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Showing posts from September, 2014

Netbiter Remote Access to ABB Analyzer

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When delegates visit the IDX Academy in South Africa for training, they are always encouraged to bring their piece of equipment along with which they might be having trouble getting communications going with it - or even just understanding the data it produces. At the end of a grueling PROFIBUS Engineers Course, two delegates from ABB stayed behind to see how they could do a proof of concept to show that their AO2020 Ananlyze connects to and makes data available on PROFIBUS. They already had a PROFIBUS Master Simulator from HMS.
 Using the simulator, you can load the GSD file and connect to the PROFIBUS address of the Analyzer via a piece of PROFIBUS cable - easy!The raw data is produced in hex and binary - this can be tricky to understand. We were reading 41 A8 CC CD (hexadecimal), but knowing that the data type is an IEEE Floating Point value from the manual and entering these values into an online IEEE float to Hex calculator gave us a value that made sense: 21.10!They are now ready…

PROFIBUS Pizza with a COMbricks topping!

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What do pizza and PROFIBUS have in common with each other? Cheese! 

Bandini Cheese is a South African cheese manufacturer supplying their products to numerous pizza restaurants around South Africa. They are always striving to provide the highest quality products and this ethos can been seen in other aspects of their manufacturing process. For them, the up-time of their PROFIBUS network is critical - not only do they have expectant customers, but the very nature of the cheese making process means that batches cannot just sit around while technicians try to troubleshoot the PROFIBUS network.
Realizing this, the engineers and technicians working on the plant attended the certified PROFIBUS Engineers Course at the South African PROFIBUS Competence Centre (PCC). It was here that they heard of new innovative product called COMbricks and they became one of the first companies to implement the COMbricks solution. 
Solution to what? The problem is knowing the health of the PROFIBUS network. This …

Promoting the various Engineering Disciplines in South Africa

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The Africa Engineering Week is running this week from 1-5 September 2014 at the Doornfontein Campus of the University of Johannesburg. The aim of the event is to showcase various disciplines of Engineering and encourage scholars to consider choosing a career in the Engineering and Science fields. 
IDX is a branch patron member of the SAIMC (The Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control) and assisted at the SAIMC exhibition space. School children from various regions in South Africa were told about the FIRST Tech Challenge, where teams of learners can participate in a challenge by designing, building and programming robots that will compete with other teams using a sports model. The wining robot from 2014 is currently on display so make sure that you visit the stand!
At the same time, visitors can find out more about the SAIMC, its affiliation with ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa) and its mission. Members of the SAIMC receive many benefits including invit…