The latest influences on the design of programmable controllers go beyond the ever-present need for faster and more powerful processing.
"That means integration of Ethernet and protocols, integrated support of some IT functionality, more memory on the controller itself for data logging, and easier handling of web-based HMIs," says Dan Fenton, product marketing specialist for Phoenix Contact. "In addition, software is beginning to matter more, as IEC 61131 is becoming more important in customer specifications, in particular for openness and flexibility."
Remote machine connectivity is becoming more important, whether for an OEM/SI to reduce maintenance/travel costs, or for the end user to reduce downtime/improve logistics," adds Cindy Hollenbeck, vice president sales/marketing at SoftPLC. "Low-cost, M2M cellular plans and cloud-based technology are making remote connectivity almost a no-brainer in terms of cost."
"For the past few years, the market has pushed on physically downsizing PLCs and other control components," argues Charlie Norz, product manager at Wago. "Fortunately, advances in board-level electronics enable PLC power and capabilities to grow. Our Ethernet 2.0 PLC line up mirrors this trend as each PLC is up to five times smaller than conventional devices."
Paul Marsden, global technology manager for HMI at Kontron, says total sales of industrial PCs are projected to rise to an estimated $3.8 billion by 2016, which equates to a 8.5% CAGR. "Market trends demonstrate the replacement of analog resistive displays for projected capacitive touch displays, Windows XP being displaced by Windows 7, a rapid removal of legacy products, a rise in system reliability and reduced costs of ownership," Marsden says.
"Builders of standalone machines want world-class micro PLCs with flexible, 'just-enough' control that helps them differentiate their machines from the competition," argues Thomas Sugimoto, product marketing manager for Micro800 at Rockwell Automation. "But those PLCs must be economical from a holistic perspective. Machine builders know better than anyone the true, total cost of designing, developing and delivering machines. Their holistic perspective includes flexible hardware configurations, like USB; up to six serial ports and Ethernet for communications; up to 3-axes of embedded motion; plug-ins and 2085 expansion for I/O USB; and single programming software that eases installation, configuration, connectivity and maintenance."
PLC Professional Training Box is a tool for learning ladder logic programming in realistic applications. The ladder logic language is very similar among different brands of PLCs and the WinProLadder development environment is similar to RSLogix. It contains FBs-24MCT main unit, FBs-CM25E Ethernet module, digital input socket, simulated switches and digital output socket.
Snap-PAC-S1 programmable automation controller (PAC) communicates with remote Ethernet I/O and supports Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU/ASCII, EtherNet/IP, BACnet and OptoMMP. Free PAC control programming software is included.
IndraLogic XLC (eXtended Logic Control) PLCs use planning, configuration, programming and diagnostic functions standardized in one engineering environment, with motion control functions integrated. It connects into different communication networks via sercos III real-time and other common interfaces. Functions include convenient editor tools, object orientation as an extension to IEC 61131-3, and comprehensive function libraries, as well as fast compilers for efficient generation of machine codes.
Compact rack-style Model 5300 PAC with up to 512 I/O and 16 axes of advanced motion control and data logging can be used standalone, or can be networked via its serial and LAN connections. Built-in web server provides Internet or intranet access fast. Programming is handled in QuickBuilder state language, or advanced applications can use C/C++.
Universal 535 ¼ DIN, single-loop PID process controller monitors and controls temperature, pressure, level, flow and other analog variables. It provides an isolated analog (4-20 mA or 0-20 mA) control signal output and alarm trip outputs that can be used for on/off control or to warn of unwanted conditions.
TCN Series temperature controllers have dual preset indicators, newly developed PID control algorithm and 100 ms high-speed sampling. They have eight types of input sensors, built-in relay output or SSRP output selectable, and 2EA alarm outputs. SSRP output makes phase control and cycle control possible (AC power).
VAS-2A8L-KE4-8SE programmable safety controller provides four redundant safe inputs and two independent safe electronic outputs. It runs on standard 24 Vdc, and works with any safe device with dry contacts or electronic safe outputs. Removable terminals simplify installation and field service. An intuitive drag-and-drop application interface makes it easy to configure complex safety operations.
Apax-5620 with Intel XScale PXA270 CPU supports Microsoft Visual Studio .Net for PC-based users to develop applications. Two CAN bus interfaces support CANopen stack, and two RS-485 ports connect to remote I/O devices and support up to 32 I/O modules. It’s compatible with IEC-61131-3 based Multiprog KW languages and supports WinCE.
Advantech Industrial Automation
Smart SoftPLC and Smart Gateway support two channels of A-B remote I/O. As a remote I/O master, users can upgrade A-B PLCs by exchanging the PLC CPU with a Smart SoftPLC. Users can reuse most existing logic and program documentation with automated conversion utilities.
