SLC500 Upgrade with CitectSCADA and Matrikon OPC

Project Background

A beverage manufacturer sought to upgrade their Allen-Bradley SLC500 DH+ installation to ethernet to provide benefits such increased network bandwidth, reliability and ability to readily integrated with planned future new machinery. Further, a legacy RSView 32 SCADA installation was to be upgraded to CitectSCADA v7.2. This upgrade mainly provided the advantages of flexible & user defined trends, but also readily facilitated distributed clients and server redundancy. Finally, an array of PanelView Plus terminals were to be modified to suit the new network.

Technical Challenges

The greatest challenge in this quite straightforward project was dealing with the range of different PLCs. In addition to the SLC processors were Siemens S7-300 and Modicon Premium units, both of which used third party OPC drivers in the original SCADA. Neither of these licences were able to be used - either due to operating system incompatibility or inability to locate the install files.

With Modicon now well supported by Schneider Electric and CitectSCADA, a native CitectSCADA MODNET driver was available which addressed the %MW1 type tags instead of OPC tags. Interfacing to the Siemens PLCs was not so straightforward. From the alternatives, we selected the Matrikon Siemens S7 OPC Driver. While a little more expensive than the Siemens SOFTNET-S7 package, the implementation was straightforward and we'd take this same approach in the future.

Customer Outcomes

The SCADA application was primarily built around trends, and the customisation available individually to all the CitectSCADA clients has impressed the customer. Free scrolling of data, zooming, custom trend pages and dual-trend pages for data comparison have all been very well accepted. The reliability of the network under all load conditions has also reduced downtime due to unexplained outages, and the customer is now planning to integrated Network Management Software into the CiectSCADA interface to provide further visibility into the plant.