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Product roundup: Controllers keep crunching

April 5, 2019
PLCs, PACs and PCs stay focused bread-and-butter control, even as they add IIoT, Industry 4.0, cloud and other digitalized bells and whistles

Edge-programmable controller

groov EPIC edge-programmable industrial controller combines intelligent, guaranteed-for-life I/O, embedded Linux real-time control, local and remote HMI and industrial/IT data exchange in a compact, secure, maintainable, edge-of-network industrial package. It enables connecting legacy systems, controlling processes and automating machines, subscribing to web services and creating mashups, acquiring and publishing data, visualizing that data wherever it's needed, and mobilizing operators.

groov EPIC has optional access to Linux operating system through secure shell (SSH). This access, along with toolchains and interpreters for Java, C/C++, Python, JavaScript/Node.js and more, allows OEM developers to execute their custom-developed applications on this ruggedized, edge processing control system.

Features of the new groov EPIC system include:

  • Industrial modular intelligent I/O, real-time Linux-based automation controller, and edge gateway in a single stainless-steel chassis;
  • UL Hazardous Locations approval and ATEX compliance;
  • Integrated, high-resolution, color touchscreen with HDMI output for optional external monitor;
  • Compact footprint with integrated power supply and dead-front design;
  • On-board system configuration, commissioning and troubleshooting; no PC required;
  • Remote configuration and troubleshooting from any web browser on any device;
  • Dual, independent, Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces;
  • Dual USB ports for serial communications, touchscreen monitors or WiFi adapters;
  • Multiple power supply options including AC, DC, and pass-through;
  • Wide -20 to 70 °C operating temperature range;
  • Touch-sensitive pad on I/O modules for configuring, commissioning and testing;
  • Spring-clamp terminal strip directly atop I/O module accommodating up to 14 AWG wire;
  • LED indicators for module health at a glance, and for individual discrete channels;
  • I/O module density of up to 24 channels per module;
  • Multi-featured analog inputs supporting voltage, current and loop sourcing one module;
  • Analog input resolution of 20 bits at 0.1% accuracy over span;
  • Channel-to-channel isolation available for most I/O modules;
  • Real-time, open-source Linux OS running on an industrial quad-core ARM processor; and
  • 2 GB RAM, 6 GB user space on industrial solid-state drive.

Software features include:

  • groov Manage software for tool-less configuration; commissioning and debugging on-board, and from anywhere on the network;
  • PAC Control flowchart-based control development environment with scripting and visual debugger;
  • groov View visualization server for creating and viewing HMIs, trends and events for any mobile device or web browser; also viewable locally on integral touchscreen;
  • Node-RED flow-based development environment and runtime for edge data processing, handling and communications;
  • Ignition Edge from Inductive Automation with drivers to Allen-Bradley, Siemens and more;
  • MQTT/Sparkplug protocol for efficient, industrial publish/subscribe communications;
  • 100% backward compatibility with SNAP PAC systems and SNAP Ethernet I/O; and
  • Available secure shell access, SDKs, and cross-compiler for custom user-written applications.

Opto 22

7th-Generation core and fan

BL2 series industrial PCs have added a third CPU choice—BL27000 series that features a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7442EQ quad-core CPU for demanding control and visualization applications. BL2 7000 has an external, temperature-controlled fan to improve cooling where there's insufficient airflow, and doesn't draw inside any contaminants.

BL2s are available in three performance classes (1000/2000/7000) as a blind-node box IPC (wall-mount or DIN rail-mount) or as an all-in-one panel PC. They use the latest M.2 non-rotating solid-state drive technology with drive sizes ranging from 30GB to 480GB. An optional Wi-Fi module (802.11 a/b/g/n) allows easy network connections.

Phoenix Contact

Ultra-compact PC for edge

C6015 ultra-compact industrial PC for edge computing and cloud communications is 82 x 82 x 40 mm and Microsoft Azure certified; offers explosion protection with ELX series EtherCAT terminals; and TwinCAT software interfaces and libraries for process technology, including cloud integration via TwinCAT IoT and data analysis via TwinCAT Analytics software that synchronizes with control cycles. C6015 has an Intel Atom processor with up to four CPU cores; can collect, process and provision process data, and perform more complex IoT gateway tasks.

