PLCs and Industrial PCs merging identities

These days, you can’t tell the players without a program — or with one. Senior Tech Editor Rich Merritt provides a Product Roundup of PLCs and Industrial Computers.

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500-function-block Controller
HoloCON controllers are compliant with the IEC 61499 standard for distributed function block controls. The standard lets users design a distributed control system, logically, physically distribute the controls and I/O, and coordinate the control processing using event-driven software. Each controller has Internet-ready Ethernet networking; up to three I/O cards including discrete, analog, and two-axis servo-positioning; real-time clock; and a graphical function block programming environment with 500 function blocks. Western Reserve Controls; 330/733-6662;

Riding Buses on the DIN-rail
CX1020 provides PC performance at the modular I/O level. It mounts on a DIN rail, has a 600 MHz Intel Celeron M CPU, and uses Compact Flash memory. When EtherCAT is used as the fieldbus, the PC reportedly can achieve response times of less than 1 msec. It can also be used with Profibus, DeviceNet, CANopen, Lightbus and SERCOS interfaces. More info at Beckhoff Automation; 952/890-0000;

PC Display of Affection
Panel PC combines an industrial PC and display in one unit. Options include processors ranging from a Celeron 400 MHz to a Pentium M 1.6 GHz, and touch devices with 10.4-in. VGA, 12.1-in. SVGA and 15-in. XGA TFT displays. More info at B&R Industrial Automation; 770/772-0400;

Loaded with Linux
Micro-VersaTrak µIPm is pre-loaded with open-source Linux, and the company’s industrial IPm firmware and Sixnet I/O Tool Kit. It has a built-in mix of 14 discrete and analog I/O, four serial ports, and a 10/100 Ethernet interface. Programming can be done using any mix of the ISaGRAF IEC61131 languages or high-level C/C++. More info at Sixnet; 518/877-5173;

Bottom-accessible PC
IPC-7143 PC has bottom access, which reportedly allows its cables to be organized and maintained more easily than previous models. When mounted on the wall, there's no need for a rear maintenance area, and there are no rear access cables to manage. It supports a CD-ROM, two SATA HDD trays, and two IDE disk drive bays. Advantech; 513/742-8895 ext. 333;

PLC Editable While Online
Allen Bradley MicroLogix 1100 controller lets users adjust programs, including PID loops, while still online. It has an embedded EtherNet/IP communications port and an embedded Ethernet web server, which give users remote access to control information. More info at Rockwell Automation; 800/223-5354, ext. 1834;

Ethernet Takes PLC Anywhere
Series 90-30 programmable logic controller has an Ethernet Network Interface Unit (ENIU) that enables users to connect Series 90-30 I/O over Ethernet to a master controller through one connection point. Users can connect the programmer anywhere on the I/O network, and monitor, configure, or troubleshoot any ENIU or the master controller, reducing downtime and machine commissioning. More info at GE Fanuc; 800/433-2682;

Profibus Master and Commander
758 Series programmable controller can be a Profibus master, and it has on-board Ethernet ports for connectivity to the enterprise. It has a 266-MHz, multitasking, battery-backed CPU, built-in web server, 32-MB RAM/32-MB flash memory, and a real-time clock. The CAA programming tool supports all five IEC 61131-3 programming languages, and has built-in visualization, OPC server, and a fieldbus configuration tool. Wago; 262/255.6333 ext 165;

Logical, Networked Temp Control
FA-M3 multi-controller provides PID temperature control and calculates up to 20,000 logic functions in 1 msec. It supports Ethernet, DeviceNet, Profibus and Modbus, has built-in software to accommodate analog control and discrete logic, and can be expanded to handle up to 8,192 points. Yokogawa Corp. of America; 800/258-2552;

Fountain of Youth for Old PLCs
Modicon Advance Program offers three levels of upgrading for aging automation systems based on a facility’s maintenance schedule and budget. The program offers simple, phased or complete migration to Modicon PLCs and software. The results are increased production and efficiency, reduced downtime and repair costs, better component reliability and enhanced connectivity through access to multiple networking options. More info at Schneider Electric; 800/392-8781;

Fast-counting, Configuring 520 I/O
FC5A MicroSmart PLC has built-in 100 KHz high-speed counters, 32-bit registers, floating point math and downloadable system firmware. Up to 520 local I/Os can be configured. Other enhancements include 64 Kbps programming capacity. IDEC; 800/262-IDEC;

PC-to-PLC Communication Module
D0-DCM Communications module adds two serial ports to any DL05 or DL06 PLC. It supports PC-to-PLC communications for programming and data collection, PLC to HMI interface, PLC to PLC data exchange, RS232 or RS422/485, Modbus RTU, DirectNET, and K-Sequence slave network protocols, and operates as a DirectNET or Modbus master. More info at AutomationDirect;  800/633-0405;

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