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19 April, 2018

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Curvaceous PLC stacks up to a radical rethink

01 June, 2003

Curvaceous PLC stacks up to a radical rethink

Moeller has come up with a PLC which is radically different from most others, both in its external appearance and its internal operation. The X600 PLC (shown on the right in the picture below) is housed in a brushed aluminium housing with a curved front panel which looks more like a piece of hi-fi equipment than an industrial controller. At the same time, Moeller has launched a small, modular, networkable, high-speed PLC system called the XC100 (shown on the left in the photo).

The way that the X600 controller is assembled is also novel. Instead of mounting modules in a rack, the PLC is built out from a base by stacking modules such as power supplies, I/Os, processors and up to three communications interfaces. The modules, which can be attached or detached without using tools, are fitted with standard PC/104 cards, allowing customer-specific cards to be included in the stack.

Moeller has adopted open standards both for the hardware and the software. Web and OPC servers are built in and the PLC has Ethernet, USB and RS232 interfaces, allowing data to be exchanged with high-level controls, as well as supporting remote control and monitoring. The X600 can "publish" Web pages, allowing its performance to be monitored remotely via a standard Web browser.

The accompanying XSoft software is used to configure, commission and test the PLCs. It includes tools for visualising variables and for simulating installations offline, allowing code to be tested on a PC before it is installed in a plant.




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