Beckhoff Automation
877-TwinCAT (894-6228)

Dual- or quad-core in box or panel

Automation PC 2200 compact industrial PC (IPC) has dual- or quad-core Intel Atom processors, is available in box PC or panel PC formats. and can serve as an IoT gateway or edge controller. Using B&R Hypervisor, its Automation Runtime real-time operating system can run simultaneously alongside Windows 10 IoT Enterprise or Linux. In its box PC format, the Automation PC 2200 can be equipped with an optional SDL4 interface, which allows HMI panels to be operated at distances of up to 100 meters. All variants of Automation PC 2200 are free of fans and other rotating parts, making them maintenance free. Other standard features include two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and two USB 3.0 ports. Fieldbus connections like Powerlink and CAN can be configured individually. Compact CFast cards with up to 256 GB are used for data storage.


Micro PLC simplifies machines

Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC can support smart micro applications requiring up to 304 I/O points, 280 KB of memory that supports modular programming, and 20,000 program instructions; replace multiple micro PLCs; and optimize control architectures in large standalone machines or systems. Micro870 uses a flexible design concept that gives designers up to three plug-ins and eight expansion I/O modules to expand or customize the controller. It communicates via EtherNet/IP. and includes a USB programming port, non-isolated serial port and an Ethernet port. Micro870 is programmed with Connected Components Workbench, Version 11, software.

Rockwell Automation

Compact, on-machine control

TBEN-PLC Codesys 3 compact IP67 PLC has a robust housing and environmental protections that let it run directly on a machine without a cabinet, and has preassembled cordsets. When used as a master/scanner, it supports Profinet, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP, as well as Modbus RTU, CANopen and SAE J1939. TBEN-PLC can also be used as a remote I/O device for Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU and CANopen networks, enabling use as a protocol converter or gateway. Two onboard serial ports can be used to integrate RS-232/485 serial devices, and it provides eight configurable discrete I/O channels for the direct connection of sensors and actuators.


More AC, DC, analog I/O modules

Productivity 1000 micro-modular PLC has added AC, DC and analog I/O modules. This micro-stackable PLC system provides communications, user-friendly programming, integrated data storage and a full lineup of discrete, analog and specialty I/O modules in a super-compact size. P1000 can be expanded with up to eight I/O modules for a total of 128 discrete I/O points or 48 analog I/O channels. The new DC modules include higher density 16- and 15-point VDC models, and eight- and 16-point VAC/VDC input versions. The new AC modules are eight-point 120-240 VAC input and output modules. The new analog I/O includes RTD four-channel input and combination four-channel input, two-channel output, 0-20 mA and 0-10 VDC modules. The I/O modules are auto-discovered and easily added/removed using a one-latch mechanism. There are no module placement restrictions and no power budget limitations. Quick response (QR) codes are printed on each module for the latest specifications and wiring diagrams.

Users can learn to deploy and operate P1000 and other PLCs with free and unlimited access to select Interconnecting Automation training videos with no purchase necessary. 


IIoT-ready CPU with MQTT

EZRack PLC/PAC system with IIoT-ready CPU and MQTT protocol is Sparkplug B enabled for connectivity to Ignition SCADA software platform. It comes in three, five and seven slot base, is programmed via its built-in Ethernet, USB, micro USB and two serial ports, and supports EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP and RTU, EZRack TCP/IP and ASCII In/Out protocols. EZRack does historical and real-time data logging, while its USB port can be used to log data on it locally. It supports an external USB flash drive up to 64GB, and its supported protocols can be used to connect to other PLCs, drives or any third party devices for data exchange and I/O control.


19-Inch monitor computes outdoors

VisuNet IXD 2100 19-inch remote monitor is available as a thin client or PC for outdoor use in IECEx/ATEX Zone 1/21-rated hazardous locations, and features marine-grade aluminum housing that can withstand up to 60 ºC and thermally hardened glass for high-impact resistance. The thin client version comes with RM Shell 5 firmware based on Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB, which lets users create profiles and connections to access applications on a process control system via standard Ethernet, and provides high-security Microsoft Enhanced Write Filter mechanisms, built-in firewall, USB lockdown and a restricted web browser. The PC version offers an open Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system on which customers can install and run their applications locally on the HMI.

One advantage of IXD 2100 is its modular design comprised of three main components: display, computer, and power supply. Operators can easily disassemble the modules on-site and replace components independently in the event of a fault. This makes field maintenance quick and easy, and reduces costs associated with downtime.

