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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: Re: EPICS training information
From: "Hartman, Steven M." <hartmansm@ornl.gov>
To: Mohamed Chaouechi <chaouechimed92@gmail.com>
Cc: EPICS Tech Talk <tech-talk@aps.anl.gov>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:31:52 +0000
> On Oct 12, 2017, at 10:32 PM, Mohamed Chaouechi <chaouechimed92@gmail.com> wrote:
> We currently doing a research about EPICS, how to communicate with EPICS, EPICS topologies, and EPICS implementation in PLC IOC based systems.
> As we are a group of students, and we are basically Electrical and Automation Engineers, the EPICS field is new for us, we have little knowledge about it.

In addition to Ned’s suggestion for the online training materials, an attempt to answer your questions . . .


> -How does ‘EPICS' create a control system (the definition says so , "EPICS provides a number of tools for creating a control system"), meanwhile, another important part of another definition says "PS: When installing EPICS, does not create a control system"!

EPICS is a toolkit. It provides the building blocks needed to build your specific control system by providing a runtime system and network protocol, plus device support to interface to hardware, and client tools for user interfaces. You will need to assemble these pieces to create a working control system. 

EPICS base (http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/base/index.php) gives you the client and server libraries, the runtime system (IOC), and network protocols. 

There is a wide variety of device support available to interface to various types of hardware. This list is by no means complete, but will give you an idea of some possibilities: http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/modules/manufacturer.php

For your client tools, you will want a graphical user interfaces (e.g., http://controlsystemstudio.org or http://epics.web.psi.ch/software/caqtdm/) and perhaps an archiver and an alarm handler. 


> -Do we , as Automation Engineering students , need to learn the algorithm and the programming procedure if we will be maybe implementing EPICS with automated systems ? 

If you are just getting started, you can build a simple EPICS-based system with only supervisory control, i.e., human writes a setpoint in the user interface and device support sets the hardware; device support reads hardware value and the user interface displays the value.  

To implement automation, you will need to learn more. Automation can be implemented within EPICS using IOC database logic or a sequencer application for example. Automation could also be implemented in a lower level such as a PLC, with EPICS using device support to pass values to a from the PLC. 


> -EPICS is about collaboration between People, Labs, sites, is it mandatory or it can be used for educational individual use, 

EPICS is Open Source: http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/license/index.php

You can use it for educational or individual use. Like other open source projects, the collaboration depends on users to contribute back to the project, but that is not a requirement to use it.

> if yes, what is the hardware needed for that.

The minimum hardware you need is a computer running a supported operating system and compiler. See for example, Platforms Supported: http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/base/R3-16/index.php

But to do anything interesting, you will need some hardware to control. Since you are just getting started, pick something with existing device support so that you do not need to write your own.  

> -What are the software needed basically to use EPICS, as we will be using software like S7PLC or EtherCAT ? 

There is existing device support for the Siemens S7 PLC:

http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/modules/manufacturer.php#Siemens

And for EtherCAT:

http://www.aps.anl.gov/epics/modules/bus.php#EtherCAT


Good luck,
-- 
Steven Hartman
hartmansm@ornl.gov






References:
EPICS training information Mohamed Chaouechi

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