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Frequently Asked Questions


How do you offer Modbus support?

We provide a special kernel that runs our logic engine to interface with the non-compliant hardware. When our kernel is installed, it also includes additional Modbus drivers for supporting Modbus/RTU as master or slave as well as Modbus/TCP slave and master. We also support Modbus/TCP via UDPs, recommended for even more performance.

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How does the Anchor IEC 61131 standard based software get downloaded into I/O brains which supports only flowchart programming?

The Modbus support is part of our kernel and directly supported via our Anchor Process Automation Workbench (AnchorPAW™), which has an IEC 61131-style ladder programming environment, supporting Modbus mapping of variables. These variables are then mapped on the brain and available for SCADA or other brains accessing these variables via Modbus/TCP, Modbus/RTU for either reading or writing.

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What skills are necessary for AnchorPAW™ and AnchorPLC™ users?

Users should be familiar with IEC 61131-3 control programming. Familiarity with other programming languages is beneficial to learning IEC 61131-3 languages.

What skills are necessary for AnchorCP™ users?

Familiarity with Cathodic Protection using rectifiers is necessary. There is no programming to do at all with this product.

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What skills are necessary for AnchorFLOW™ users?

Knowledge of AGA gas flow computing requirements is necessary. IEC 61131-3 control language programming skills are desirable if user desires additional features.

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What differentiates Anchor process control products from other such packages?

Anchor products offer instant code generation, a high speed compiler, efficient generated code, symbolic tag names, user defined function blocks, and an unlimited number of tasks. Additionally, the Company offers superior technical support.

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Do your products require a dedicated system?

For server based systems, no. Due to the low overhead requirements of our system, our products work quite well with higher overhead HMIs and application programs. AnchorPLC typically shares the server with the HMI server application. For Opto 22 RTUs, yes.

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How does your Logic package work in my environment?

From the Process Automation Workbench (AnchorPAW™) engineers develop control applications using IEC 61131-3 languages. Once applications are built, they are downloaded to target control nodes for execution and monitoring.

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How many points do you support?

Our products are available with various point count licenses. We offer systems with:
• 64 Variables
• 256 Variables
• 1024 Variables
• and Unlimited Variables.

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What is the smallest configuration your products require?

We run on Intel-based Windows NT platforms with 10 Meg disk space and 32 Meg memory. Of course, you will need more memory if you have other HMI products running on the same platform.

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What is IEC 61131-3?

The IEC 61131-3 standard is an international specification for five control languages. The IEC is the International Electrotechnical Committee constituted to standardize many international technical issues regarding the various aspects of control. Of the five control languages specified, three of the languages are graphical in nature while two are textual or script languages. These languages represent an international standard to provide an OPEN definition of control languages to support the development of automated control systems. The intent of these definitions is to provide a consistent control development environment to any control developer, regardless of the control vendor chosen. The IEC 61131-3 standard for control is equivalent to definitions in the operating system arena that resulted in the POSIX definition. Like the POSIX definition, IEC 61131-3 provides an OPEN standard, accepted internationally.

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What is ladder logic?

Ladder Logic is one of the IEC 61131-3 graphical languages. It is a graphical representation of logic originating from the hardware model of relay logic. The three main elements of Ladder Logic are:
• contact or Relay
• coil and
• special function block.
The connection of these elements together in a logic diagram represents a Ladder Logic program.

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What training options are available when I purchase an AnchorPAW/AnchorPLC package?

Our software comes with a detailed Help section which will get IEC 61131 trained users going. Training is available at the customer facility or in our Colorado offices in IEC 61131-3 Languages and Anchor softlogic instruction. Depending on experience levels, classes may be 1 to 5 days. Additionally, telephone conference call training is available.

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How much do your products cost?

Pricing depends on the number of variables desired and the number of development and runtime systems needed. Click here to request pricing information.

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Are evaluation versions of AnchorPAW, AnchorPLC, AnchorFLOW and AnchorCP available for download?

Yes, please e-mail us information about your application, your company and its products with your request for information on obtaining an evaluation version.

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How do I get a license when the evaluation version is expired?

You may call, e-mail, or fax us for a quote on the products and services you need. Then a purchase order or credit card information can be called, faxed, or mailed in and we will provide you with a software key.

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Does AnchorPAW work with Intellution, Citect, or other HMIs?

Yes. AnchorPLC for Opto provides Modbus/TCP and Modbus/RTU capability for high performance data exchange with these products. AnchorPLC also provides a direct interface to the Intellution database for additional performance.

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Does AnchorPAW provide an ST editor?

We recommend VIM, a language sensitive editor. Any text editor of your choice will create and modify structured text function blocks. AnchorPAW will find the functions if they are stored in the UserFunctions directory.

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How can I tell what is going on when my application is running in AnchorPLC?

AnchorPAW can monitor AnchorPLC global variables.

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I see tasks on the AnchorPAW configuration. What is a task?

AnchorPAW uses task constructs to tell AnchorPLC where to start program execution and how to prioritize routines. Each task represents a separate executing program in the AnchorPLC system.

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What logic elements can I use in an AnchorPAW?

AnchorPAW understands normally open and normally closed coils and relays, positive and negative transition sensing coils and relays, and set and reset coils. In addition you can write your own special function blocks in LD or ST.

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Can I operate on strings with AnchorPAW?

Yes. With its C-like structured text language elements, AnchorPAW enables you to manipulate strings up to 1024 bytes long.

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What do you mean by real-time control?

Real-time relates to performance, which varies according to the platform. For us real-time means servicing highest priority tasks first, so we provide pre-emptive multi-tasking. The system runs all tasks to completion in priority order.

Anchor software products - Logic at its best!
Reliable, Open, Affordable

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