Preferred way of duplicating Freelance FBDs
I'm asking for input on how to duplicate existing FBD logic the best™ way, a recommended workflow so to speak. The environment is Freelance Engineering or Control Builder F, respectively (we use v9.1 and will upgrade to 2016 soon).
The problem I'm trying to solve is as follows. Suppose you have several instances of e.g. a VFD like Danfoss FC300 series, connected by bus. Normally I'd first create a slave object, variables, a program etc. for *one* drive and develop/test until I'm satisfied.
Then, let there be 10 other identical drives for which I'd have to create an identical program -- not really identical however, since the bus address, variable names etc differ, often only by one character.
Copying the FBD sheet itself is done quickly; the variables and MSR places too. The biggest time factor is renaming all variables inside the copied program. For instance, if I've got two data words (status/control word) being (un)packed to/from single bits, yielding 32 variables that need to be renamed manually. This is quite a time factor, to say nothing of many possibilities for errors.
Alas, there's no search/replace inside FBD editor. I also tried using structured variables -- unfortunately they cannot be used as in-/outputs to UFBs. Exporting, searching/replacing with a text editor and re-importing seems to be of doubtful reliability to me.
I'd be grateful for any insights/ideas on how to tackle this task more efficiently.
Thanks and best regards
Voted best answer
Have You tried using Bulk Data Manager? It's part of Freelance bonus pack, that allows exporting a Project Tree Object into Excel, duplicating it multiple times with name replacement and reimporting it back to the project - all packed in controlled enviroment of sessions, name checking etc.
See 2PAA105801 Engineering Manual - Bulk Data Manager for more info on how to use BDM.
Hope this helps,
Source: 2PAA105801 Engineering Manual - Bulk Data Manager