Ascon’s new compact controller

20 September 2008

In 2006, Ascon launched its sigmaPAC ‘programmable automation controller’ as the host to its CANbus-based sigmadue series of analogue and digital I/O modules. The sigmaPAC was targeted for applications with multiple parallel tasks to be managed by the same control unit; it was designed to be connected with distributed I/O units.

Ascon sigma microPAC
Ascon sigma microPAC

The new sigma mircoPAC is a more compact unit designed especially for OEMs. It brings the same level of sophistication, flexibility, and fieldbus networking found in large plants down to the level of single machines, incorporating such functions as PID algorithms, floating point arithmetic, sequencing functions of a PLC, and the computing flexibility of a PC.

Like its big brother, the sigma microPAC has similar CPU characteristics (32 bit ARM architecture, 4 MB flash, and 16M RAM), is programmable in six different languages with many function block libraries, and it has a variety of serial, Modbus, and Ethernet ports. The main difference is the amount of on-board I/O: where the sigmaPAC is designed to network with CANbus to its family of distributed I/O modules, the sigma microPAC is designed to work as a standalone control system. It has six analogue inputs, four analogue outputs, and eight digital ins and eight digital outs. Expansion units for 32 DI plus 32 DO fit applications requiring more sequencing of discrete signals.

It is sized to suit the most common applications in industries such as food and beverage, plastic, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and machines such as boilers, furnaces, kilns, chillers, autoclaves, plastic extruders, and cold rooms.

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