Sigmatek goes to the EDGE

29 December 2009

Intel’s ATOM processor has been behind a new wave of products across the controls industry. The low-powered processor has inspired new designs that are more economical to produce and to operate. The Austrian controls and automation company Sigmatek has introduced its new EDGE line, based on the processor.

Sigmatek's EDGE technology uses ATOM processors in CPUs and panel computers
Sigmatek's EDGE technology uses ATOM processors in CPUs and panel computers

There are two new C-Dias family PLC processors, the CP 501 and the CCP 511, based on the Atom CPU in Sigmatek’s new range, as well as ETV control panels in sizes of five, 12, 15, and 19 inch models.

“The extremely low power consumption of EDGE technology — less than half the power of a standard x86 processor — allows a compact, fanless construction of the controls,” said Andreas Melkus, Executive Manager for Development and Sales.

“There are no components in use that are subject to mechanical wear. Because the control does not need a battery, the user acquires a truly maintenance-free machine. Naturally, the energy consumption is also reduced and the temperature problems in the control cabinet are minimised.”

All the machines in the EDGE family are equipped with 128 MB of Flash and 64 MB of RAM. They follow the Sigmatek integration idea of PLC, HMI, motion control and safety unified in an integrated platform, with an “all in one” engineering tool, LASAL.

Andreas Melkus, Executive Manager for Development and Sales
Andreas Melkus, Executive Manager for Development and Sales

And they are all equipped with VARAN and Ethernet interfaces. VARAN has a big advantage, says Mr. Melkus, in that it is “hot pluggable.”

“Try doing that with any other industrial Ethernet,” he said. VARAN’s messages are extremely short, which facilitates the hot swapping of modules.

USB, CAN, and serial ports are also provided.

MSR Measurement System

In a completely separate development, Sigmatek brought to the SPS show a new test and measurement system they have been working on with TEST FUCHS  for the Airbus programme. Called MSR, it is intended to be used in testing hydraulic systems on the commercial airplane, and potentially has a large market among airlines and maintenance companies.

Just announced: the MSR test system
Just announced: the MSR test system

The modular instrumentation system can be equipped with up to eight basic modules, which accommodate up to 192 digital and 64 analogue inputs and outputs.

The system uses the VARAN bus for real-time communications, and can synchronise the readings with great precision. Sigmatek engineers at the stand at the SPS/IPC/Drives show said that one of the main deciding factors of the MSR for the Airbus industry was the robust VARAN system, which makes precise decentralised operation possible.

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