Posts Tagged ‘straton & zenon Logic’

High quality data for high quality decisions

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Not only the speed of information is crucial, but also the quality of the data provided. Without guaranteeing a certain level of data quality, Business Intelligence is, in the best case, untrustworthy. Worse, it could lead to the wrong decision. Strategies to ensure high quality data start at field level, where sensor data is acquired.

Three criteria for data quality

  1. Enough, but not too much:
    Yes, the amount of data is a factor in data quality. Even if analytical tools are constantly evolving and in cloud applications hardware power is easily scalable, it is a lot easier to find the needle if you remove the haystack first.
  2. Consistent and complete:
    Applications in quality control are a good example for the importance of data consistency, whether in manufacturing, disaster prevention or electrical grid control. Reports may look fine, even when a critical value which, by chance, is out of range and is exactly the one missing from the database.
  3. Correct:
    It nearly seems too obvious to mention that data needs to be correct to serve for correct analyses. Often it is a quite complex challenge to deliver correct data from field level systems. Especially when underlying data is already a derivative of primary data, like availability times of production equipment or infrastructure components.

To ensure data quality, straton and zenon offer a wide range of capabilities for on-the-fly data preprocessing. Data is being checked and processed on different levels while it is being moved upstream.

With zenon and straton, on-the-fly data preprocessing is being performed on different levels.

With zenon and straton, on-the-fly data preprocessing is being performed on different levels.

The secret weapon for business intelligence and Big Data Applications

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

straton is a flexible and powerful IEC 61131-3 environment. Many hardware manufacturers and system integrators rely on it to engineer great automation solutions and equipment. It is not a secret that straton shows off its strong points particularly in combination with zenon. What is not so obvious, however, is that straton is an excellent tool for Business Intelligence and Big Data applications. This blog entry will show you how excellent.

straton and zenon – Power Play for Business intelligence

Business Intelligence Solutions depend on having the right data available. As a basis for reliable analyses this data needs to be correct, complete and consistent. In industrial and infrastructure environments, this data originates on the sensor level. Through PLC systems this data can be communicated onwards through SCADA or gateway levels to finally end up in an archive or a database. When stored properly the data is retrievable and available for business intelligence tools (like zenon Analyzer) or for Big Data applications.

extended data sets for Big data applications

Traditional Big Data applications most often look at data sets ranging from ERP, CRM, Web 2.0 and market data to generate relevant insights. Including data sets from manufacturing and infrastructure (e.g. electrical grids, water supply and transportation) can substantially increase the power of Big Data analyses.

real-time data for real-time decisions?

When a PLC engineer and a C-level executive talk about real-time data they often have completely different things in mind. In the world of PLCs, the most common unit in this context is milliseconds. For a manager, ‘real time’ can mean having data from last week’s production available within a few days. How can we match these two mindsets and deliver real-time data about production and infrastructure to Business Intelligence levels? With straton and zenon you can easily realize architectures which allow you to obtain data from sensors at high speed. In practice, this means you can have critical information at the IT tier within seconds after it originated on the sensor.

The use of straton as an open platform

Friday, January 17th, 2014

For 25 years COPA-DATA has been developing HMI/SCADA solutions with the same goal: to provide software that is independent from hardware and provides all the functionality required as built-in features. The straton software is an important piece in this strategy and extends the functionality of the HMI/SCADA solution to many other integrated features for industrial control.

The integrated solution: straton and zenon

What does this mean? The aim of the integrated solution is to provide end users and system integrators with a tool that gives them the ability to create a complete automation project using a single engineering environment. As a result, the development time and the commissioning time of a project will shorten.

How is this done? First, there is a common database where the variables are declared once for both the SCADA and the PLC application. This avoids the possibility of error while importing or declaring variables in the two tools. The project is stored in a unique place with concurrent access and version control, guaranteeing the compatibility of the developed application and providing an easy way to make archives of the complete project. The parameterization of the communication is an integral part of the solution: the straton protocol provides a powerful event-based communication with full support for redundancy, quality information and time stamping. Additionally, some utility protocols such as IEC 61850 and IEC 60870 have been fully integrated, and these can be used to define the communication between straton and zenon.

straton and zenon Logic

The built-in solution: straton on PLCs

Hardware manufacturers have seen the benefit in offering open platform solutions with minimum firmware, allowing software companies to create built-in solutions. Siemens S7 Mec EC31 and Mitsubishi Q-Series C Controller are such platforms where a straton Runtime is available. The straton Runtime supports the local Inputs/Outputs configuration, the IEC 61131-3 programming and the built-in protocol implementation for IEC 61850, IEC 60870, EtherNet/IP, MODBUS, and PROFINET.

straton and zenon Logic

zenon Logic is the PC-based version of straton. zenon Logic serves as an integrated PLC System. The zenon Logic Runtime can act as a Soft-PLC on a Windows based system or can provide SCADA Logic functionality, like data pre-processing or mathematical calculations.

straton and  zenon Logic: shared engineering database


  • PLC and SCADA engineering in one system
  • One common database
  • Reduced engineering times
  • Consistent communication
  • High intelligence on hardware level
  • Programmed driver simulation: PLC code without testing hardware
  • Faceplates: PLC code generated automatically on the foundation of graphical elements


This article was first published in Information Unlimited, issue 24:

Do you speak logic?… Or: networking in the logic world (part 2)

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

…and as I wrote in my last blog – it does it natively.

