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Industrial controller is ‘first with Ethernet at its core’

07 January, 2014

Schneider Electric claims to have produced the first industrial controller with Ethernet built into its core. The Modicon 580 controller, developed in collaboration with the Swiss semiconductor specialist STMicrolectronics, is said to improve the transparency, consistency and throughput of industrial data.

“At the heart of the new Modicon is [STMicroelectronics’] Spear microprocessor which provides an unmodified standard Ethernet at all communication levels, down to the backplane,” explains Antonio Chauvet, Schneider’s director of research and development. “The result is a high degree of transparency and performance. Connected devices no longer need to be configured manually.

“With Spear technology, we use Ethernet communications for the fieldbus, the plant network, and the internal control bus system on the backplane – and thus, of course, for all connected modules, equipment and systems as components of the power distribution, switchgear and energy management systems,” Chauvet continues. “The result is a completely open system architecture.”

The PAC (programmable automation controller) merges system and process data and is said to deliver a variety of advantages, including: built-in security functions for better protection against cyber-attacks; rapid fault diagnoses; reduced downtime, as a result of a detailed overview of alarms and events; and effective energy management.

Schneider Electric says that its Modicon M580 PAC is the first to use Ethernet at its core

The controller is based on a 600MHz dual-core ARM processor and allows users to change configurations “on the fly”. They can add or modify running applications modules or network components without needing to pause processes. Timestamping takes less than 1ms.

Remote and distributed I/O can be mixed on the same network and the new controller can be used to update existing Telemecanique TSX7 installations without needing new cabling, software development or training. Existing TSX7 I/O can be connected to the new controller via an adaptor.




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