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5 Reasons to use Unitronics & i4 Automation

The PLC:

Broad Range of PLCs

The Unitronics range is comprehensive to cover the requirements of your customer’s applications. PLCs, for example, must be able to supply suffi¬cient memory to support IO, log and manipulate historical data, as well as executing the control program. Where machine speed is critical the CPU processing speed must be considered as well. What are your sector’s standards? Do your applications need to comply with hazardous environment standards, CFR-21.11, or the spray-and-wipe standards of the food and drink industry?

Influenced by the mobile industry, your customers expect HMI colour touch-panels to provide the interface window between operator and system. In cases where space is at a premium, PLC + HMI all-in-one controllers have a distinct advantage with the benefit of reduced development time. Some PLC manufacturers provide PLC + HMI controllers with on-board or snap-on IO modules, which, in addition to saving space, also greatly reduce wiring.


Data Communication & More

Flexibility is key—the more protocols your selected brand of PLCs supports, the better you can support interoperability with existing applications and third-party devices. Important industrial datacom protocols include MODBUS, CANopen (and other flavours of CANbus such as CAN Layer2) and EtherNetIP. Some brands also support protocols such as SNMP and FTP.

Unitronics support these and many more with easy to use software utilities that enable you to implement these and proprietary third-party datacom protocols, whether serial, RS232/485 or TCP/IP. You can also benefi¬t your customers by increasing the visibility of operating data and diagnostic information.

Web Server—the ability to access a PLC via web browser and VNC support are excellent methods of remotely accessing a PLC, while SMS messaging and email are very handy for noti¬fication via mobile phone networks. You may also want to look for GPRS/GSM modem and Ethernet routers for remote support.


Look for Intelligent Software

Saving time is the primary benefit of intelligently designed software. There are two particularly important factors to consider:
Ease of use – ergonomic design means that you do not need to search for elements when programming. In addition, logical, consistent construction saves time, since the programmer intuitively knows what to do even when programming a particular task for the first time.
Re-usability – Insist on it. Whether you are programming Ladder or C functions, designing HMI screens and Web pages, or creating custom controls, the ability to re-use your work across projects will save big chunks of time.


Service and Support

Unitronics and i4 Automation offer a high level of customer care. Make certain that support, whether technical or sales, is easily available and prompt.

Personal support –meaning from people, not automated systems. This is what can make the difference in meeting your deadlines and retaining your own customers. Support documents, specs, and guides, should be readily available. “The best things in life are free” – we provide support and documentation at no additional charge.


Total Cost of Ownership

Cost is not limited to the actual cash you pay to purchase the PLC. Your development costs and future maintenance costs can make or break your profit margin. Therefore, when you purchase a PLC, remember that you are also selecting the company that stands behind that PLC—and that this decision, over the long run, can have a major impact on your success in industrial automation projects.

If you need any more reasons to try Unitronics and i4 Automation then just give us a call or drop us an Email and we'll be happy to discuss your future projects and the exciting possibilities i4 Automation & Unitronics can bring to you.