OI Consolidates PLC, I/O, Wiring

March 13, 2012
Eaton Releases Its XV Series of Operator Interface and CoDeSys into the North American Market

Traditionally, if you designed a machine with a PLC from one manufacturer, you'd have to use the software from that manufacturer. If a customer specified a different PLC brand, you'd be stuck making a software switch, too. But Controller Development System (CoDeSys) software, an IEC 61131-3 development system for controller applications, now is used by more than 300 suppliers to program their automation components, making it easier for machine OEMs and users to swap out devices as needed.

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Eaton has programmed devices with CoDeSys in Europe for close to a decade. Now that the software has gained momentum elsewhere, the company is releasing its XV Series of operator interface and CoDeSys into the North American market. The XV Series with CoDeSys removes the physical PLC, incorporates logic into the OI, and provides a single software package for control and visualization. By using the CoDeSys programming environment, the XV Series enables OEMs to lower costs, program their equipment faster and simplify integration.

The OI combines control, visualization and data management tasks into a single device. "It's a series of products that enable the end customer to make smaller, smarter machines and develop them faster," says Amy Beaudry, product manager at Eaton. "The XV Series with CoDeSys enables remote intelligence, eliminates entire device levels and makes complex wiring unnecessary for smaller, smarter machines."

What sets the latest version apart from its European predecessors is that the series also integrates directly with the Eaton SmartWire-DT system, which replaces control component wiring with a single cable, enabling more compact, cleaner panel design. The SmartWire-DT panel wiring solution eliminates the need to cut wires to length and attach them as with traditional cabinets, instead snapping in cleanly and quickly.

The SmartWire-DT system also sets the XV Series apart from competing systems that combine HMI and PLC, according to Rich Harwell, advanced solutions and connectivity manager for Eaton. "It becomes about smart points. It makes that combination all that much more powerful," he says, explaining that I/O modules are also eliminated from Eaton's OI. "We don't put I/O into the integrated system; we remove it altogether if possible. The combination is really unique."

Eaton touts it as lean automation. "You're not just saving the components and spending less, but also reducing the amount of time you spend in commissioning," Harwell says. "It saves configuration time and administration time, while providing remote access and diagnostic information at the device level."

The new XV Series has an optional integrated SmartWire-DT master, which eliminates the need for a gateway. The integrated SmartWire-DT option is available in the compact high-performance series with screen sizes ranging from 3.5 to 10.4 in. Additional communication options include RS-485, CANopen and Profibus-DP/MPI.

Eaton xSoft-CoDeSys-2 programming software is IEC 61131-3 compliant and used to program both the visualization and logic control in the XV Series. The SmartWire-DT system can also be configured with xSoft-CoDeSys-2 so that the visualization, logic and end devices are all conveniently programmed with a single software package.