Wago’s compact, powerful PLC can stand alone

High-speed data processing with built-in OPC UA, web server, firewall and security features allow the 65-mm Wago PFC100 to support its own IT infrastructure in remote applications.

Since the day it was invented, the programmable logic controller (PLC) has been getting smaller and more powerful, so it’s no surprise that Wago’s new PFC100 PLC packs a lot of power into a smaller space. The more interesting part is what you can do with it.

“PFC100 extends our PFC200 platform with a smaller, 65-mm footprint and very-high-speed Cortex-A8, 64-bit processor that allows advanced functions with lots of digits for high accuracy,” says Charlie Norz, product manager, I/O Systems, Wago.

A built-in firewall provides security to prevent unauthorized access to the controller on downstream networks, and the controller offers SSH and SSL/TLS 1.2 encryption. Integrated password protection and secured communication protect against access to functions and programming content, preventing introduction of malware.

“On its own, the PFC100 can support a virtual private network [VPN],” Norz says, “The firewall plus VPN support gives security for remote locations where there are no factory walls or IT infrastructure.”

A built-in web server uses HTML5, “the newest and latest, to make it easy to configure with a PC,” says Norz. “The web server can host dynamic web pages for operator interface, providing a low-cost HMI and web interface.”

The PFC100 also functions as an OPC Unified Architecture server. “It can be used with OPC-UA, for example, for easy configuration to collect data in a SCADA system,” Norz says. “It also supports FTP and secure FTP that a higher-level PC can use to pull data off the controller.”

The PLC is programmable with all IEC 61131 standard languages including Ladder Diagram, Structured Text and Function Block. “Project costs can be cut by linking seamlessly with WAGO’s CODESYS 3-based e!COCKPIT engineering software, which allows easy hardware configuration, software programming, simulations and visualizations of complex controller tasks,” Norz says. “The Linux operating system can be programmed with e!COCKPIT, or programmers can use the Linux runtime engine to run their existing applications or add special Linux apps to augment ladder or sequential function logic.”

The processor runs at 600 MHz, and the PLC has 12 MB of memory plus a micro SD card that can be used to back up and restore programming, or to log up to 32 GB of data. Two onboard Ethernet ports can be configured as switches to daisy-chain, or as two separate ports with their own IP addresses. Depending on the variant, there’s an RS-232/RS-485 interface or a DIP switch.

The PFC100 offers a full set of PLC functions from Wago libraries and your choice of more than 500 digital, analog and specialty I/O modules ranging from proportional valve control to three-phase power measurement and vibration monitoring. Variants with a serial port can handle devices such as bar-code readers and variable-speed drives.

“It can handle as many as 250 I/O modules with up to 16 points each, and the Ethernet can be used to connect to a Wago coupler for additional information from remote I/O,” Norz says.

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The ability to go it alone from an IT standpoint makes the PFC100 especially well suited for standalone applications. “Machine builders can take advantage of its compact footprint and many features, and it is UL, CE and IEC-certified for use anywhere in the world,” Norz says. With OPC UA, built-in firewall, VPN and web-server capabilities, it provides communications and security for remote and self-contained applications such as ship-based automation, offshore rigs, pipelines, oil & gas collection, pumping stations and water/waste water.

Available in five variants with various interfaces, PFC100 offers economical, scalable I/O technology that facilitates automation of individual machines or entire systems. Whether it’s in traditional machine automation, process control or in offshore or remote applications, PFC100 meets the demand for ultra-compact, advanced, secure automation systems.

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