Ethernet 2.0 750-885 PLC has two redundant networks backed by dual, independent Ethernet interfaces and 1MB of data memory. SD Card provides up to 32 GB of memory for back-up-and-restore, file transfer and time-stamping/data-logging. Via SD Card, users can transfer programs, bootfiles and parameters from PLC to PLC. Extended Temperature variant (-20 to 60 °C) is available; all 750-885 models carry UL 508.
OmniClient runs real-time control and visualization simultaneously on one computer. It uses an Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor, and includes WiFi, Bluetooth and RFID. It's shock and vibration resistant, thermally stable, has an IP65 front panel, and is EMC compliant.
Ensemble Lab control platform, with 64-bit, floating point DSP to automate laboratory and light industrial manufacturing applications, includes full-color, touchscreen display and tabbed interface for single-press access to setup and operation screens. It is programmed in readable Basic-like syntax, off-line with a graphical user interface in Windows.
Do-more H2 Series PLC supports all base units with discrete and analog I/O modules available for the DL205 PLC. The CPUs offer four times more program memory, nine times more data memory, and operate up to 20 times faster than current DL205 CPUs. The I/O configuration window performs auto-discovery of all I/O modules in the local base, simplifying configuration.
Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 PLCs have embedded motion capabilities for three axes of motion. Micro850 has same form factor, plug-in support, instruction/data size and motion capabilities as the 24-pt and 48-pt Micro830 controllers, but with Ethernet and expansion I/O. Micro850 controller has an embedded Ethernet port for higher performance connectivity to HMIs, and supports up to four 2085 expansion I/O modules.
ILC 1x1 compact controllers for small to medium-sized systems support Modbus TCP, have an SD card slot to increase flash memory to 2 GB, and include PC Worx Suite 1.70, Project+ I/O configurator, WebVisit programming software and ReSy+/AX ODP Server remote control solution.
CX2000 embedded PCs have multi-core processors for multi-axis machinery and powerful graphical interfaces. Basic CPU module has one DVI port, four USB ports and two independent Ethernet ports. Fieldbus master and slave implementations are possible for EtherCAT (slave), Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Profibus, CANopen and DeviceNet, as well as serial RS232/RS422/RS485.
RIO-47142 Pocket PLC includes an internal switch with two Ethernet ports for daisy-chaining multiple RIO units. Each RIO unit is self-contained, and provides 32 optically isolated digital inputs and outputs and 16 analog inputs and outputs. The controller can be programmed using company’s standard two-letter language. Software is available for converting relay Ladder Logic into code for input into the RIO controller.
Galil Motion Control
AKD PDMM combines a multi-axis motion controller, complete IEC61131-3 soft PLC, EtherCAT master and AKD servo drive in a single, compact package to reduce panel space and simplify wiring and integration, while increasing flexibility, scalability and performance. Device is fully programmable through KAS Integrated Development Environment, and solution is scalable from a single axis to 128 axes with a single controller.
Simatic S7-1217C controller for the high-end performance range has line driver inputs and outputs to switch stepping motor controls. New firmware v 4.0 supports all S7-1200 CPUs, and provides Profinet iDevice functionality and extended access protection.
NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller (MAC) integrates multiple, specialized controllers with system synchronization. Sysmac Studio software integrated development environment (IDE) supports programming, configuration, simulation and monitoring.
Omron Automation and Safety
APC820 integrates drive and PC with Core 2 Duo processors. With Smart Display Link, four automation panels can be connected over a distance of up to 160 m. Real-time communication between APC820, I/Os and drives via Powerlink achieves cycle times to 200 µs and ultra-precise timing <1 µs.
B&R Industrial Automation
Scalable XC controllers with Controller Development System (CoDeSys) software include XC100 with an integrated CANopen interface; XC200 with an integral web server and Ethernet interface; plus RS-232 interface and CANopen fieldbus. Up to 15 XI/OC local expansion modules can be connected to each PLC, and each module has 32 I/O.
L Series PLCs have rack-free design, single-CPU architecture with built-in Ethernet and Mini-USB interfaces, SD/SDHC memory card slot and 24 I/O. CC-Link V2 master/local station connects the open field network. iQ Works software suite includes Melsoft Navigator network configuration setup.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation
NI Single-Board RIO embedded devices have a real-time processor, Spartan-6 FPGA, analog and digital I/O and built-in peripherals for custom control and monitoring. Off-the-shelf FPGA and processor use LabView, while keeping the custom I/O through a RIO mezzanine card connector for direct access to FPGA digital input/output lines and certain processor-specific functions.
CPX-CMXX module supports two groups of four axes; individual axis movements and multi-axis synchronous or coordinated motion can be controlled via CAN bus. A variety of drives are supported.Connectivity is via Profibus, EtherNet/IP and Profinet.
MultiCell Type 8619 multi-channel controller can be used for regulation of pH, dosing of chemicals and ratio control. The controller is factory set to customer specifications. Standard version includes user interface, mainboard and ac adapter, two analog and digital outputs, and two digital inputs.
Bürkert Fluid Control Systems