The Productivity2000 automation controller has new hardware modules and the free Productivity Suite software has a bunch of new features to make your life easier. Check them out in this brief overview video.
In this video we’ll take a quick look at the new hardware modules available for the Productivity 2000 controller, and the new software features in version 2.1 of the Productivity Suite Software. The productivity 2000 now has a DC power supply. The original power supply was for 100 to 265 volt systems. This guy can take 24 Volts AC or 12-24Volts DC as an input which is awesome for all of your HVAC and low voltage or battery operated systems! The Discrete input modules now include 8 and 16 point DC only modules and there is also now a 32 point 24 volt AC/DC input module. The DC only modules have better signal characteristics and support a wider voltage range. The AC/DC modules are handy when you need the flexibility to support either voltage type. The new analog modules give you all the same analog functionality as the original modules, BUT at a price that is about 30% less than the original modules! What’s the difference? Well, for one, they’re lower resolution. They have a 13 bit input and 12 bit output instead of the 16 bit resolution of the original modules and we removed the fancy OLED display. And since all these new modules have the same form factor as the previous modules, all the same zip-link cables work with these modules too! On the software side, there are la bunch of new features that can make your life a whole lot easier. First, you can now color code the instruction boxes. Just right click on an instruction group to enable coloring for all groups. Each groups color is shown here so now you can quickly see which instructions are which and if you need to quickly to locate an instruction in a long listing, just change the color to something that will pop out. Now when you scroll through the ladder code it’s real easy to find. You can turn off the coloring by right clicking on any instruction group and unchecking this box. The HSI Module now supports a Programmable limit switch instruction. You just pick the channel you want to use on a given HSI module and specify a range of encoder values and which outputs should be on during that range. You could do all of this in ladder code yourself, but this instruction makes it so easy to do and it also presents all the information in a nice clean format so you can an see at a glance what is going on without having to decipher a bunch of ladder code. That makes your code more reliable and maintainable. Another new instruction is the Preset Table function. Again, you select the Channel and module but this time you say starting at this position turn on his output. Then at this position turn off this output. This function literally steps through these states – nothing happens if the encoder goes backwards for a while – this instruction will simply wait here until the encoder reaches the next position in this table to take action. If we go back and look at that Programmable Limit Switch instruction we saw a minute ago, anytime the encoder is between these values this output will be active – if the count leaves and comes back to within this range, then these outputs will respond. Compare that to the Table Preset Function where you literally walk through these steps in this order. It’s kinda like a DRUM instruction except the DRUM instruction uses time to move on to the next step and can control any 16 outputs – this Table Preset function uses an HSI input counter to decide when to move to the next step and can only control the 4 outputs provided on the HSI module. In automation we do a lot of packing bytes into words, bits into bytes and the unpacking them back out again to format data for different devices that have different needs and that can be a real pain. The good news is the Productivity Suite Software now supports instructions to do all of that for you. You can pack bytes and words into larger tags using the PKW instruction and unpack them using the UPW instruction You can now pack arrays of bytes into larger destination arrays using the PWA instruction and unpack them using this instruction. And you can now pack an array of bits into a larger destination array. All of these are super flexible so you can pack and unpack pretty much any combination of bits bytes and words in one instruction. Which saves you the time and effort of creating all of that yourself with rungs and rungs of ladder code. The new Productivity Suite also has added structure support for the Ethernet IP instruction which means you type one name here and the software creates all these standard tags for you automatically. I love that. And finally, in this new 2.1 version of the Productivity Suite software you can copy and paste GS Drives and EtherNet/IP devices. That’s great because so often we have multiple drives for example, and they all do the exact same thing. Before you had to go create each one individually. Now you just copy and paste and you are done. That’s awesome. And of course, this is software so there are always little things that need to be tweaked or cleaned up or fixed, so as usual you can see a list of exactly what has changed in this version of the software in the start menu, AutomationDirect, Productivity Suite Folder. The release notes in that folder has a list of all of the improvements and fixes in this release. If you have any questions please contact AutomationDirect’s Free award winning tech support during regular business hours. They will be happy to help you. And don’t forget the forums. There are lots of helpful folks there that love to share their years of experience. Just don’t post any questions intended for AutomationDirect’s support staff there, they don’t monitor the forums on a regular basis.