The fact that we did not have to write a driver, buy expensive software upgrades for the PLCs or have ANY downtime is HUGE. This solution saved us time and money no doubt!

Dana Cotant / Engineering Manager/Special Projects Corporate Engineering, The Woodbridge Group

No Time for Down Time

The Woodbridge Group with HQ in Canada and Michigan, offers material technologies for automotive, commercial, recreational, packaging, healthcare, and building product applications. They recently embarked on a project to upgrade a robotic cell from a Motoman to a Fanuc system. The challenge was significant: the existing Motoman was controlled by an Omron PLC over DeviceNet, which needed to be retained, while the new Fanuc robot would be controlled by a Schneider Electric Modicon PLC using Modbus TCP/IP.

This was not Woodbridge’s first interaction with RTA and utilizing our products. This particular project was to update their production line and replace the Omron PLC with Schneider Electric PLC for this and our other production lines. They had used the 460MSDS, along with various other configurations of gateways that were initially installed in 2016 and are still running to this day.

Why A Strong Support System is Important

Woodbridge faced a challenging timeline as they had a scheduled shutdown (2nd shift Thursday until the following Monday afternoon) to get this upgrade executed and not miss a beat. They needed to have the new system installed, connected and running by that time. They could not afford any further shutdown or disruption to the line.

Because inevitably the most intricate plans and contingencies still encounter issues. This project was no different, here is how it all went down…in our clients’ view:

The integration started out smoothly, we had the Modbus side up and connected immediately. Then, there was a snag. There was an issue with the Omron PLC over DeviceNet connection. RTA’s support staff was quick to assist. We contacted RTA on Friday morning and they responded immediately with a list of troubleshooting tips and were able to find the issue. * A disconnect in the DeviceNet bus! * There was no finger pointing. Nobody suggested that “this is not an RTA” problem. They assisted every step of the way and made sure that we were able to have everything connected and talking.

We cannot say enough good things about RTA support.

We love our customers and always appreciate their feedback. So, we asked Dana what would you tell your colleague about your experience with RTA if they asked:

“The best technical support around. Also, the fact that if we purchased the wrong product, you would be able to flash the hardware to support the application is huge. We purchased gateway recently and needed to pivot from connecting to OPC UA to Modbus TCP/IP. RTA support was able to flash us over in five minutes and we had everything up and running in no time. Also, no additional software to download to configure is great. Could not be happier. “

Thanks Dana! That makes our Enginerd® smiles grow and makes us work that much harder to make our customers experience a good one.

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 is an employee-owned company that 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 are backed by industry-leading Enginerd® tech support to help save time, money and aggravation. RTA industrial protocol gateways come with a five-year warranty, are made in the USA and are always in-stock, ready to ship the same day (with orders placed before 2:00 PM Central time).

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