In addition to multiple mounting options, IXD offers a large selection of interfaces for optimal communication. Along with RS-232 and RS-485 interfaces, a fiber-optic interface as well as a redundant Ethernet option are also available. This allows redundant network structures to be set up and increases availability of the monitors. The highlight is the new fiber-optic interface, which is certified to the latest optical intrinsic safety standards. It allows the monitor to be connected to a standard fiber-optic switch that only has to meet the requirements of Class 1 laser.


Upgraded PLC reduces TOC

ControlEdge PLC has added EtherNet/IP server and client that integrate: multi-vendor EtherNet/IP I/O modules, drives, devices and controllers; serial interface module that supports Modbus RTU, Modbus ASCII and user-defined protocols; and other I/O options that reduce cost and improve flexibility in system design. It also has LEAP capabilities that reduce project risk with lean execution, and allow cloud-enabled engineering with Virtual Engineering Platform for simulation to support engineering, training, and testing without requiring hardware. ControlEdge also has improved integration with Honeywell ExperionPKS and native diagnostic displays for the new I/O modules and the Serial Interface Module.

Honeywell Process Solutions

IPC with three node box options

PS5001B Atom Box industrial PC joins the PC5000 series with three node box options, including an Atom CPU, which can run accelerated versions of Blue Open Studio and Node-Red software. It also features Class 1 Div 2 certification, IP66 protection and fanless functionality. PS5001B can be easily mounted to any PS5000 display, providing high-performance and durability for multiple iPC applications. It also offers M.2 and eMMC storage, allowing for a more efficient and cost-effective solution. 

Pro-face America

Gateway to fieldbuses, data, cloud

With increased processor speed and more onboard memory, second-generation PFC200 controller offers gateways between industrial fieldbuses and enable data transfer with cloud services and SCADA via MQTT protocol. An onboard web server enables dynamic HTML5 visualizations. Also, a built-in firewall and VPN helps deploy defense-in-depth strategies without added components. PFC200 is programmed with advanced e!Cockpit software tool providing ease of use and advanced functions. The new controller is ideal for OEM-based applications where control, data collection, security or Cloud/SCADA interfaces are required.

800-DIN-RAIL (346-7245)

2,060 I/O Capacity with expansion modules

With its 2,060 I/O capacity, MicroSmart FC6A Plus PLC can control large machines or entire, small-scale manufacturing facilities. Up to 63 I/O expansion modules can be added, which give FC6A Plus the capability to handle up to 2,060 I/O with a maximum of 511 analog I/O. To ensure high-level performance with this expanded I/O count, basic instructions can be executed in just 21 nanoseconds, while program memory is 800 kB (100,000 steps).

Also, users can employ the WindEdit Lite app from any iOS or Android device, and gain two-way access to any FC6A PLC that quicker, simpler and easier than with browser-based access. The app lets users monitor any PLC parameter, and change setpoints and other values. Data register, input, output, timer and counter values can be monitored and controlled using the app's standard Dialog Interface, which also lets users configure to allow only certain PLC parameters to be monitored and controlled. Trending is supported within the app, enabling users to plot multiple register points for graphical views.  

Two models of FC6A are available, each with 24 Vdc input power. The 16 I/O model has eight inputs and eight relay or transistor outputs. The 32 I/O model has 16 inputs and 16 transistor outputs. Each model also includes an integral 0-10 Vdc analog input with 12-bit resolution. Each model can accommodate up to three plug-in discrete, analog, serial communication or Bluetooth cartridges. Each discrete cartridge has four discrete I/O points, either four inputs or four outputs. Each analog cartridge has two analog I/O points, either two inputs or two outputs.

FC6A Plus also includes an optional Bluetooth wireless communication adapter, giving users the power to monitor the PLC and download or upload programs from any PC or laptop with Bluetooth. This eliminates the need to stock, locate and connect a cable to the PLC for these tasks, and provides access to the PLC from up to 10 meters. In addition, any device with Bluetooth can also be configured to communicate with the PLC.

FTP communication allows users to configure FC6A Plus as a FTP client or server for transferring programs and logged data between a server and the PLC, providing a convenient and effective way to remotely communicate with the PLC. Up to 16 users can be managed simultaneously, and access folders can also be managed. Files can be stored at the PLC or logged to the PLC’s SD memory card for transfer to an FTP server.

All models have two built-in RJ45 Ethernet ports. Optional Plug-in communication cartridges can be added to create two additional RS232C/RS485 ports. With the addition of serial communication modules, up to 33 RS232C/RS485 serial ports are supported

Idec Corp.

