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14 May, 2021

Micro-PLC takes on low-cost rivals

14 April, 2009

Omron in Japan has announced a range of micro-PLCs (programmable logic controllers) designed to compete with the low-cost PLCs that have entered the market in recent years.

Omron says that while there has been a growing demand for advanced functions, even in micro-PLCs with 10–200 I/O points, many PLC suppliers have given more priority to reducing controller costs, thus putting pressure on prices. The new CP1E PLCs are Omron’s response to these pressures. It says it has been able to cut prices by revising component costs, without sacrificing quality.

There are two versions: the low-cost E-type Basic CPUs, with minimal functions and a program capacity of 2k steps; and the N-type Application CPUs, with an 8k step capacity and a serial port for connection to programmable terminals, as well as a pulse I/O function for position control.

Both versions have USB ports for connection to PCs. Indicators at the wiring terminals show the on/off status of the I/O, and make it easy to check the wiring status during installation.

Omron claims that a new “smart input” function simplifies programming, cutting the number of keyboard operations by 30% compared to its earlier products. When the first letter of an instruction or address is input, the system suggests possible candidates. In addition, an automatic line creation function adds lines automatically to correct programs when instructions are added or deleted.
The higher-specification N-type CPUs have an RS-232C port for connection to programmable terminals. Further RS-232C or RS-442/485 ports can be added with 30 or 40 I/O points to connect to equipment such as inverters. The N-type CPUs have six high-speed counters (two at 100kHz and four at 10kHz) and two 100kHz pulse outputs.

The new micro-PLCs, being manufactured in China, will be rolled out from this month (April).

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