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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Soft PLC Gets Secure
Hardbook CPU includes the company’s SoftPLC open architecture control software that runs on embedded Linux and works with Ethernet, DeviceNet, Profibus, and serial and USB ports. It includes a PLC/SCADA firewall for secure communications, with an option for an embedded web server. The CPU has two 10/100 Ethernet ports, serial port, USB port, PCI expansion slot for add-in I/O card, 64MB RAM and 64-MB compact flash. SoftPLC; 800/SOF-TPLC;

Low-power = Non-incendive
N series single-board PC is certified by UL for Class I & II, Div 1 & 2, Groups A, B, C, D, F & G. Low operational energy levels enable certification as non-incendive, which also includes its touchscreen. The CPU is compatible with popular operating systems. Extended temperature range versions are available. HMW Enterprises; 717/765-4690;

Tiny PLC/RTU Has 224 I/O
ControlWave Micro PLC/RTU has up to 224 I/O, multiple serial communication ports that independently support several common protocols, and built-in spread spectrum radio. Options include dial-line modems and Ethernet. Its compact size fits into panels and enclosures. Bristol Babcock; 860/945-2295;

All-weatherable PC
All-Weather PC has a NEMA 4X cast aluminum enclosure with UV tolerant paint finish, 15-in. transflective display with antiglare shatterproof window, and is classified for Class I, Zone 2 NI, EExnA IIC T4, EXII36, compliant with ATEX94/9/EC for hazardous areas. The low power Intel Pentium M 1.8 GHZ Processor has a flash IDE drive, multiple I/O ports, and a 14-key keypad. Daisy Data Displays; 717/932-9999;

5-KStep Execution in 1.9 msec
FP-X PLC has a processing speed of 0.32 μsec per instruction, so it reportedly can execute a 5-Kstep program in 1.9 msec. It has a program capacity of 16 or 32 Ksteps, is expandable up to 382 I/O points, and supports up to 63 slaves as a Modbus RTU master. The PLC has eight channels of counters with speeds up to 10 KHz per channel. Options include 80 kHz counters. Panasonic; 908/464-3550 ext. 2019;

Slimmer Panel PC
F1 Formula Series has a low-power Celeron M or Pentium M processor, 15-in. display module, 2.5-in. 40-GB hard drive, floppy drive, and slim line CDRW/DVD, but is only 5 in. deep. A second 2.5-in. hard drive can be added. Communications include three 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet controllers, two USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports and one parallel port. Nematron; 734/214 2000 option 5#;

Cigar Box Controller
BX2 motion-and-machine controller is about the same size as a cigar box. It provides up to eight axes of motion control, up to six on-board drives supporting various servo technologies up to 1,600 watts, and 46 onboard digital I/O points. Software includes a real-time operating system, easy to program motion control, and a syntax-free programming environment. Built-in Ethernet supports networking up to 56 axes and external I/O expansion modules. Berkeley Process Control; 510/222-8004;

Display, Network Support
ETX-IM333 computer module is available with Intel Pentium M processors from 1.1 to 2.0 GHz and Celeron M processors from 600 MHz to 1.3 GHz. The module supports CRT/LVDS displays, 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX Ethernet, Ultra ATA EIDE, four USB 2.0 ports, AC ’97 audio, serial/parallel ports and a keyboard/mouse. More info at Adlink Technology; 866/4-ADLINK;

Redundant PLC Hot Swaps
CS1D duplex programmable controller automatically switches control to the second unit within one program scan, enabling continuous operation. The down CPU can be changed out while operation continues. Redundant power supply and communication modules can be removed and replaced without interrupting control operation. Continuous operation is further enhanced by hot-swappable I/O and specialty modules. More info at Omron Electronics; 866/88-OMRON;

You've Got Controller E-mail
Model 5200 web-enabled automation controller has a built-in web server that enables users to securely monitor, control, and upgrade processes via the Internet. Bidirectional e-mail support lets the controller send alerts or production data via an e-mail message, while users can also send an e-mail with customized instructions to modify the operation of the controller. More info at Control Technology; 508/435-9595;

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