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JetWeb Generation 2 – networked, compact and scaleable

01 August 2008

The JetWeb control system stands for Ethernet based automation technology. Its introduction at the beginning of the millennium was the beginning of the Ethernet revolution around the world.

A main feature of the new JetControl series is its consistent scalability, which allows expansion of the machine controller with minimum fuss
A main feature of the new JetControl series is its consistent scalability, which allows expansion of the machine controller with minimum fuss

However, JetWeb does not only stand for Ethernet. Programming with the JetSym STX language and the seamless integration of drive systems through to path control are equally important. The second JetWeb generation will now also be launched – networked, compact and powerful.

With JX3, Jetter AG presents a completely new series of controllers and expansion modules. The JX3 series includes controllers with outstanding scalability, modularity and simple handling. All three controllers have exactly the same size and design and are programmed with the same programming language. A number of expansion modules for digital and analog signal processing as well as for processing temperature signals are also part of this new automation system. The concept features one characteristic leitmotif - the integration of all automation functions in one system with only one programming language.

Meeting the challenges

Machine engineers are constantly faced with growing demands. Production processes are becoming more complex and faster, the number of versions is on the steady increase, innovation cycles are becoming shorter and the number of competitors is on the rise. This is also a challenge for control technology.

* Guaranteeing process reliability in face of increasing complexity

* Higher performance

* Scaleable systems for modular machines

* Compact controllers for increasingly compact machines

* Handling of complex data structures

* Convenient handling during programming and service

Effective solutions for these assignments are only possible with the very latest technology which is designed for such requirements.

* Uncompromising integration of all automation functions

* High-level language based programming with multitasking

* Consistent use of IT technologies

Uncompromising integration

The more complex a machine, the more different systems, software tools and programming languages the user has to deal with. This requires a great deal of time and money, which can be saved if a system is used which combines as many functions as possible under one roof. This is exactly a central feature of the JetWeb technology of Jetter AG. In practical terms this means:

* One controller for control functions, point-to-point positioning, technology functions and path control

* One programming language for PLC, positioning and path control

* One drive controller for all conventional electric motor versions

* One end-to-end communication medium for controller, drive controller and remote I/O

* Scaleable CPU performance of the controller with identical general design

High-level language based programming with STX

The integrated switch enables the implementation of star and line topologies. The free port can also be used at runtime for programming and diagnostics.
The integrated switch enables the implementation of star and line topologies. The free port can also be used at runtime for programming and diagnostics.

The Jetter controllers are programmed with the JetSym STX language which is based on structured text. Structured text provides the functions of a high-level language and is therefore very suitable for meeting the increasing need for software for process description and data management. In the control technology sector awareness is currently growing that only high-level languages are able to meet modern-day demands made of control and drive systems.

Years ago Jetter AG made the decision to develop their plain text high-level language with multitasking further in the direction of structured text. In the meantime JetSym STX is now available as a language with the following features:

* Syntax of structured text (ST), also taking other high-level languages into account

* Flexible software creation with more options than classic controller programming

* Optimum support of process programming

* Process-oriented with multitasking

* Programming updates at runtime

* Structured handling of errors and exceptions

* String commands

* Arithmetic commands

* File commands

* Modular program design

* Event handling

* Powerful debugging tools with breakpoints, trace and single step

Three controllers – one technology

The JetControl 340, 350 and 360 controllers have exactly the same size with a module width of 50 millimeters. The corresponding expansion modules have a width of 25 millimeters. The series is supplemented by two bus heads for further distribution. An Ethernet bus head is available for connection to Ethernet networks. This features a 2-port switch, enabling both the configuration of star network structures and also links to a line network. The IP address is assigned either statically with a DIP switch on the backplane or dynamically, for example with DHCP. The module enables synchronous communication between the controllers of the JetControl series and the decentralized I/O station via Ethernet.

The CAN bus head JX3-BN-CAN serves as a bridge to the previous JetControl 24x and JetControl 647 controllers. These use the CAN-bus as a system bus interface. As a result the new system can be integrated into both Ethernet networks as well as existing system bus structures with the existing controllers.

