PLCs, DCSs & Controllers


Micro PLC reduces complexity of large standalone machines

September 2018 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Machine designers can use a new micro PLC to help optimise the control architecture in large standalone machines or systems. The new Allen-Bradley Micro870 PLC can support smart micro applications that require up to 304 I/O points, 280 KB of memory and 20 000 program instructions. “Designers today use several PLC sizes for their automation projects,” said control systems business manager, Christo Buys. “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 Micro870 PLC uses a flexible design concept that provides designers up to three plug-ins and eight expansion I/O modules. This capability allows them to easily customise or expand the controller to meet each machine type’s unique requirements. The controller’s

280 KB memory capacity supports modular programming and the use of user-defined function blocks to help reduce design time. Additionally, machine builders can use this memory to maintain a single program for all machine models that use the Micro870 PLC.

The controller communicates via EtherNet/IP and includes multiple embedded communications options, including a USB programming port, a non-isolated serial port and an Ethernet port. It can also support up to two axes of motion.

The new Connected Components Workbench software version 11 provides a single design environment for programming the Micro870 PLC. The software can also be used to configure Allen-Bradley PanelView 800 graphic terminals, PowerFlex AC drives, Kinetix component servo drives, electronic overload relays, light curtains and configurable safety relays. This feature can save engineers time and costs compared with using another programming tool for each device in a system.

A new conversion tool in version 11 makes it easier for MicroLogix customers to upgrade to the Micro800 controller family. In addition, version 11 allows Encompass members of the PartnerNetwork program to help ease configuration of complementary third party products via graphical configuration profiles. These profiles support the Micro800 plug-ins as well as expansion I/O to help make the configuration process faster and more accurate.

For more information contact Christo Buys, Rockwell Automation, +27 11 654 9700, cbuys@ra.rockwell.com, www.rockwellautomation.co.za


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