The MKS Automation Platform provides a modular, scalable and configurable solution to meet your automation and control requirements. Designed to provide a complete automation solution to improve operational and productivity efficiencies, the Automation Platform enables faster implementations, provides lowest total cost of ownership, and improves utilization of existing tools and assets. Additionally, the provided MKS Controls Workbench (CWB) software application is a simple, customizable integrated solution for device configuration, process monitoring, data storage, system diagnostics and auto-tuning.
The Automation Platform can be configured to meet the needs of any automation application, ranging from those requiring simple I/O distributed over EtherCAT® or other control networks all the way up to applications requiring a fully programmable controller, supporting a standard IEC 61131-3 programming interface or a fieldbus master, running advanced data analytics. The platform can be customized providing an optimum automation solution in a number of different application areas, the most common categories and uses for the platform being:
MKS Programmable Automation Controllers (PAC) solutions merge the features of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and an Industrial Personal Computer (IPC) leveraging benefits such as industrial environments, open standards, system component networking, open software/programmability, flexibility and scalability, all in a modular, DIN rail mountable plastic enclosure. Compared to standard PLCs and IPCs, PACs provide a more compact, customizable, high performance, and cost effective programmable solution for your controls and automation tasks.
MKS Communication and Fieldbus Coupler Modules (CM) provide a compact, customizable, and cost effective solution for standalone manual control, data logging, or distributed I/O. The CM can be implemented as a standalone unit, supporting manual, remote control capabilities with the Controls Workbench application, with built in data logging and process monitoring, or with Labview. Alternatively, it can be implemented over a variety of fieldbuses (EtherCAT and Modbus TCP/IP) to support distributed I/O applications, where the CMs are integrated with a PLC or PAC, such as the PAC 1000.
The Automation Platform can be configured with a variety of MKS I/O modules, depending on the type of sensors, actuators, valves, and other devices that are integrated with the PAC or CM. The I/O modules communicate to the PAC or CM via the System Bus or EtherCAT, creating a scalable distributed I/O system, all from MKS.
Controls Workbench software is an integrated, customizable software application that is included with the MKS Automation Platform. The CWB is a central, powerful interface that provides users a simple, complete solution for device configuration along with the ability to view, data log, chart and export process data, perform manual process control, process troubleshooting, and advanced tuning of the MKS controllers (PAC 1000, PAC 100, Communications Module, MultiTherm 2000 and MultiTherm 1000).
The MKS Automation Platform supports a variety of programming environments, depending on user experience and requirements. The most common programming application for the MKS Automation Platform is the IEC61131-3 programming environment. The IEC61131-3 programming software allows users to create their programs and recipes in a global standard, IEC compliant programming environment. Recipes and projects can be created via a number of different or any combination of programming languages, creating an extremely flexible and capability programming environment. The programming interface supports developing a project using Ladder Logic, Structured Text, Function Block Diagrams, Instruction List, or Sequential Function Charts
Advanced Data Analytics: The Automation Platform can be configured to support the MKS SenseLink™ QM application, for real-time Multivariate Analytics for prediction and containment of process defects.
Design of Experiments (DoE) and Optimization Tools: The platform also leverages experience in DoE through MODDE software and process optimization and applies it to controls and automation.
Advanced Process Control Algorithms: Additionally, the platform also can be configured to support advanced control algorithms, supporting both MKS algorithms and third party algorithms. One example is the use of a Model Based Control (MBC) approach to provide significantly improved temperature control compared to common PID control.
Seamless Integration with MKS Devices and Instruments: MKS has designed custom I/O modules for direct interface to various MKS instruments including Pressure Gauges, Mass Flow Controllers, Valves, and Gas Analysis solutions. As a result, the Automation Platform provides significant benefits including ease of use and faster time to market when implemented with other MKS subsystems and instruments. Additionally, the IEC61131-3 programming environment comes equipped with existing libraries and function blocks specifically developed for a variety of MKS devices.
Training and Systems Integration Testing: MKS provides advanced remote and onsite training programs to support all aspects of integrating and implementing our Automation Platform. With 20 customer support centers and 15 manufacturing facilities, MKS has the knowledge and presence to support you on a global level. Additionally, MKS provides advanced integrated testing, which can be extremely valuable in applications where the solution combines sensors (MFCs, pressure gauges, valves, etc.), automation and controls, analytics, etc.