Rockwell Automation and the Micro800 PLC controllers offer a lot of tools to help reduce the design time and get your product to market faster while maintaining business visions. As an engineer you envision new ideas and redesign old ones. Part of this process lies in research, programming, and documentation, ll of which are time consuming and can hold back or even halt projects all together. Changing PLC control platforms can also be challenging and frustrating; especially if it’s a PLC you’ve never used. Varieties of PLC manufacturers have different programming languages, software structures, security implementations, connectivity, hardware, and wiring. Often you need to research, learn, test and retest all of these when deciding to change a PLC for your application.
It’s certainly a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be…
The solution: The Micro800 series coupled with Connected Components Workbench offers tremendous benefits when design time is key to get your application finished and installed. Here are just a few suggestions I’ve broken down into 3 categories –
This webpage has all the documentation you need for the Micro800 family of PLCs. It’s an excellent webpage to bookmark for quick references and updated documentation.
Rockwell Automation has a 28 video tutorial playlist named “Connected Components Workbench Software” for those just starting out with CCW software and Micro800 controllers. It’s a great tool to get familiar with the software. The videos showcase some of the many features Connected Components Workbench and the Micro800 controllers have to offer.
The Rockwell Knowledgebase is a repository of real support questions, tutorials, and important information about Rockwell products. The Micro800 articles are a great way to get through some programming roadblocks. All Micro800 articles are also free for you to explore and don’t require a tech support contract to access.
Rockwell is known for their excellent, always available Technical Support and for the Micro800 and Connected Components Workbench (CCW) it’s no different. Except that it’s Free! Yes, Free 9:00am-5:00pm technical support is available for the Micro800 and CCW. Whether you’re at a roadblock or trying to troubleshoot, Rockwell support is there to assist you.
Rumsey’s Expert Zone (blog) has personalized articles towards hot-topics revolving around Micro800 controllers. More articles are updated periodically. Check out Rumsey’s Expert Zone to find out more.
Connected Components Workbench is the programming software for Micro800 controllers and it offers extremely useful tools when designing and configuring a new project.
A user combines functions, variables and instructions to create a brand-new instruction unique to their project. This is an excellent tool for recycling code (such as common calculations) throughout your program or reducing the amount of visible code making troubleshooting easier. In my opinion this is one of the most useful tools available for the Micro800.
Variables are a way to store and process information for use in your program. Connected Components Workbench (CCW) allows you to create descriptive variables of varying data types up to 40 characters long. Descriptive variables and comments are saved in the controller so 5 years from now you or your customer can upload the program from a Micro800 and have all available content right there at your finger tips.
Introduced with the Feature Pack for Connected Components Workbench v11.01, workflows give you the ability to quickly enter and modify ladder logic using ASCII text. With workflows you can create ladder programs in moments, drastically decreasing the development time of your application code.
One of my favorite sayings for just getting started with Connected Components Workbench (CCW) is “F1 is your best friend.”
The Help menu within Connected Components Workbench software (CCW) is packed with extremely useful resources including; Instruction assistance, Direct links to user manuals, Tech support options, Release notes, and Sample code. Instead of scouring the internet for solutions to programming questions, all the helpful resources are right there in the CCW software.
The Help menu within CCW is a fantastic resource for developers too. Simply highlight an instruction and press F1 to bring up the Help reference page for that particular instruction. This is a crucial recourse to have when developing code on a new PLC platform.
One software, many devices. Connected Components Workbench software (CCW) is a single programming environment for component level devices such as the Micro800 PLC, PanelView 800 HMI, PowerFlex Drives, and some Safety devices. When designing a project, it’s very convenient to have every piece of configurable hardware programmed within one software environment.
Drawings are often a hassle to get a hold of. Rockwell Automation has a great webpage that provides 2D, 3D, DWG, STP, and certifications on most devices they offer. Reduce the amount of time searching for the right drawing to finish out your projects specifications.
The Sample Code Library is a set of downloadable instruction sets (often User-Defined Function Blocks) for programming specific sequences, applications or configuring & controlling devices. For instance, if you need to control a Powerflex Drive or get a jump start on a Temperature controller application, there is likely Sample Code available to assist you. Sample Code links can be found under the Help menu in Connected Components Workbench software
Searching for documentation on Rockwell Automation products is so easy using the Literature Library. You can search for User Manuals, Profiles, Data sheets, Technical Specifications, Programming Manuals, Certifications, Selection Guides and more using one recourse tool.
The tools Rockwell Automation, Micro800 and Connected Components Workbench software offers make transitioning to the Micro800 PLC from a MicroLogix or third party PLC much easier. Researching Micro800 documentation, drawings, and programming code reduces the amount of time spent freshening up and learning the new equipment and provide valuable documentation for your records. Programming tools & tips within Connected Components Workbench software will enhance your overall application, save time, integration, and help create the perfect application for your project. Documentation is becoming more and more important. Rockwell offers a variety of different methods of attaining important documentation for your proposals and records.
It’s safe to say Micro800 and Rockwell Automation have you covered when transitioning from your current PLC system to Micro800.