Rugged, modular box

UNO-2484G ruggedized, modular computing box has a sixth-generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor and 8 GB of DDR4 memory and flexibility for IIoT applications. It provides rich I/O, including 4 GbE, four USB 3.0, four RS-232/422/485, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort (4K), as well as an optional second stack expansion kit that supports integration of iDoor and its modules, such as fieldbus communication, power over Ethernet, COM or digital I/O. UNO-2484G’s robust and fanless architecture is compatible with 10 ~ 36 VDC input power, and supports a wide operating temperature range (-20 ~ 60 °C).


Automation controller kit

Crouzet Mevo controller kit includes Millenium Evo PLCs, XDP24-E smart relay, CTP104-E HMI, Ethernet cable and USB key. Features include up to 44 I/Os, Base 16 DI, eight DO, wireless programming and control, with a Bluetooth Interface and Crouzet virtual display. It has up to 1,000 programming blocks with intuitive Crouzet software to transition from simple to complex applications.

Newark element 14


Open Secure Automation (OSA) Remote combines PLC, PAC, RTU and edge control, as well as intrinsic cybersecurity and universal I/O into one compact 137 x 226 x 59 mm module. Each OSA Remote channel can be programmed for analog, discrete and digital connectivity supporting pulse, AI/AO, DI/DO, HART 7, BSAP, RS-232/485/422, Ethernet IP, ModBus TCP, 61850, DNP3, Profinet, DeviceNet, CANbus and BACnet. It's also configured with free IEC 61131-3 engineering tools, and uses cyber-secure, multi-core ARM processors, 512 MB RAM, 8Gb or 32Gb Flash, MRAM for retained variables and a supercapacitor to retain firmware for years without power. OSA Remote also features -40 °C and 80 °C fanless temperature range, hardened metal enclosure, and pricing below conventional mini PLCs, PACs or RTUs.  

Bedrock Automation

I/O, Temperature modules compute

iR Series analog I/O and temperature modules have joined the HMI+Codesys+I/O module, ands can capture analog signals (voltage, current, temperature), compute with HMI or controllers, and output signals to control other units in the system. With its suite of useful features that work with minimal settings, iR Series can take care of complex jobs that used to require PLC programming and save development time.

iR Series analog modules come in four models for different needs, including iR-AI04-VI analog input (four channels); iR-AQ04-VI analog output (four channels); iR-AM06-VI analog input (four channels) and analog output (two channels); and iR-AI04-TR temperature input (four channels).

All iR Series products are configured and monitored with user-friendly EasyRemoteIO PC software.

Weintek USA Inc.

Gateway upgrades PLCs

Smart Gateway gives users of Allen-Bradley PLCs an easy way to upgrade obsolete drives, robots, operator interfaces and other remote I/O (RIO) or Data Highway Plus (DH+) devices without requiring replacement or changes to the PLC-5 or SLC-500 controller. It directly connects to up to two existing A-B RIO or DH+ networks; new devices can be on Ethernet such as EtherNet/IP or ModbusTCP, or use serial networks like Modbus or DF1; and new devices can be from any vendor. In addition to its RIO/DH+ ports, Smart Gateway includes a managed, four-port Ethernet switch, four serial ports, no limit on data memory, and is easily configurable to support a mix of up to 16 protocols simultaneously.

SoftPLC Corp.
800-SoftPLC (763-8752)

PC-Based maintenance station

Simatic PDM (PDM MS), V3.0, is a standalone, micro-industrial PC and maintenance station for diagnostics and monitoring of field devices with EDD/DD/FDI technology. It can monitor applications with up to 500 tags per maintenance station; serve as a central data access point for plant data and cloud-based applications; and be installed in networks with or without Siemens automation systems because HART field devices and field components are simply connected via HART multiplexers or via WirelessHART protocol.

Siemens Corp.


ABB Jokab Safety Pluto safety PLC has an advanced design that enables hot swapping for replacement by just removing the old terminal caps and pushing a button. It can also reload the program within seconds with the push of a button. These features are available in Jokab Safety Pluto's network, standalone, ASI and analog versions. It also supports traditional dual-channel and ABB DynLink dynamic-pulse architectures, which maintain a Performance Level e, Category 4 (PLe, Cat. 4), pursuant to ISO Standard EN ISO 13849-1 for up to 10 devices on the same input circuit. It also features advanced diagnostics that allow quick identification of an error’s location with a solid red LED, while all downstream devices will flash red and green, and upstream devices remain solid green.


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