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Networkable controllers are space-savers

01 November, 2003

Networkable controllers are space-savers

Rockwell has launched a new range of compact, networkable controllers in a rackless format, said to require up to 40% less panel space than similar rack-based controllers. The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controllers complete the Logix family, and use the same engine and programming structures.

The new controllers (shown above) can perform sequential, process and drives control functions, and can cope with applications ranging from simple machine sequencing to plant-wide batch control. Their multitasking operating system can perform one continuous and seven periodic tasks.

The controllers can handle up to 30 local I/O modules and offer a choice of networking options, including DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP and ControlNet. The I/O serial bus provides 1ms updates.

The CompactLogix family will consist of four members. The initial model (the 1769-L35E) is intended to control standalone machinery with up to 1,024 local I/O points, mid-sized systems networked using DeviceNet, and larger distributed installations linked by Ethernet/IP. With 1.5MB of user memory and a 10/100Mb/s RJ-45 port, the controller can support up to 32 Ethernet/IP connections. Typical applications include controlling variable speed drives or distributed I/O and sharing high-speed data with HMIs.

Next year, this model will be joined by three others:

• the 1769-L32E, with 750kB of user memory and a 16 local I/O limit, for smaller stand-alone applications, or acting as part of a distributed Ethernet/IP system;

• the 1769-L35C, which replaces the Ethernet/IP port with a ControlNet port supporting 5Mb/s communications for peer-to-peer and distributed I/O, as well as multiple HMI and 32 remote I/O connections; and

• the 1769-L31 with two RS-232 serial ports (but no Ethernet/IP), 512kB of user memory, and support for up to 16 I/O modules.

Prices will range from around £750 for the L31 to around £1,400 for the basic L35E system.

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