The JetControl 340 entry-level model is the inexpensive entry-level solution. It serves to control up to three axes. The more powerful JetControl-350 model can control up to eight axes. The JetControl 360 high-end controller offers integrated path control, and can control up to 64 axes. None of the systems have a sum limitation on the digital inputs and outputs due to the decentralized expansion option with the Ethernet bus head.

Software and hardware scalability

The new controllers can be optimally scaled due to their identical design and software compatibility. If a machine engineer builds machines of different expansion stages and sizes, migration between these three controllers is no problem. During hardware planning practically no changes are necessary due to the identical design. All three controllers are programmed with the same software and programming language. This has considerable advantages in different situations:

Data, programs and operating systems can be easily exchanged with the SD card on the JetControl 300 series controllers
Data, programs and operating systems can be easily exchanged with the SD card on the JetControl 300 series controllers

* If the functions of a machine are developed further

* If machines are offered in different performance classes (e.g. with either pneumatic components or servo-drives)

* When new machine types are developed which overlap considerably with existing machines

* When a high performance is required

Networked matters

The central communication medium is Ethernet TCP/IP. The new controllers and the Ethernet bus node each have two Ethernet ports with their integrated switch. This enables the configuration of line topologies. In addition, the second port offers the option of programming and diagnosing the controller at runtime while it is in the control network. The controllers also feature a serial interface and a CAN interface. An SD card slot is available as standard for the JetControl 350 and 360 and as an option for the JetControl 340. Data can be exchanged and software updated with the SD card.

Expansion modules for all needs

The JX3 system offers various digital input and output modules. Various analog modules and temperature modules are available for process and measuring technology:

* Analog input module with four analog inputs

* Analog output module with four analog outputs

* Temperature module for the connection of two analog temperature sensors (Pt100-/Pt1000 sensors)

* Temperature module for the connection of two thermocouples type J,K, B, E, N, R, S and T

Additional modules, such as a counter module, are currently being developed. Eight expansion modules can be connected to one bus head, either CAN or Ethernet, and even up to sixteen modules can be connected by means of a power supply module. Therefore I/O stations with up to 256 digital input and output channels can be configured.

Simple installation

Installation of the JX3-I/O modules is really simple. Each expansion module has its own backplane. This is simply snapped onto the hat rail. Replacing modules is extremely easy as the module housing only has to be released from the backplane. Plug terminals permit pre-fabrication of wiring harnesses with different connections: Tension spring and spring connections allow tool-free connection of the conductors. The expansion modules are color-coded; this means that there are also defined colors for certain functions. This prevents confusion in the electrical cabinet and the machine.

Varied diagnostic options

The JX3 system has a number of diagnostic options. The following can be monitored:

* Controller communication

Replacing modules is extremely simple as it is only necessary to release the module housing from the backplane. Each expansion module has its own backplane.
Replacing modules is extremely simple as it is only necessary to release the module housing from the backplane. Each expansion module has its own backplane.

* Communication with the bus head

* The operating system / firmware version

* The number of connected modules

* The status of connected modules

* The supply voltage

* Sensor and actuator voltage

* The single channel diagnosis of the outputs in the event of a short circuit

* The electronic rating plate (serial number, hardware version

Users therefore have a comprehensive range of diagnostic options at their disposal which can also be used decentrally by means of remote maintenance. Networking with Ethernet ensures full access to all controllers and bus nodes in the network.

Numerous additional functions

The individual modules offer a complete range of additional functions, two of which are described below as an example. The I/O module has the following functions:

* Pulse stretching

* Digital filters

* Pulse width modulation

* Configurable error statuses of the outputs

* Outputs can also be used as inputs

The expansion modules for processing analog signals have the functions averaging, user scaling, upper/lower limit monitoring, drag indicator as well as an oscilloscope function.

Compact and powerful

The new JX3 system is a compact and powerful control solution. Not only the scalability and modularity of the system are of interest, but in particular the concept of full integration of automation functions and the JetSym STX programming language. Combined with the options of the integrated IT functions and networking with Ethernet, the JX3 series offers machine and plant engineers a sustainable solution for the challenges of today and the future.

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