22 Jul 2024


Low-I/O controllers include a colour touchscreen option

The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec has announced a new family of low-I/O-count controllers including a version with a colour touchscreen. There are five models in the FT1A SmartAxis series, offering from 12–48 I/O.

The flagship FT1A Touch version incorporates a “superbright” 3.8” colour or mono touchscreen HMI, offering a brightness of up to 700cd/m2. It includes a RS-232C/422/485 port for communication with other serial or Modbus RTU devices, as well as USB Type A and mini Type B ports for maintenance, data-logging and other duties. The controller/HMI has 12 I/O (eight in, four out), 10A relay outputs, two-point analogue inputs, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. The IP66f-protected controller can be mounted horizontally or vertically and has 5MB of programming memory.

The other controllers offer a choice of 12, 24, 40 or 48 I/O, with or without embedded LCDs and keypads. Each CPU is equipped with 2–8 point 0–10V DC analogue inputs, a real-time clock, 10A relay contacts, remote I/O, 4–6 high-speed counters (up to 100KHz), and a USB mini B programming port. An optional RS-232 or RS-485 adapter can connect the controllers to serial devices such as HMIs and Modbus RTU communications. Modbus TCP is also supported on an Ethernet port.

Versions with built-in displays can be used to show and control ladder logic as well as for controlling and editing PLC parameters. Text messages, bargraphs and dynamic values can also be configured to scroll or flash. The screens provide four lines of 24 digits, and allow users to configure up to 50 messages for alarms and system status.

The controllers offer two to eight 0–10V DC 10-bit resolution analogue inputs, avoiding the need for additional analogue modules. The 40 and 48 I/O versions include an SD memory slot that can be used to log data. The saved data can be retrieved remotely via Ethernet.

Idec has upgraded its Automation Organizer software suite to support the new controllers, which offer Ladder, Function Block and Script programming.