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Thinfilm helps Hopsy deliver smart beer to craft brew market ••• Confidex unveils secure RFID label with NXP Ucode DNA chip ••• Genesis Health System implements RFID-enabled nurse-call system ••• Turck says new ARGEE technology can help factories simplify RFID integration ••• Beacons set to drive coupon redemption, according to Juniper Research ••• United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust deploys RTLS.
By Beth Bacheldor

Turck Says New ARGEE Technology Can Help Factories Simplify RFID Integration

Turck has announced a new technology called ARGEE (A Really Great Engineering Environment) that can help engineers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and solution providers integrate RFID technology into automation and manufacturing equipment. ARGEE is a Web-based programming environment that lets users set conditions and actions directly at the field level, and that empowers manufacturers to add logic to compatible I/O devices without a PLC, by turning such devices into field logic controllers (FLCs).

In a white paper, Turck describes how FLC technology can add RFID functionality to a company's production line. FLC allows engineers to add read-write capabilities to any I/O block. Turck cites the example of an RFID application that moves a packed box once it is filled to capacity with 12 RFID-tagged parts. A light needs to be switched on in order to signal when a box is full. With FLC, that functionality can be programmed directly to the block. Each time a tagged product passes a sensor, the FLC technology logs the value. Once the total value equals 12, the light activates for a set time, and the counter restarts.

Turck FLC technology, powered by ARGEE
PLCs have been the device of choice for automating and controlling machine operation, making them the head of automated processes, issued by Turck. But engineers have recently begun asking why they need to invest in a PLC, Turck reports, since they can be expensive and require dedicated software. The FLC, a new category of control that brings logic programming to the device level, is a viable option, Turck adds. By taking advantage of ARGEE on Turck's multiprotocol Ethernet I/O devices, manufacturers can realize field logic controllers.

FLCs benefit small to mid-size OEMs and manufacturers looking to add logic without investing in a PLC. An FLC can perform all logic as a standalone application without a PLC, and can also serve as a back-up to the PLC. If the FLC loses communication with the PLC, the FLC can take over and either shut down or maintain the process. Finally, the two can work together, with the FLC monitoring an application and sending defined variables and updates back to the PLC.

The ARGEE environment is accessible via an HTML5-compatible Web browser, eliminating the need for the complex third-party software or licensing common with PLCs. Inside the ARGEE environment, users can set condition and action statements to be carried out by the I/O device. The application's intuitive design includes a flow chart—similar to ladder logic—which allows for easy programming by users of all experience levels.

ARGEE technology is standard in all Turck multiprotocol Ethernet I/O devices.

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