servers the device driver for the Protocol Converters of the UNIGATE CL-series by Deutschmann Automation is the latest product from GWT.
For the diagnosis of communication problems between different devices the uncomplicated recording of data being carried out from different data sources simultaneously into the same signal trace document is an essential feature for today's heterogeneous automation environments. If the errors occur rarely only, long-term recordings over several days or weeks are often indispensable for the recording of the cause. Here usually enormous data sets are coming into being, which AutoSPy divides automatically and transparently for the user into multi-archives, as soon as more than two gigabyte signal data are being recorded.
The length of the recording is only limited by the available hard disk's memory capacity. AutoSPy features a lot of useful functions, that are particularly related with the presentation and evaluation of several millions data sets so that the user will be in the position to keep a clear overview despite the large quantity of data. With it the personally adaptable table and diagram views have a hierarchical trace navigation available in each case, with which any desired point in time can be addressed fast and well-targeted within a long-term recording. At the same time Drag & Drop for signal arrangement or multi-functional dockable tool box windows provide for a high clarity. Cursors make a convenient measuring of time periods and signal amplitudes possible. Up to 1000 interesting events in the signal trace, such as exceeding the limit values can be marked with so-called ‘Flags' and provided with a description, in order to find these spaces again with one click. In order to support the manual data screening any signal curves can be put on top of each other. This allows quick optical comparisons of similar or connected signals, such as control, command and actuating variables in one control loop. Additionally AutoSPy offers the possibility to develop own solutions in terms of freely programmable evaluation Scripts in Visual Basic Script, that can be adjusted flexibly according to the individual requirements. Among other things, these Scripts have the ability to place program-controlled flags in the signal trace and this way for instance mark a few distinctive points of time within a measured value acquisition lasting several weeks. Provided that the found plant conditions are also to be documented, a printing function is available for it. All signal data can also be exported to external applications, such as DIAdem, FlexPro or Excel.
For more information on AutoSPy please log on to www.autospy.de. Under that address also a full version of AutoSPy for the monitoring of two freely selectable variables is available for download free of charge. For a more extensive scope of performance users have to acquire an additional license.
Company background: GWT-TUD GmbH
The GWT with its headquarter in Dresden is a middle-class service company for transfer of knowledge and technology and it is operating in the area of intersection between public research facilities of the Free State of Saxony and the Industry. Across all technological fields GWT also renders services in the sectors research and development, consulting and sales as well as organisation and management. The working group around Prof. Klaus Kabitzsch particularly concentrates on technical solutions for factory and process automation as well as semiconductor industry. With their established analysis tool AutoSPy they have a more than ten-year expertise for the monitoring and error diagnosis of the machine controls (PLCs) and Fieldbuses used there.