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Software management tool designed for automation projects

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Software management tool designed for automation projectsMitsubishi is launching Projxstudio, a new management tool for accessing MELSOFT applications. It provides a system overview of the automation controllers, along with simple access to the associated codes and programming tools. In addition, users can access other automation software and related documentation.

Many automation systems are based upon multiple PLCs and other automation hardware such as HMIs and Scada systems, each dedicated to a particular task or discreet machine within the overall project, and each with its own blocks of code. Projxstudio ensures clear ordered access to the program code, along with appropriate software from a single interface, giving access to all control and programming functions.

The project hierarchy of equipment incorporated in the project is easily understandable, clearly identifying each automation module. Its graphical front end can incorporate both schematics and photographs of actual equipment to assist in the understanding of the overall project scheme.

All project codes are zipped into a single file to ensure that all parts of the project are kept fully up-to-date and that the correct code is easily selected, thereby minimising errors such as working on an incorrect version of the code.

Projxstudio fully integrates software from Mitsubishi's MELSOFT suite of applications, allowing engineers to set up and manage even the most complex of automation projects, while keeping track of all the details and complexities of each part of the project in one place.

Running under Microsoft Windows, Projxstudio provides a familiar user interface that is divided into two parts - a navigation window and a launch window.

The navigator window is an intuitive tree-like schematic that provides an overview of the project and associated resources. PLC, HMI and Scada resources are defined and may include sub-projects where appropriate.

The launch pad window provides the graphical area for the project components. It also offers additional user defined objects so that Projxstudio has capacity and flexibility for large and/or complex automation projects. Resources defined in the navigator window are automatically represented in the launch pad window, and can be freely positioned and resized. The relationships between elements of the control system are clearly identified easily by including simple coloured lines between the various icons in any automation scheme. Further clarity can be obtained by overlaying the icons on schematics or even plant images.

Projxstudio is an excellent single environment for managing complex automation projects. It is equally suitable for new projects and existing plants. As such, it will be of interest to OEM machine builders, system integrators and end users.

Projxstudio runs under Windows 2000 Professional or XP Professional, and is compatible with the full range of MELSEC programming applications. Non-Mitsubishi applications can also be opened through Projxstudio by virtue of the way in which Windows associates particular file types with software applications. This means that software running on hardware from other automation suppliers can be accessed, as can other documents - such as word processor files, spreadsheets or PDF files.

28 September 2006

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