FAQ

Process control applications (UNICOS CPC)

  • What is UNICOS CPC?

UNICOS stands for Unified Control System and CPC stands for Continuous Process Control.  There are many definitions of Continuous processes but basically they are those industrial processes in which a material is produced in a continuous way. Clear examples of those are petrochemical, water treatment, or just simply in the CERN environment: cooling, ventilation, cryogenics, gas treatment,...

  • What do I need to start creating a UNICOS CPC applications?

If you have read the documentation and tutorials then you're ready to develop your application. Please proceed with the UAB (UNICOS Application Builder) download. This is the tool to create the application and start developing. All what you need in terms of components will be downloaded to your PC in the project folder.

  • Difficult to start by reading documents, could I follow a UNICOS CPC course?

There is a official CERN training course available. Please go to the training page and sign in.  

  • I would like to have up to date information about the UNICOS CPC framework. Is there any list to follow?

There is a list of UNICOS-CPC developers. Please inscribe to the list to receive the latest news of releases and new futures: UNICOS developpers e-group

  • I have downloaded the UAB (UNICOS Application Builder) and already created an application. Where I find the components to use in the PLC, touch panels and in the supervision machine?

When you created the application all the needed packages where downloaded to the folder <projet name>\Baseline\ 

  • In my project I have a doubt about what PLC to use, is there any standardization?

Indeed, there is and this goes beyond the use of UNICOS. At CERN, we have two standard PLC suppliers: Siemens and Schneider. Either one or the other may be used, both can be deployed when using UNICOS, the choice depends on many factors. If you still have a doubt do not hesitate to contact with the plc support to get advice on the choice. There is a predefined list of material to chose for the CPUs, I/O and communication cards.

Specifications: creating the specs in the xls/xml file

  • Is there any rule to follow when creating SPARE devices?

We advice to use spares devices of all the types used in your application. This will allow to gain in flexibility in terms of online modifications.
There is nothing special about the name to use with the expection of introducing the keyword "SPARE" in the description. This will allow to skip these devices from the configuration of the long term archiving of the application. 
Concerning the name a few best practices to follow:
(1) Introduce the type of the device in the name: e.g. QSDN_4_AIR3
(2) Use the I/O channel inside the name (case of I/O objects): e.g. QSDN_4_PIW110  (to show the real Input channel)

Issues during operation and/or commissioning

  • My project is running fine, but there is a new UNICOS WinCC OA core package, should I upgrade my project?

This depends on you and your project availability. In general all the package versions at the supervision level (WinCC OA) are backwards compatible. You can download the corresponding package from the download pages or just open the UAB tool, upgrade your project and find the component in the <projet name>\Baseline\ folder.

  • I have deployed everything (PLC + SCADA) and now I do not have any communication between my PLC and the SCADA, where I should look at to find the issue?

This can be due to several factors, but likely if you configured properly the communications at the project description, you may have a problem with the time value. Check the log of the SCADA, if you find something like "PVSS00event - PARAM/WARNING - Source time outside valid limits (resource: validTimeDiff)" then you may have the PLC time wrongly configured. Go to the PLC and set the time of the PLC, it must be UTC time (1 hour less in winter time and 2 hours less in summer time for projects running in the Paris time). A better option is to configure the PLC as taking the time from an NTP server in your network, if you have it available.

New package creation

  • What do I need to create a new UNICOS package?

    This is a development for advanced users. Please contact to the official support to start this task with the appropriate support and information.

CERN Support

Drop an email to the hotline mail: ICEcontrols.support@cern.ch
 

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