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netX-Controller series

Image: Hilscher

Drives & Controls Improving performance of machine controls

Jun 4, 2018

An application story on how the usage of Hilscher’s communication controllers helps an automation solution provider to improve the performance of machine control systems and also allows for the integration of these controls into heterogeneous process landscapes

The innovative integrated solutions for system automation of DEMIC Datentechnik are characterised by quality and robustness. They are perfectly matched to the requirements of the relevant application. Reliability and robustness are essential features in control and automation technology. Both can only be achieved on one basis: considerable experience. DEMIC Datentechnik has been the competent partner for innovative integrated solutions for system automation, system modernisation, and as a full service partner for the entire lifetime of a production system for 25 years. “We combine the development and manufacture of high-quality products with our comprehensive service portfolio in order to perfectly cover the relevant customer needs,” say Heinz and Björn Demmer, Managing Directors, DEMIC Datentechnik.

A perfect match

All DEMIC automation systems are precisely adapted to the industry-specific customer requirements. For this purpose, the company develops perfectly matching hardware and software solutions in cooperation with their clients, so that process challenges may be controlled appropriately. The company started the development of customised systems 25 years ago. At that time, an 8-bit microcontroller was relied on for implementing control tasks, and serial interfaces were used for communication. “This microcontroller, however, reached its limits with increasing requirements,” reports H Demmer and adds, “in this regard, Hilscher introduced the netX-Controller series in the market at the right time.”

He goes on to say that the development boards provided by the Hattersheim people, whom DEMIC could use to extensively test the performance and communication range of the controllers, were very useful to them. The decision to use the netX modules as the centre piece of their control systems was, therefore, made very quickly. The decisive advantage for them and their customers: all modules for implementing control and communication tasks are combined in one module. This is not offered by any other provider. The requirements specification of countless applications in machinery and system construction can, hence, excellently be covered.

User-friendly compact PLCs

“Since netX also comprises a graphics controller, we also include a user-friendly visualisation on the chip on basis of the development tool QViS,” explains Demmer and adds, “This perfectly rounds out DEMIC’s portfolio, which, not only comprises mere machine controls but also HMI operation terminals. These may even be extended by the relevant modules for CODESYS and therefore also perform control tasks as user-friendly compact PLCs. In addition, intelligent IO terminals fitted with smaller netX controllers are to be introduced soon.”

Configuration kept simple

User-friendliness and an ergonomic design have top priority for DEMIC products. This is why the configuration and operation of the machine are kept as simple as possible. A simple click in the DEMIC control software and the communication type is defined - be it Ethernet TCP/IP, Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP, Profinet, Profibus or DeviceNet.

“This is very well received by our customers,” asserts Demmer and goes on, “Due to the easy integration of Hilscher protocol stacks in our standard application as well as its continuous development, we are always up to date with regard to the typical fieldbuses and Ethernet protocols - this is a great advantage for us as a specialised company.”

The power of controllers

In addition to a variety of interface cards for communication with the PC system, DEMIC primarily uses the controllers, netX 500 and 100. Several thousand controllers in the applications of the automation company prove successful in daily use. In the future, the new, even more powerful netX 4000 will be used as platform in their applications.

As a result, DEMIC customers will continuously benefit from a consistent system covering all levels of process automation - from the IO terminal and the control as well as the HMI to the process control system. “We have been cooperating successfully with Hilscher for over 20 years and are absolutely convinced by the netX conception,” cite the two managing directors.

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  • Heinz Demmer & Björn Demmer, Managing Directors of DEMIC Datentechnik

    Image: Hilscher

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