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Low-cost micro-PLC has Ethernet and Web functions

03 September, 2011

Idec has announced a range of micro-PLCs with built-in Web servers, RJ-45 Ethernet ports and the ability to send emails and text messages. The MicroSmart Pentra PLCs support Modbus TCP client or server, making it easy to set up controls networks for remote maintenance, monitoring and control, and data acquisition. Up to 14 simultaneous connections can be established.

Idec claims that the PLCs are the fastest in their class – an average of 16 times faster than one competitor’s controllers for simple instruction execution, and 14 times faster when executing advanced instruction sets.

With list prices in the UK starting at £359, the PLCs offer 12 I/O (eight DC inputs and four PNP or NPN outputs). The I/O count can be increased to a maximum of 512 using up to 15 expansion modules (which include PID and four-point analogue modules).

The PLC can send emails or text messages with details of real-time data, such as temperatures and other variables. It can also be accessed and interrogated remotely via email.

Alternatively, users can use the built-in Web server to obtain live updates and make changes via a browser running on a remote PC. They can either use standard built-in Web pages or design their own using an HTML editor to embed items such as digital displays, pushbuttons, bargraphs and trend charts. The PLC has 1MB of memory available for storing these pages, as well as up to 128kB of programming memory to hold up to 21,300 ladder program steps.

Additional features include a mini-USB port for loading programs, SMTP functions, and 100KHz counters and outputs.




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