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Tag reader has built-in PLC

01 April, 2004

Tag reader has built-in PLC

A UK company has developed an intelligent tag reader (ITR) with built-in PLC functions. The ITR, designed by Derby-based Intelligent Distributed Controls (IDC), not only tracks objects in real time, but can also write to the objects. IDC says it will cut the complexity and cost of routing and tracking systems.

Unlike most other tag readers, the ITR (above) does not need multiplexers and central PLCs. Its built-in PLC can be programmed in ladder logic or using the Java language, and provides three relay inputs, two relay outputs, and two communications ports. It is expected to cut hardware, installation and maintenance costs.

IDC is offering a range of application modules for the PLC, but users can create their own modules and integrate these into the ladder environment.

The reader, costing less than £500, is compatible with most standard tags and does not need a broadcasting licence. Up to 256 readers can be linked via low-cost polymer fibre optics, with distances of up to 30m between them.

The ITR forms part of IDC`s Simplicon distributed control system, which is designed to avoid the cost and complexity of centralised control systems, especially for applications such as conveyors.




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