I introduced the binding protocol as one solution for networking in zenon Logic. In this blog entry I will talk about one possible application scenario that was made possible by binding.

The challenge in a project was to recognize if zenon is operating as server, standbyserver or in a client role and if it was operating at all. And that should be done with an independent tool.

Although zenon Logic is an integrated solution inside zenon it is also independent from it. With the use of the zenon Logic Runtime Manager it can be started with the autostart function of the operating system running independently. In the zenon project two variables were created and set to ‘external visible’ to see it in a zenon Logic project running on the same PC. One variable is taken from a counting simulation driver – a boolean variable toggle. The second is the system driver variable ‘Standalone/Server/Standby-Server/Client’.

zenon Logic - Binding

With the use of these variables you can visualize the state of every PC in the network in the zenon project – if it is online with the toggle as heartbeat, and the current role if it is server, standbyserver or a client. The project is distributed to every project in the network; the zenon logic project is started on every computer. The variables PC1_Role, PC1_toggle, are externally shared variables of the internal driver, which are local for every project. With that you can even show this state on a zenon client, independent of its server.

It was also important to tell subsystems the state of the zenon servers; this was done with further fieldbus connections – in that specific project it is Modbus.

You see – it is possible to have independency, even with an integrated solution

Have fun, try it out.

Do you speak logic?… Or networking in the logic world (part 1)

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

…zenon does, and it speaks it natively 😉

Since 2002 we have a module in zenon, now called zenon logic. It is an IEC61131-3 based programming environment for all your logic challenges in zenon.
I am asked sometimes: is there something like a network available for zenon Logic as well? How can I communicate directly to other zenon Logic runtimes?
The tool for this is called binding. In zenon Logic you can define communication based on the so-called binding protocol. It is a spontaneous protocol to exchange variable values.
How does it work? One runtime is defined as the publisher which others can subscribe to. Up to 256* runtimes can be connected this way. (*on a PC based runtime 16 for WinCE)
When you have the zenon Logic workbench open, you will find the binding editor in the project tree ‘Binding Configuration’.

zenon Logic

In ‘PUBLIC’ you can define variables that you want to share with other Runtimes.

The ports seen here, called ‘EXTERN’, are the subscribed variables from another runtime.

The communication principle is event based and the variable values in ‘PUBLIC’ are sent to all subscribing runtimes.

The application range for this network is very versatile. From a simple watchdog mechanism between runtimes, to complex data exchange for sharing the calculation load.

I will describe one application case of distributed logic in the next blog.

Link VBA with Straton WB by using StratOnCom interface

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Link VBA with straton WB by using StratOnCom interface

This topic describes how to configure the VBA editor

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to connect with the Straton Workbench and how to use the StratOnCom interface. First of all you need a Straton Workbench Project. Create one.

Open the VBA Editor and select “myWorkspace” and click on the meneu “Extras/References” and set the “StratOnCom” active.


Now you can use the Straton Com Interface for your VBA Project

This code sample shows us how to initialize the com interface for your project:

Attention! The VBA access to the straton workbench just works in the zenon workpace (zenon Editor)!

Public Sub

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‘Create a new instanz on the SratOnCom Object
Dim myStraton As New StratOnCom.Project
Dim myPath As String

‘Path to the Straton Path
myPath = “C:\ProgramData\COPA-DATA\SQL\ff8cdbaa-47f3-44e8-bd33-1c582fd4cadc\FILES\straton\Project”

‘Set the entry point to your straton project
myStraton.ProjectPath = myPath

‘Show straton path again
Debug.Print myStraton.ProjectPath
‘Count all my Straton Programs
Debug.Print myStraton.Programs.Count
‘Show the name of the first program
Debug.Print myStraton.Programs.Item(0).Name

‘Show the first global Variable
Debug.Print myStraton.GlobalVariables.Item(0).Name

‘Show some details of the first retain variable
Debug.Print myStraton.RetainVariables.Item(0).Name
Debug.Print myStraton.RetainVariables.Item(0).Comment
Debug.Print myStraton.RetainVariables.Item(0).EmbedSymbol
Debug.Print myStraton.RetainVariables.Item(0).InitValue
Debug.Print myStraton.RetainVariables.Item(0).Tag


End Sub


The following list shows the objects available

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for both VBA and VSTA.

– StratonCom
– Project
– GlobalVariables
– Variables
– Variable
– VarProps
– VarProperty
– RetainVariables
– Variables
– Variable
– VarProps
– VarProperty
– Programs
– Variables
– Variable
– VarProps
– VarProperty
– ProgramContent
– ProgramObjects
– GraphicalObject
– ProgramLines
– LineObject