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How SPLat works: FastTrack programming

How SPLat works: FastTrack programming

One of the innovations we are most proud of in SPLat is FastTrack programming.

SPLat contains a rich and diverse repertoire of over 400 instructions.Coupled with large program memory capacities and advanced onboard hardware resources, that gives you the ability to implement a wide range of very sophisticated applications using SPLat.

Many applications, however, are straight forward timing and sequencing tasks with the simplicity of say a dish-washer controller. FastTrack programming lets you program these less ambitious applications without having to learn 400 instructions. FastTrack is a carefully devised subset of only 14 instructions that gives you enough programming capability to implement a huge range of simple machine sequencing tasks.

Below is an example of a simple but realistic program written using FastTrack. The application is a clutch operated 'full cycle' flywheel punch press with an ejector for finished parts and a strip steel feeder for raw material.
 
The press has a clutch, and is arranged such that each activation of the clutch causes the press to go one complete cycle and punch out one part. The press has two limit switches. One detects the 'down' position, actually just past the point where the part has been punched out. The other limit switch detects when the press has returned to the home position, when the clutch should be deactivated.
 
The ejector is a pneumatic mechanism that simply needs a 200mS 'on' pulse to operate.
 
The steel strip raw material is fed in through a pneumatically operated feeder mechanism. The feeder has a single solenoid to activate it and a proximity switch that senses the material and indicates the feed cycle is complete.
 
The purpose of this program is to automatically sequence the press, the ejector and the feeder.
 

Sample FastTrack program

Roll your mouse over each line of code in turn to display an explanation.

Step1:  On       Press
        WaitOn   DoneLimitSwitch
        On       Ejector
        Pause    20
        Off      Ejector
        WaitOn   UpLimitSwitch
        Off      Press
        On       Feeder
        WaitOn   FeedSwitch
        Off      Feeder
        Goto     Step1

Press:  oEQU     5

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The above example is a simple program that performs only one task. With the introduction of MultiTrack in December 2005, you can now extend this simple programming method to having several virtually independent programs running at the same time in the one SPLat controller, but able to coordinate their actions as required.