Motion Control & Drives


New Allen-Bradley controller

March 2020 Motion Control & Drives

Industrial workers can strengthen their grasp of production and make more informed operating decisions with the new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 controller by Rockwell Automation. The controller marries a Logix control engine and the Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system in a single platform, allowing workers to view machine information at its source.

“The controller can collect raw machine data and reveal it to workers as useful information, right at the machine level,” said Christo Buys, business manager control systems, Rockwell Automation. “Providing these insights close to where they’re produced allows workers to make smarter and faster operating decisions. As a result, they can better react to issues and ultimately increase productivity in a Connected Enterprise.”

The controller can reduce latency by performing real-time data collection at the machine level. Users can view control information at its source, and other information can be sent upstream to the enterprise or cloud. The ability to run Windows applications on-premises can also reduce the need for a separate PC on the plant floor and shrink a machine’s footprint.

“Companies deploying Industrial IoT technologies no longer have the luxury of choosing between cloud or on-premises architectures – they need both,” said Matthew Littlefield, president and principal analyst, LNS Research. “The ability to access control-system data at the machine level and access insights from the cloud can deliver the agile decision-making that many companies desire.”

The CompactLogix 5480 controller can support applications with up to 150 axes of motion. This makes it ideal for large packaging and converting, printing and web applications that would benefit from a simplified architecture and smaller footprint. The controller also provides faster scan-time execution and motion-loop updates to help improve machine throughput.

The controller incorporates multiple security functions, including user authentication and authorisation, role-based access and digitally signed encryption. The Windows operating system runs independently from the control engine, so any disruptions to the operating system will not affect machine or line control.


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