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USA: Opto 22 has announced the availability of the groov EPIC® Learning Center, a comprehensive hardware and software bench top system for learning and development. This fully operational package lets engineers, technicians, and developers initialize, configure and program the control, visualization and communication aspects of their groov EPIC systems. The Learning Center is an ideal companion for Opto 22’s free online self-guided groov EPIC learning modules, and it includes two seats for premium on-site training at company headquarters in Temecula, California.

Hardware in the Learning Center includes a groov EPIC processor, power supply, four-position chassis, DC input and output modules, a temperature input module and an analog input module. Hardware is assembled on a desktop operator load panel accessorized with two illuminated pushbuttons, a potentiometer, a temperature probe, a Sonalert alarm and a red/ blue/ green LED indicator. All of this is delivered in a robust Pelican™ case, and it even comes with a screwdriver for releasing and tightening terminal connectors.

The groov EPIC processor is supplied pre-loaded with software packages enabling a wide range of functionality:

  • groov Manage: To configure, commission and troubleshoot the processor
  • PAC Control Engine: a real-time control engine to run flowchart-based control programs
  • CODESYS Runtime Engine: A real-time control engine to run IEC-61131-3 compatible control programs
  • groov View: To build and view mobile and browser-based operator interfaces
  • Ignition Edge®: From Inductive Automation®, provides drivers to PLCs
    MQTT with Sparkplug: A secure, bi-directional, lightweight publish/subscribe protocol
  • Node-RED: An open-source, multi-platform IIoT tool to connect databases, cloud apps and APIs
  • SSH: Secure Shell access to download and run your custom application written in languages like Python, C/C++ and others

Furthermore, engineers can download other free software packages to perform development and testing:

  • PAC Control: A flowchart-based industrial automation programming tool
  • PAC Display: To build HMI operator interfaces for Microsoft® Windows®-basedcomputers
  • CODESYS Development System: A software platform for factory automation, providing IEC-61131-3 support
  • Opto 22 Library Package for CODESYS: A library package to add to the CODESYS Development System

Whether taking advantage of free self-guided OptoU Online Training learning modules or experimenting on their own, engineers will benefit from the practical hands-on experience gained with the Learning Center. Some initial steps include organizing access levels, establishing network connectivity, calibrating the integrated touchscreen and using groov Manage to configure I/O.

Comprehensive control programs can be developed and executed using PAC Control or any IEC61131-3 compliant language, including ladder logic. Simple examples are provided, and engineers can build and create their own applications as desired. Even more advanced custom programs are possible using the optional SSH access to the Linux operating system. Rich HMI displays with graphics and trends can be developed using groov View and viewed using the integrated display, mobile devices and web browsers.

Communications are easily set up using Ignition Edge Gateway for connecting to legacy PLCs. The Learning Center is an ideal environment for exploring the collecting and publishing of tag information to cloud services with MQTT and Spark plug, as well as obtaining other cloud data like database and weather information through Node-RED.

Engineers can create Proof of Concept projects, like confirming how to install hardware on a machine, using the integrated touchscreen display as an HMI, connecting an external monitor, and establishing remote connectivity to a computer or mobile device. The Learning Center is thus perfectly suited for supporting pilot project development.

The Learning Center is an essential and complete way for engineers and developers to fully understand the many ways that groov EPIC can improve their automated operations and connectivity. Based on Opto 22’s 45 years of experience as an automation manufacturer, the Learning Center is not just a product sample, but instead delivers the same actual field-proven hardware and full-featured software used all over the world to automate and communicate with various machines and processes.

Opto 22 designs and manufactures industrial control products and Internet of Things platforms that bridge the gap between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT). Based on a core design philosophy of leveraging open, standards-based technology, Opto 22 products are deployed worldwide in industrial automation, process control, building automation, industrial refrigeration, remote monitoring, and data acquisition applications. Designed and manufactured in the U.S.A., Opto 22 products have a worldwide reputation for ease-of-use, innovation, quality, and reliability. For over 40 years OEMs, machine builders, automation end-users, and information technology and operations personnel have and continue to trust Opto 22 to deliver high-quality products with superior reliability. The company was founded in 1974 and is privately held in Temecula, California, U.S.A.

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