72mm-wide micro-PLC is ‘fastest on the market’
The German controls manufacturer Vipa has announced a micro-PLC which, it claims, is the fastest on the market. It says that the Micro PLC sets new standards in terms of its size (at 72mm wide, it is up to half the size of other microcontrollers), channel density (it has 30 built-in digital and analogue I/O channels) and status display (users can view essential system information at a glance).
The PLC, which replaces the ageing System Vipa 100V, is based on Speed7 technology for high clock rates and program processing. It has a backplane with a bus transmission speed of 48Mbit/s and a CPU performance said to be similar to that of a “large” PLC.
The PLC comes with 16 digital inputs, 12 digital outputs and two analogue (0-10V) channels, as well as four 100kHz counters and two PWM channels. It can be expanded using up to eight modules to deliver up to 158 I/O channels. The basic 64kb of work memory can be expanded up to 128kb using Vipa’s Set Card technology. In the event of a power failure, data and status are stored.
Individually detachable connection plugs can be pre-wired. Equipped with push-in technology, they can be mounted and replaced quickly and easily, without needing tools, speeding up maintenance and cutting downtime. The plugs have vibration-resistant spring terminals, avoiding the need to re-tighten screws.
Despite the high channel density, each plug connection has an I/O LED that indicates the channel status. Visualisation, operation and diagnosis are also possible via a free app running on a smartphone or tablet that communicates wirelessly with the PLC via an optional Bluetooth adaptor.
The controllers have active, two-port, Profinet-ready switches for access, programming and communications. Profinet support is planned, as is a Web server, which could be implemented in a firmware update.
The CPU communicates via Ethernet TCP/IP as standard, with optional support for Profibus slaves, PtP and MPI via expansion modules, including twin RS-485 port modules. The PLC can be programmed using Speed7 Studio, Simatic Manager or TIA Portal software. It is Step7-compatible and supports the IL, LAD, SCL and Graph7 languages.
Since 2012, Vipa has been owned by Yaskawa.