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February 8, 2013 / Nehemiah Jandroep

Use HMI Operation Security to Avoid Costly Production Line Delays

Panasonic GT32M

GT Series HMI

Is your GT series HMI in a public area or used by multiple site personnel? While leaving HMI programs open to your entire staff is the easiest route to take, it is also the most dangerous. Allowing access to high level functions and settings which require expert knowledge and experience, to all personnel is ill-advised and has the potential to interrupt and/or delay production. With the GTWIN operation security features, setting access and permission levels is easy.

Panasonic has included operation security settings on the GT05 and GT32 for some time and it is now available to all USB enabled HMI. When activated, operation security allows you to assign passwords and various levels of security to GT parts.

There are 16 security levels available, (0 through 15). Level 0 requires no password.  Access to any level grants the user access to that level and all levels below.  For example, an assembly line worker with level 3 access, can see and operate all devices with level 3, 2, 1, and 0 security.  Supervisors with level 6 access, can see and operate all devices with level 6 and below security.

Panasonic’s operation security settings allow up to 64 accounts with individual passwords, enabling multiple registrations per level. Shown below are screenshots of the the Operation Security Dialog boxes.

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January 15, 2013 / Jane Awittor

Connector Requirements For LED Lighting

Panasonic LED ConnectorThe explosive growth of LED lighting has also sparked the need for connectors with a distinct set of packaging and mechanical capabilities. To work well in LED lighting systems, connectors need to meet all of the following technical requirements:

    • Compact Package. Low-profile connectors prevent obstruction of the LED light. Our new L1 Series of LED connectors, for example, protrude from the circuit board by only 1.4 mm. A height of 3mm would be more typical for a comparable generic connector that had not been designed for LED applications.
    • Tolerates Thermal Expansion. Good LED lighting connectors need to accommodate thermal expansion of circuit boards in three axes. For instance, the L1 Series allows circuit board to move relative to one another by +/–0.3 mm in the X and Z directions and by +/–0.5 mm in the Z direction.
    • Assembles Easily. To avoid damage to delicate LED components, the connector should mate to the receptacle or the joint plug with a minimal insertion force.

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We’ve recently published a complete guide to the electrical specifications and installation procedures of our L1 Series LED lighting connectors. To use the guide online, visit http://pewa.panasonic.com/components/connectors/led-connectors/l1/.

December 20, 2012 / Nehemiah Jandroep

New Tool Allows HMI Screens to Control FPWINPRO Functionality and PLCs

Panasonic GT32M

PLCs can now be controlled using an HMI like the GT32M

A new tool available with the GT series HMI panel eliminates the need for PLC software and allows users to manage and monitor PLCs like never before.

This new tool from Panasonic is called “FP MONITOR“. FP Monitor is available for all PLC’s with a built-in USB connection.

FP Monitor can do the following:

  • Read and write system registers
  • Read and write registers (bit and word data)
  • Force registers on/off
  • Monitor shared memory
  • Monitor error status
  • Manage passwords

There are several modes in the FPMonitor main menu, they are:

  1. System Register
  2. Error
  3. Device
  4. Password
  5. Shared Memory

 

 

 

1.   System Register: FP Monitor gives you the ability to change system registers from outside the PLC through the system registers menu. This mode displays the number of the system register in the PLC. You can change system registers from the HMI to control the configuration of the PLC (i.e. counter start address, data register hold start address, etc.)

 

2. Error: Errors can be monitored and cleared with the error menu. Customers/maintenance don’t need PLC software to see what error is occurring in the PLC and can therefore take the necessary actions to fix it more quickly.

 

3. Device Menu: This menu utilizes the a) Easy monitor, b) Entry monitor, and c) Forced on/off control methods which allows the user to easily read and write to device on the PLC and overwrite the PLC program’s command on the device.

 

4. Password: Passwords can now be cleared or changed from the HMI screen by using the password menu.  Use this screen to set or delete passwords for password-protected PLCs. You can use 4-digit or 8-digit passwords.

 

5. Shared Memory: This displays the screen for reading values from the shared memory. The screen is read-only and displays the value of the shared memory address selected.

 

This new tool should be of great value to users in managing and monitoring PLCs in general.

Please contact Panasonic Technical Support if there are questions about these new features, or feel free to post your questions below.

December 14, 2012 / Dan Ackermann

Panasonic Quick Clips: Film Capacitors with Fuse Function

In this video we will demonstrate the effectiveness of Panasonic’s segmented metallized fusing function in diminishing the effect of failure on our film capacitors.

December 4, 2012 / Aiman Kiwan

Relay Requirements For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

For all their promise, electric vehicles won’t really hit the roads in any great numbers until charging stations become more readily available. Fortunately, the creation of a charging infrastructure is underway based on three different types of charging stations.

Here’s a look at these stations and why they need the right kind of DC relays to enable safe, effective electric vehicle charging:

Three Charger Levels

There are three different levels of charging stations, which differ in their allowable charging voltage, the complexity of their installation and the amount of time they take to charge.

  • Level 1 Charging Station – 120VAC, 16A (1.92kW).  Compatible with ordinary household electrical outlets, the Level 1 station normally takes 8 to 12 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. It provides AC energy directly to the vehicle’s on-board charging system, which has an internal AC/DC converter. Because Level 1 stations are “plug and play” with regular residential outlets, they can be installed in the home without professional help.
  • Level 2 Charging Station – 208 to 240VAC, 12 to 80A (2.5 to 19.2kW).  Level 2 stations provide a fast charge time of three to six hours. They, too, provide AC energy to the vehicle’s on-board charging system where conversion to DC energy is done. Because of safety concerns related to their higher voltages, Level 2 stations must be permanently installed by a licensed electrician. These stations can be used either indoors or outdoors and are suitable for public or private installations.
  • Level 3 Charging Station – 300 to 600VDC, 400A Max. Level 3 charging stations, which are also DC fast chargers, provide DC electricity to the car’s battery. Because AC-to-DC conversion is not required, they take only 20 to 30 minutes to charge the vehicle. This method of electric vehicle charging will dominate the public charging infrastructure, serving as “gas stations” for electric vehicles.

 

Electric vehicle charging typically requires two different types of high-capacity DC relays. Our EP Relays would typically be used in the charging station itself, while our EV Relays can be implemented within the automotive circuitry.

Relays For Electric Vehicle Charging

High capacity DC relays play a crucial role by cutting off current when the vehicle is connected or disconnected to an electric charger. Typically, these relays will be implemented in both the charger itself and in the vehicle’s electrical system.

For example, our EP Relay would typically be used within the design of the charging station itself. It features a hermetically sealed construction, with a hydrogen gas mix enclosed within a ceramic capsule to enhance arc reduction at high voltage and current values.

An example of a relay well-suited for use on the vehicle would be our EV Relay. It offers the same features as the standard EP relay with a higher degree of reliability for automotive applications.

In addition to current protection, relays also see use in battery monitoring systems. Our automotive-rated AQV and AQW relays, for instance, are used for battery management within hybrid vehicles. With their high switching speeds and electrical isolation, these relays are ideal for scanning battery cells.

Download our guide to relays for electric vehicle applications.  For more information on relays for electric vehicles and charging systems contact Aiman Kiwan.