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PLC and motion control combines with visualisation

31 March 2011

The Lenze 3200C controller, launched at the 2010 SPS/IPC/Drives, interestingly combines PLC and motion control functionalities with visualisation in a bid to target complex machines with multiple axes and centralised control such as packaging machinery, handling systems and robots.

Fast Intel Atom processors and the latest operating software are said to allow for the creation of simpler automation systems with higher performance and lower costs. The compact 3200C controller has been mechanically integrated with a modular I/O system and is structured to directly connect to monitor panels.

The use of Intel Atom processors has enabled the company to reduce the size of the unit as no cooling fan is required. At only 136mm wide, and DIN-rail mounted the unit is designed for integration with the company’s I/O System 1000 which has a fast backplane bus and modules for digital and analogue I/O, temperature measurement, counters and encoder evaluation. The controller can be combined with up to 64 of these modules to create a customised control station.

The operating system for the 3200C controllers is Windows CE 6.0. There is no hard disc drive; instead a flash memory is included and data can be transferred via a SD memory card slot and two USB interfaces.

Four LEDs display the operating status of the controller and allow fast initial analysis. To further simplify evaluation, a web server is included which allows access to all of the control parameters and the logbook.

CEE was told that the controller is designed for ‘motion centric automation’. On machines where rotary and linear movement are an essential part of the function. The controller enables the coordinated movement of multiple axes and is also able to assume the control functions of a line process.
 
Connectivity is well catered for. There are two 100MBit Ethernet interfaces with integrated switch which negates the need for an external switch when setting up a line topology. A third Ethernet interface is reserved for operation as an EtherCAT master, suitable for real-time communication with servo and inverter drives.


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