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Micro-PLC scales to reduce the need for different PLCs

03 April, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced a micro-PLC that supports applications with up to 304 I/O points, 280kB of memory and 20,000 program instructions. The Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC can be scaled to match an application, thus helping machine designers to optimise control architectures in large standalone machines or systems.

“Designers today use several PLC sizes for their automation projects,” says Yeow Keng Teh, Rockwell’s product manager for micro controllers. “This approach requires inventory management of the different PLC sizes and maintenance of different programs. Now designers can use the Micro870 PLC to scale their controller to their application needs. This helps simplify inventory management, especially for those designing multiple machine types.”

The new PLC has a flexible design that accepts up to three plug-ins and eight expansion I/O modules. This allows it to be customised or expanded to meet the needs of individual machines. It can support up to two axes of motion.

The 280kB memory capacity supports modular programming and the use of user-defined function blocks to help cut design time. Machine-builders can also use this memory capacity to maintain a single program for all machine models that use the PLC.

The controller communicates via EtherNet/IP and offers several communications options, including a USB programming port, a non-isolated serial port and an Ethernet port.

Rockwell's Micro870 PLC can be expanded to suit a wide range of applications

Rockwell’s new Connected Components Workbench software version 11 offers a single design environment for programming the Micro870 PLC. It can also be used to configure PanelView 800 graphic terminals, PowerFlex AC drives, Kinetix component servodrives, electronic overload relays, light curtains and configurable safety relays. This can save engineers time and costs compared to using separate programming tools for each device.

A new conversion tool in v11 makes it easier for existing MicroLogix customers to upgrade to the Micro800 family.

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