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Alarming From a PLC or ModBus Device

Elite 200

The Elite 200 is a dedicated alarm notification system to large PLC or SCADA systems. It continuously monitors up to 200 registers from a single device or spread across a network of devices.

The most common application for the Elite 200, is to provide the following capabilities:

  • provide a dedicated hardware alarm notification system for SCADA or PLC systems,
  • alarm notification that the PLC or SCADA system has stopped communicating, and
  • remote access to the PLC to change setpoints.

Different than alarm software

The Elite 200 is a dedicated hardware device, not software running on a PC. Since reliability of an alarm system is critical, a dedicated hardware platform provides significantly more up-time, like 100%, versus a PC which is prone to lock-ups.

The Elite 200 does not provide thousands of alarm points, but will provide the highest reliability system for up to 200 of the most critical conditions.

Highly flexible settings allow notifying designated personnel as needed:

  • only one time per alarm,
  • every time any alarm occurs,
  • again for the same alarm if it still exists after a defined period of time, and
  • call in to get any/all channels in alarm.

Connection to the Elite 200

The Elite 200, E200, is physically connected to the PLC via a single serial RS-232 or RS-485 connection, making for a quick and clean installation. The communication between the Elite 200 and the PLC uses the Modbus RTU protocol with the Elite 200 as the Modbus Master.

Programming

The Elite 200 is programmed through the front panel, locally connected PC or remotely connected PC by:

  • Selecting a channel in the E200 (from 1 to 200 channels 201-209 are internal)
  • Select the type of data to read/write. e.g. read coil, read input status, read register, read holding, write coil, write holding
  • Select the Modbus ID for that data
  • Select the register number to read/write

Reading and writing registers

For analog values (read holding and read register), the E200 allows the user to specify a channel name, independent low and high limits, engineering units, additional scaling if needed, automatic calculation of Totalized values, phone lists for alarm notification, and delay times until the value is considered in alarm.

For digital values (read coil and read input status), the E200 allows the user to specify a channel name, the normal condition (open or closed), automatic computation of cycles and run-times, phone lists for alarm notification and delay times until the value is considered in alarm.

For writing analog values (write holding), the E200 allows the user to enter in a value in engineering units from the front panel or over the phone. The value is then written to the PLC and read back to confirm that the PLC has received the correct value.

For writing digital values (write coil), the E200 allows the user to enter the state of the coil (1 or 0) from the front panel or over the phone. Again, the value written to the PLC is read back to confirm proper operation.

Internal system monitoring

In addition to monitoring the 200 registers in the PLC or SCADA system, the E200 also monitors and alarms on:

  • Communication to the PLC or SCADA
  • Loss of primary power
  • Low backup battery voltage
  • Internal temperature

Local User Interface

The E200 allows the user to see values in the PLC and to make changes to them.

The E200 has a keypad and display that are used to display the current status of channels, alarm call status and for programming.

When a channel goes into alarm, the channel that is in alarm is automatically displayed showing the channel name, the current value and the alarm violated. Additional information, including the Modbus ID and register number are obtained by pressing a key.

If multiple channels are in alarm, then the screen automatically switches between each of those channels.

If no channels are in alarm, the user can request the status of any channel by pressing the Status key and then Prev or Next to cycle through all the channels in the system.

Reports

To assist in programming, the E200 has pre-formatted reports showing:

  • The current status of all monitored channels
  • The current programming of each channel
  • The register map of all channels
  • View a Sample Report

To assist with diagnosis of alarm events, the E200 records the last 1000 events. These can be automatically printed to an attached printer as they occur, printed on demand or retrieved remotely by dialing in. These date and time-stamped events include:

  • Transitions into and out of alarm
  • Alarm notification calls
  • Alarm acknowledgments
  • Parameter changes
  • Call ins and outs

Alarm Notification

The E200 provides 8 separate lists of numbers for alarm notification, allowing the appropriate personnel for a particular alarm to be notified.

Alarm notification can be:

  • voice based to phones or cells
  • text to alphapagers
  • numeric to pagers and
  • fax reports