Summary: Tills Innovations specializes in the design and installation of beautiful custom water features. For a recent project, Tills Innovations created a large water feature for a university campus; the customer wanted a system that would run the pumps, valves and lighting for the feature automatically, while also allowing remote monitoring. With help from the local distributor, Tills Innovation was able to control the water feature with a UniStream 10.4 programmable logic controller. The UniStream’s powerful features provided precise automation and an easy to use interface.
“I have used PLC’s for over 20 years, but since using Unitronics, with their large range of choices, I will not need to look for any other PLC manufacturer for any of our many and varied projects.”
UniStream 10.4 programmable logic controller with local and remote I/O controls water feature
Tills Innovations, working with local Unitronics distributor i4 Automation, designed a control system for a large water feature commissioned by a university. Based on their past experience with Unitronics, they used the UniStream 10.4 programmable logic controller. The UniStream provided all of the communication and control features they needed, the programming software was intuitive, and the 10.4-inch touchscreen was a perfect fit for the amount of detail required to run the system.
The system has two control kiosks; the top station houses the main touchscreen and a 3G/4G GPRS router for remote access, while the second station is 70 meters away down a hill. The bottom station houses remote analog and digital I/O modules configured using the EX-RC1 remote adaptor. Unitronics’ UNIcan CANbus protocol makes communication between the panels very quick and efficient.
The system has controls for the seven feature pumps, two filter pumps, and various water top-up valves, along with the chemical dosing and lighting, as specified by Tills Innovations. The UniStream’s data tables are used to commission the pumps; as the jets run up the hill, each pump’s flow has to be adjusted to standardize the water height. A second set of data tables then stores and activates preset patterns.
The UniLogic software was both intuitive and easy to use, which helped speed up the programming process. One of the important software features was the built-in alarm management system; the university monitors the system remotely on a daily basis to check for any problems. The UniStream PLC triggers alarms that are easy understand and to resolve.
Additionally, the no-cost programming software covered both the PLC and HMI in one easy to use package and offered features to cut programming time, like the ability to store Ladder functions, or HMI screens, and Web pages in a code library for use in other projects. Engineer Andy James explains, “The technical help could not have been better; some parts of the software were new to me, but with the UniLogic software and i4’s help, it all came together as a total package.”
UniStream kept the overall cost under budget and was very easy to use. Thanks to the help and knowledge of the Unitronics staff, Tills Innovations will continue to use both the Unistream and Vision series programmable logic controllers on future projects.
James summarizes his experience as follows: “I have used PLCs for over 20 years, but since using Unitronics with their large range of choices, I will not need to look for any other PLC manufacturer for any of our many and varied projects”.
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