We have had good luck with the RTA product, hence why we chose it.

Systems Engineer / Wisconsin-based Automation Solutions Provider

A Sweet Solution for a Candy Maker

A recognized leader in systems integration, control systems, custom machines, control panels and engineered solutions was working with a client with a connectivity issue. The end client, an international candy manufacturer, had a Honeywell Web-8000 server running control programs for 21 BACnet devices. An Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC was controlling a few devices wired directly to its IO modules, but for the most part, the PLC was just using the data from the server to display sensor and device data on a FactoryTalk View SE Scada HMI. It also accepted manual override commands and setpoints from that same HMI interface but did little else.

The candy manufacturer needed to collect data from BACnet/IP devices on its EtherNet/IP network and make that data readable for an Allen-Bradley PLC. They reached out to their Wisconsin neighbors, Real Time Automation (RTA), and asked for the hardware, software and support they needed to meet their client’s needs. RTA delivered.

After initial discussions with our client detailing the project parameters, RTA recommended the 460ETCBC gateway. Then, during installation, the systems integrator came across an issue. RTA’s Enginerd® team worked after hours to identify a bug in the BACnet code which, once resolved, allowed the installation to be completed. Normally, that would be the end of the story, but there’s more.

RTA’s off-the-shelf 460ETCBC gateway moves data between a network of up to 32 BACnet/IP server devices and up to five Allen-Bradley PLCs. However, during that after-hours troubleshooting session, it was discovered that the project required support of 15 PLCs, not the one specified in the original project parameters. So, RTA created custom firmware to support up to 32 PLCs, meeting the candy manufacturer’s current needs and allowing for future network expansion. Lastly, RTA took the de-bugged BACnet code and supported it for all BACnet gateway customers within two weeks.

The feedback we received from the client was positive. In particular, they mentioned the support techs’ and engineers’ quick responsiveness with troubleshooting and the fast firmware fix to support the multiple PLC connections the project required. They also mentioned that our ability to adjust to the shift in project parameters was key to the success of the project.

Real Time Automation has been delivering innovative communications solutions to the industrial automation market since 1989. RTA products seamlessly integrate process equipment so control engineers and integrators can collect, analyze and interpret the real-time data needed to improve productivity and maximize efficiencies.

RTA specializes in making easy-to-use connectivity products, including industrial protocol gateways, embedded source code stacks and customized OEM solutions. RTA’s products are used on factory floors all over the world and come backed by industry-leading Enginerd® tech support to help save time, money and aggravation. And, RTA products come with a 5-year warranty, are made in America and are always in stock, ready to ship the same day (with orders placed before 2:00 PM Central time).