Many manufacturers in food-and-beverage or automotive operations, to name but two, require a mix of discrete, batch, process and motion-control solutions, forcing them to use multiple controllers. They’ll use a PLC for discrete control, a motion controller for multi-axis control and a DCS or loop controller for process applications.
Advantech thinks dual-core processors can simplify that controller issue. The company has completely redesigned its APAX-5000 series of PACS to take advantage of the power of dual-core computer processing. "The APAX-5000 series inherits all the advantages of a modern PAC system," says John Wilhite, control and I/O product manager. "It integrates control, information processing and networking in a single platform. Moreover, by leveraging the latest in automation technology, it offers a unique system architecture that provides dual controllers for different tasks, the same I/O with different controllers, and flexible I/O expansion with changeable controllers, reducing installation time and expense and integration complexity."
The APAX-5000 series' design uses multiple processors to handle these tasks within a single control system. "APAX-5520CE is an economical, cost-effective PAC with a compact size," says Wilhite. "It has a WinCE-based control platform, a flexible I/O connection for easy wiring and 1-msec, real-time I/O access time. It supports Windows .Net class libraries and features a dual-CPU design to handle multi-function applications. It is an ideal PAC for use in sequence or process control machines or cell controllers."
For users requiring a high-performance PAC, such as those in non-machine-tool equipment or production lines, or who must combine control functions with audio or video recording, Wilhite says APAX-5570XPE will meet their needs. "It has a WinXP-based control platform, support for AMONet motion control and dual/triple CPU design for multi-function applications."
APAX-5520KW SoftLogic PAC system, adds Wilhite, features IEC61131-3 programming languages, dual-CPU architecture and can handle up to 32 PID loops with auto-tuning. "It combines the SoftLogic function with HMI functions," he says. "Applications include furnaces, batch processes, reactors and semiconductor manufacturing."
APAX-5070 ModBus/TCP remote I/O coupler is designed with fieldbus integration in mind. Wilhite says it can integrate easily with APAX I/O through the APAX fieldbus coupler, which can collect the data of the entire module. "At the same time, it acts as a fieldbus slave module to communicate with the controller directly," he adds. "Users need only configure the coupler. No programming is required." It supports Modbus/TCP, Ethernet/IP, ProfiNet, EtherCat and PowerLink. APAX-5070 includes flexible I/O connections for easy wiring, 1-msec I/O access, a daisy-chain design to save on wiring and a redundant RIO interface module.
Wilhite says APAX-5520CE and 5570XPE are available now. APAX-5520KW and 5070 ModBus/TCP coupler will be available in November.