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Control Simplicity, Flexibility

May 8, 2012
Controller Suppliers Offer Ease and Flexibility at Lower Costs

Manufacturers increasingly demand more flexible machines that are able to switch jobs easily and expand with growing business. Controllers of all kinds are focused on increased flexibility, as well as simplicity.

Although the market is flooded with configurable safety controllers that can get the job done, flexibility is difficult to come by at a low cost, according to Helge Hornis, manager of the Intelligent Systems Group at Pepperl+Fuchs. "Most of the higher-end solutions are too complex and costly for all but the largest and most difficult applications, while low-end controllers lack the necessary flexibility to adapt when application requirements change, even just a little," he says. "And no matter how well a system is planned out, things happen and needs change."

Pepperl+Fuchs has created programmable safety controllers that make it easier to add safe inputs and outputs as needed, Hornis says.

Omron Scientific Technologies (STI) has also focused on simplifying safety control, creating software-based standalone controllers that aren't hardwired into the control system. "Users will benefit from previously unavailable levels of safety system flexibility by quickly and easily reconfiguring the unit when new safety features are added to their setup," says Kenji Kawasaki, product manager at Omron STI.

Eaton has been adding Controller Development System (CoDeSys) software to more of its North American products to help increase the level of flexibility, including its latest PLCs. The CoDeSys development software is an open programming environment, notes Richard Chung, product manager. The controllers provide flexible, scalable design, so they are able to create custom automation systems, he adds.

Compact Controller   
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.
Phoenix Contact
L of a Controller   
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 for positioning and high-speed counter functions. They have a CC-Link V2 master/local station for connection to the powerful open field network. iQ Works software suite includes Melsoft Navigator network configuration setup.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation
(847) 478-2100
Scalable XC controllers with Controller Development System (CoDeSys) software include XC100 with an integrated CANopen interface, and 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.
(877) 386-2273
PC Integrated With DrivE   
APC820 integrates drive and PC with Core 2 Duo processors and, with Smart Display Link, up to 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
(770) 772-0400
Power of the Atom   
CX5000 PAC uses Intel Atom technology to deliver up to 1.6 GHz processing power in a magnesium housing. DIN-rail-mountable, it has a fanless design with a maximum power loss of 12.5 W. CX5010 is equipped with a 1.1 GHz Intel Atom processor, and CX5020 features a 1.6 GHz processor.
Beckhoff Automation
(952) 890-0000
Fast in Any Language   
Vitesse FA-M3 PLC has an onboard Ethernet port and USB port, and communications include Modbus TCP/IP devices via Ethernet as well as programming and remote operation, maintenance and engineering (OME). With the SD memory card slot, it is possible to automatically log data in a trace setting file that can be used to troubleshoot.
(800) 888-6400
A3200 MotionPAC software-based PLC is integrated with A3200 motion controller to increase programming efficiency and decrease development time. It can be used independently for full machine control or in conjunction with AeroBasic programs, and complies with IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen. Users can program in ladder diagrams (LD), function block diagrams (FBD) or structured text (ST).
(412) 967-6854
Fast Way for Data   
Machine-mount Speedway 767-2301 Ethernet programmable controller links the IP67 I/O system to Ethernet networks with high-speed processing up to 1,000 instructions in 150 µs. Via USB or Ethernet, the controller offers CoDeSys 3 programming, FDT/DTM configuration and firmware update execution.
(800) din-rail
Batteries Not Included   
CompactLogix 5370 programmable automation controllers (PACs) include the 5370 L1, L2 and L3 controllers and, when used with Kinetix 350 servo drives, handle up to 16 axes of complex motion on EtherNet/IP. Batteryless energy storage eliminates maintenance, transportation and environmental issues associated with lithium batteries.
Rockwell Automation
(414) 328-2000
Custom Options   
NI Single-Board RIO board-level embedded devices have a real-time processor, Spartan-6 FPGA, analog and digital I/O and built-in peripherals for custom embedded control and monitoring. The devices provide off-the-shelf FPGA and real-time processor technology using LabView while keeping the custom I/O through the option of a RIO mezzanine card connector that provides direct access to FPGA digital input/output lines and certain processor-specific functions.
National Instruments
(800) 258-7022

