B&R Industrial Automation addressed this need with the introduction of X20 DIN-rail-mount slice I/O modules to the U.S. market in January, 2005. The modules operated as a controller when connected to an external CPU such as the company’s Power Panel series and EC21 CPUs.
Now the company introduces the DIN-rail-mount, modular X20 System CPUs and Compact CPUs to the U.S. market, to make a complete X20 control solution. An assembly consisting of an X20 CPU and X20 I/O modules can be mounted and removed as a unit from the mounting rail. The new CPUs feature Intel Celeron 650/400 performance and are completely compatible with all other B&R controllers.
The connections for the backplane and for the I/O supply are part of the bus module. The same connections are located on the right side of the CPU, so that X20 I/O modules can be connected easily. A power supply integrated in the CPU with I/O supply terminals provides power for the backplane and I/O sensors and actuators, eliminating the need for additional system components. “With a direct I/O connection to an X20 CPU, you get all the advantages of the remote backplane, such as the ability to repeatedly place I/O line sections anywhere within 100 m using a cable, or to add modules with IP67 protection,” says John Roberts, B&R’s distribution sales manager.
Every CPU has an Ethernet Powerlink connection for real-time communication. The ability to directly connect axes is integrated. Although most demands can be handled by the standard CPU, there are up to three multipurpose slots for additional interface modules. Because the X20 CPU was designed to be installed on a mounting rail inside a switching cabinet, B&R says up to 250 X20 I/O modules—3,000 channels--can be connected directly.
The X20 CPUs achieve cycle times of 200 µs. Thanks to ultra-low-voltage Celeron design, the processors maintain high computing performance with very-low power consumption. “64 MB of RAM in the System CPU, for nearly unrestricted application freedom is complemented by battery-buffered nonvolatile SRAM for task-specific data and remanent variables,” says Roberts. “In the event of a power outage, the variables that have been declared as remanent are automatically copied from fast RAM to the secure SRAM.” The data content remains intact until the controller is restarted, and the process resumes. A slot for CompactFlash cards also is integrated in the system for saving programs or application data such as recipes.
The X20 CPUs are equipped with two independent Fast Ethernet interfaces. One RJ45 connection is set up for TCP/IP communication such as HMI in terminal mode, and the second provides optimal support for Ethernet Powerlink for axis and I/O connections in true real-time. There are two additional ports available for USB devices including additional mass memory. An RS232 port also is available.
Celeron 400 and 650 processors can operate nearly maintenance-free without a fan, but the Celeron 650 can be fitted with a fan for unrestricted use over the entire 0-55 °C temperature range.
“Someone who sees the 37.5-mm-wide CPU for the first time might think it’s a fieldbus connector instead of a high-performance automation machine,” says Anton Meindl, business manager for PLCs, fieldbuses and I/O systems at B&R. “While less powerful than our PC-based CPUs, Compact CPUs are ideal for millisecond range cycle times. A range of models with CAN and Ethernet can adapt optimally to all demands.”
All X20 CPUs have at least two things in common, concludes Meindl. “They have deterministic multitasking capability and the ability to be programmed with B&R Automation Studio using all primary EN 61131-3 languages as well as ANSI C,” he states. “One tool for all platforms is put to good use in the real world. A more economical way to create software just does not exist. Integrated visualization, NC and soft CNC functions and web server technologies complete the range of useful features.”
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