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Well-Connected Graphical Controller

Aug. 13, 2003
Xycom's GLC2000

To survive during these years of economic struggle, the average manufacturing company has been running a very lean operation. The story has been do more with less, and do it better than before.

This burden has fallen just as heavily on industrial machine builders. For machine control system designers, one of the keys to cutting costs while still providing superior performance has been to find simplified, more comprehensive product solutions. The more integrated the package, the easier installation and configuration should be. That also should make for easier diagnosis and troubleshooting of problems. And it should mean a lower-cost job.

Xycom Automation has a product enhancement aimed squarely at these goals. The company announced the inclusion of DeviceNet Master capability for the GLC2000 Series of all-in-one human machine interface and controllers.

The GLC2000, a mix of HMI and logic controller, now has a DeviceNet option for I/O support. This new module allows the GLC2000 Series to control the widely used and popular DeviceNet I/O network. In the past, the GLC2000 was limited to Xycom parent Pro-face's brand of Flex Network I/O. Now I/O is available from hundreds of manufacturers in multiple formats.

GLC2000 Series units are available in 5.7-in. monochrome or TFT color LCD, and 7.4-in. and 12.1-in. TFT color LCD sizes. The units come standard with built-in Ethernet, CompactFlash, and bar code reader support.

"The GLC2000 Series has been doing well in North America, but many OEMs asked for I/O other than our proprietary Flex Network brand of I/O," says GLC product manager Scott Kortier. "So this was the next logical step, to add DeviceNet master support to the GLC."

The company has targeted several markets it believes will find this product attractive. "We think packaging equipment, conveyor applications, a variety of small discrete manufacturing machines, and food & beverage and pharmaceutical [because of the bar-code] applications are well-suited to the GLC2000 Series," states Kortier.

A key factor is third-party software is no longer needed to configure a DeviceNet network with the GLC2000 unit. Once the module has been installed on a GLC2000 Series unit, off-line menus can be used to configure a slave's MAC address and baud rate. The development software used to generate screens and ladder logic, GP-PRO/PBIII C-Package02, can read the contents of a user-provided electronic data sheet file to assist in the configuration of the slave I/O. These capabilities save money and time.

"It's a big advantage not having to learn a new configuration utility to install slaves on the network," says Kortier. "When a new slave is introduced to the network, the off-line menu simply configures it."

The module supports polled, bit-strobe, change-of-state, and cyclic connection types and can support up to 63 slaves with up to 48 words or bits on each, to a maximum of 1,008 words or bits total.

Xycom says the cost of the fully integrated GLC is roughly two-thirds that of typical combined hardware for this type of solution available elsewhere. "An all-in-one controller and HMI, along with all of these features, offers a very cost-effective product for the price-conscious engineer," states Kortier.

For more information, call 734/429-4971 or browse to

www.xycom.com.

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