Software-based G9SP programmable safety controllers have a range of I/O options, and four types of expansion I/O units are available for hardwired diagnosis or standard signals. They deliver diagnostics and monitoring via Ethernet or serial connection, and support direct connection with non-contact switches and safety mats. They are DIN-track-mountable, and use 24 Vdc power.
Omron STI
(800) 479-3658
Soft Upgrades   
Smart SoftPLC and Smart Gateway support up to two channels of A-B remote I/O protocol. As a remote I/O master, users can upgrade A-B PLCs without replacing or rewiring I/O, by exchanging the PLC CPU with a Smart SoftPLC. Users can reuse most or all existing logic and program documentation with automated conversion utilities.
(800) softplc
Control the Variables   
Universal 535 ¼ DIN, single-loop, PID controller monitors and controls temperature, pressure, level, flow and other analog variables. It provides an isolated analog control signal; some models have alarm trip outputs; and optional RS-485 communications interface with digital DCS, PLC and PC-based SCADA systems.
Moore Industries
(818) 894-7111
Drive Support
CPX-CMXX module for synchronous and coordinated motion 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.
(800) 993-3786
Multi-Task Control
MultiCell Type 8619 multi-channel controller for water treatment, food and pharmaceutical applications can be used for control tasks, such as regulation of pH, dosing of chemicals and ratio control. The controller is factory set to the application and customer specifications. Standard version includes user interface, mainboard and ac adapter, two analog and digital outputs, and two digital inputs.
Bürkert Fluid Control Systems
(949) 223-3100
Big Mac
NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller (MAC) integrates multiple, specialized controllers—motion, logic, sequence, vision, operator safety and RFID tracking—with system synchronization. Sysmac Studio software integrated development environment (IDE) supports programming, configuration, simulation and monitoring, all accessed by one connection to EtherNet/IP for factory automation information, and to EtherCAT for real-time machine control for motion, vision, sensors and actuators.
Omron Industrial Automation
(866) 88-omron
Under Control   
PMC-2HSP Series has linear/circular/arc interpolation support, independent two-axis controlling with speed to 4 Mpps max, dedicated programming tool support, and synchronous controlling possible with RS-485/Modbus RTU.
(847) 680-8160
Versatile Safety   
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 allows any safe device with dry contacts or electronic safe outputs to be used. Removable terminals simplify installation and field service. An intuitive drag-and-drop application interface makes it easy to configure complex safety operations.
(330) 486-0001
Together as One   
APAX-5000 has two standalone CPU modules working together: one provides computing power for HMI/SCADA, recipe, database and communication tasks; the other is for SoftLogic I/O tasks. The same I/O processing program can be stored on two controllers; one will execute the I/O processing and if that controller fails, the second controller will automatically cut in within 1.5 s.
(800) 205-7940
Major League Controls   
MLC motion logic controller with Version 10 firmware is based on a 1 GHz PAC platform that supports real-time Ethernet communication on Ethernet platforms, including SERCOS III, EtherNet/IP and Profinet for interfacing with connecting controls, drives, I/Os, safety, HMI, web and machine-to-machine synchronization.
Bosch Rexroth
(630) 654-0170
Connect Away   
MicroSmart Pentra PLC allows up to 14 connections at the same time. Users configure the controller to communicate with PCs through WindLDR programming software, a standard web browser, Modbus TCP Client/Server protocol and HMIs.
(800) 262-4332
Control to Go   
CVC600 vehicle controller for improving AGV control is based on industry-standard technology that can handle any vehicle, wheel configuration and navigation technology, including laser, spot, range, EyeWay, magnetic tape or inductive wire. CVC600 has support for WLAN, LAN, CAN, RS-232/422/485 communication.
(540) 467-3086
Control the Heat   
CN730 Series ¼ DIN temperature controller has a dual display and programming menus. Functions include on/off, PID, auto or manual tuning. It accepts a variety of thermocouple and RTD inputs, and process value and set-point value are displayed simultaneously with the process value in red and set point in green.
Omega Engineering
(203) 359-1660
PACs a Snap    
Snap-PAC-R1-W is a rack-mounted programmable automation controller with 802.11a/b/g networking, two independent 10/100 Mbps wired interfaces for standard Ethernet, and one RS-232 serial port. All communications interfaces can be used simultaneously. The controller provides communication, I/O processing, remote monitoring and data acquisition functions, and is fully integrated with all other Snap PAC system components.
Opto 22
(951) 695-3000
Added Functions   
Firmware version 2.0 for the Simatic S7-1200 CPUs adds Profinet IO controller functionality, and implements communication with Profinet IO devices. An integral web server with user-defined web pages lets users call up CPU information and process data using a standard web browser. Data archiving is integrated.
Siemens Industry
(800) 333-7421
Dry Sense of Control   
HEC-HMI PLCs have a sealed, watertight enclosure with gland connectors, and an operating range of -40 to 80 °C. I/O provides six 8–32 Vdc inputs and two analog inputs field-configurable to 0–20 mA or 0–5 Vdc and available in 10- or 15-bit resolution. There are a total of six digital outputs. Four are rated to 4 A with automatic over-current safety and programmable status monitoring.
(800) 245-2327
The I/O You Want   
FMD88-10 PLC with eight digital inputs, eight digital outputs and 10 analog I/Os; and FMD1616-10 with 16 digital inputs, 16 digital outputs and 10 analog I/Os both have an I/O expansion port, LCD interface, RS-232 and RS-485 serial ports, and an Ethernet port.
Triangle Research
(778) 297-1775
CAN-Do Automation   
QCI-D2-MG-C and QCI-D2-IG-J controllers support CANopen. These controllers provide 3.5 A continuous and 4.5 A peak output at 12–48 V. CANopen communications protocol allows the unit to function as a master, slave or peer on a CANopen network, and operates simultaneously and independently from the standard serial protocols.
QuickSilver Controls
(888) 660-3801
Proficy Machine Edition 6.5 universal development environment can import and export control logic in XML, allowing users to maintain control strategies in standardized XML format and selectively import logic blocks to create a complete project. It can interface with external programming and design tools that generate control codes in XML. Users design in a third-party development tool and import the XML logic.
GE Intelligent Platforms
(800) 433-2682

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