Remote access and control of PLC lab equipment

Chand, Praneel and AL-Rawi, Mohammad and James, Sebin and Antony, Joseph and Jose, Jobin (2022) Remote access and control of PLC lab equipment. MaDE2022: Manufacturing, Design and Entrepreneurship in NZ, Auckland, New Zealand, 25-26 January, 2022. (In Press)

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Abstract or Summary

Covid-19 has presented challenges and opportunities for higher education. Blended and online delivery of courses has become increasingly relevant during lockdowns and physical distancing requirements. In many cases, labs and projects have become simulation based, replacing interaction with real physical equipment. This research project investigates the development of a remote lab set up for Wintec’s PLC Programming 1 course. The main factors considered for the development are low cost and familiarity (similar set up to the existing classroom environment). Using screensharing software on a remote PC, students can access a lab computer which in turn allows the selection and operation of experiments through a microcontroller thereby enabling them to operate the lab equipment. The student's remote personal computer gets access to the lab computer using TeamViewer software. All software to perform the practical work are installed in the lab computer. This includes SoMachine software to program and run the PLC, and a Visual Studio Graphical User Interface (GUI) to select and power the experiment hardware. The commands from the GUI are executed with the help of an Arduino microcontroller which makes use of relays to do the task. Part of the GUI also displays a live feed of the hardware via a real-time webcam placed inside the lab. A prototype system has been successfully constructed and tested to work as required. To improve the effectiveness of the design, the remote system could be modified to accommodate more experiments from other automation related courses. A rotating camera could be purchased instead of a fixed one, allowing the users to view only the selected experiment which will provide a much better viewing angle.

Item Type:Poster presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:remote access and control, PLC lab equipment
Subjects:T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
ID Code:7852
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Deposited On:28 Oct 2021 19:21
Last Modified:28 Oct 2021 19:21

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