Cimtec Automation Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New GP4000 Pro-face HMI

Pro-Face America has launched the New GP-4000 series - an innovative new Operator Interface HMI offering extensive connectivity, energy efficient LCD with LED display, and comprehensive features with GP-Pro EX 3.01 HMI Development software.

Pro-Face GP-4000 Series uses the NEW GP-Pro EX v3 with extensive features, expanding functionality and connectivity for every HMI unit.

GP-4000 Series Operator Interface has Best in Class Connectivity, Powerful HMI Functionality and Full Compatibility with Pro-face GP-Pro EX 3.0 and GP-4000 products and projects.

Pro-face Operator Interface Series Overview:
  • Easy to Use: Operators can easily monitor conditions and the operating environment in real time using 3D real parts.

  • Saves Energy: Reduces on-site power consumption in a variety of ways including an on-board LED backlight in all models, and a dimmer setting used to decrease and eventually stand-by the display after being idle for a set period of time.

  • Quick On-site Recovery: Simply touch the alarm message to check the relevant data in chronological sequence.

  • Remote Monitoring: GP-Viewer EX software provides various remote monitoring functions, such as checking the screen of the GP located on a production site from a remote office.

  • Additional information on the GP-4000 series can be found on the Pro-face America website at

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

GE-IP Releases Proficy Historian 4.5

The latest 4.5 release of Proficy Historian expands on the unparalleled power of our 4.x series Enterprise Historian platform with significant scalability, performance, and functionality improvements.  This release allows our customers to fundamentally change the way they use Historian to aggregate and accelerate information across their enterprises.

For customers new to the product, this is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of Proficy Historian as a foundation for operational excellence, and for our existing customers, a chance to upgrade their Historian implementations and take advantage of the powerful new features.  Start thinking about the expanded role Proficy Historian can play in improving your competitive advantage!

The following outlines the high level benefits of the latest version 4.0 release:

Major Scalability & Performance Enhancements

Proficy Historian scales to significant new levels, allowing customers to leverage data across their operations, both in plants or across global enterprises.  Across-board gains have been made in volume of information that can be collected per server, data throughput, and connectivity.

Expanded Functionality

New functionality required to deliver next-generation solutions in a wide range of operating environments, including condition-based collection, unsolicited tag compression timeout, and a new hybrid retrieval mode for enhanced data analysis.

Improved Compatibility & Integration

Proficy Historian empowers administrators to reduce operating costs, with flexibility & agility to support dynamically changing business conditions.  Key enhancements include a powerful new client access API, enhanced application examples,embedded applications support via Windows XPe, continued support for the latest Microsoft technologies, and full backward compatibility with 32-bit operating systems.

Ease of Use and Reduced Overall Cost of Ownership

Proficy Historian empowers administrators to reduce operating costs, with flexibility & agility to support dynamically changing business conditions.  Features such as enhanced archive management, improvements in system monitoring and management, and enhanced support for intermittent/low-bandwidth networks help our customers rapidly realize business benefit and sustain their advantage in a cost-efficient manner.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Encoders – Measurement in a Compact Size

SICK has a full line of encoders, including Incremental, Absolute, Wire-draw, Linear & Wheeled encoders. These are now the smallest encoders on the market, and SICK offers a complete function set to help solve your most challenging encoder applications.  In addition to its compact size, we offer the DFS-60 series which is completely customizable & programmable to every encoder application.

The new DFS-60 small footprint & compact size mean it can be mounted in space constrained areas and is easier and less expense to install.  The DFS-60 provides encoder solutions in an ultra-compact size from SICK, the innovative, global market leader in encoders.

For distances, positions and angles when precise positioning is required, an encoder is unbeatable. For distance measurement applications, the resolution of the encoder is in the micrometer range.

When making angular measurements, it is equivalent to a few thousandth of a degree.


Face mount and servo flange
Compact 2.0 inch housing
Electrical interfaces include TTL/RS422, HTL/push pull, PROFIBUS, CANopen, DeviceNet

Typical Markets:

• Wind turbines                                • Tire assembly equipment

• Servo motors                                 • Sheet and web offset presses / printing machinery

• Overhead cranes                            • Automated storage / retrieval systems

• Packaging machines                      • Robotic systems


SICK has decades of encoder application experience, a vast network of encoder expertise from our application engineers and a highly technical sales force.

About us: From providing product availability and pricing information, to resolving technical problems, the team at CIMTEC is prepared to work closely with you to ensure complete application solution support. For assistance, please call 704-227-4600, click on this link:  SICK Encoders or e-mail our applications group at

Migrating from older GE PLC’s

CIMTEC Automation  has been selling GE PLC’s since the mid-eighties introduction of the Series Six. Many of the PLC’s are still running factories today but there is an ever present fear that should they fail a replacement would not be easy to find. Many controls engineers also recognize that a proactive migration while the system is functioning would be less costly, less risky, and less stressful to all those involved.

While it can be easy to push the latest and greatest technology there can be roadblocks on the path to a newer control system. CIMTEC has developed and executed many migration projects using these steps to ensure a migration can be done with no surprises and for as low a cost as possible.
  1. Customer provides current program running in old system
  2. GE product specialist will review program to develop comprehensive proposal
  3. Upon acceptance of proposal migration begins and involves many steps:
    1. Hardware evaluation:
      1. What modules can stay as is?
      2. What modules require new firmware or chips?
      3. What modules need to be replaced?
    2. Program evaluation:
      1. How many rungs of logic are we dealing with?
      2. How many instructions won’t convert well?
      3. Are the rung comments in the right place?
      4. Do tag names follow current software rules/conventions or will they need to be manually changed?
      5. How complex will the I/O map change be?
      6. Should functions that are available now but were not historically be used to simplify logic?
      7. Are there portions of the program that should be removed entirely as they won’t be necessary?
      8. How much manual intervention will be required?
    3. Program conversion
    4. Proof read of converted program (3 hours to 3 weeks depending on length)
    5. Manual intervention of converted program
    6. Acquisition of proposed hardware
    7. Testing of program in proposed hardware

Delivery and installation of new hardware and converted program.

For more information please contact us