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Next-generation PACs and PLCs share programming tools

05 March, 2015

To meet the needs of Industry 4.0, the FX5U offers data-logging functions, with data ranging from energy consumption to product throughput being captured on a standard SD card (up to 4GB) for further analysis.

Security features protect both the developer’s intellectual property and the final installation. Each PLC can have a security key that allows users to manage access to both software and hardware.

Mitsubishi's iQ-R PAC system has been designed to meet the needs of Industry 4.0

These functions are combined with a processing speed of 34ns per instruction (twice as fast as some rival PLCs) and a system bus speed 150 times faster than previous-generation FX PLCs. Mitsubishi says that the FX5U can be used in many applications that would previously have needed much larger and more costly PLCs.

In the UK, Mitsubishi currently holds about 30% of the compact PLC market. Hugh Tasker, the company’s product manager for the FX5U, hopes that the new-generation PLC will take this market share above 40% within two years.

The FX5U is the first PLC to be released in the iQ-F series, which will be expanded over the coming years to include other compact PLCs and peripherals.

The iQ-R and iQ-F controllers are both programmed using the new GX Works3 software, which provides an intuitive, graphical, structured programming environment. Programming options including dynamic labels, parameterisation instead of programming, and the automatic creation of hardware function blocks and visual function blocks, including HMI templates. Drag-and-drop hardware and software configuration is claimed to cut configuration times by more than 60%, while the intuitive programming is said to reduce development costs and development errors. GX Works3 is part of Mitsubishi’s iQ Works integrated engineering environment.

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