Industrial Computer Hardware

New industrial PC with Pentium III processor

February 2002 Industrial Computer Hardware

Modern production systems demand fast reaction times, greater flexibility and full communication, and Bosch has designed its new high-end industrial PC with Pentium III processors to meet these ever-increasing production requirements.

The new Pentium III processor with the latest 0,18 m (Coppermine) technology from Intel is the core of the new high-end IPC. Thanks to this new chip, the PC has a compact, industry-ready design with guarantee of long-term availability. The small losses of the Pentium III processor considerably reduce heat output. All units in the IPC family are resistant to shock and vibration and special emphasis has been given to high operational safety. Bosch has been developing IPCs for many years and can thus ensure that the reliability of the IPC family meets the high standards of the hardware controllers. The uninterruptible power supply and a spring-cushioned hard disk with auto-park function ensure that the entire IPC product line is an open control platform for demanding automation tasks.

The complete family of high-performance industrial PCs is now also available with the new Pentium III processor
The complete family of high-performance industrial PCs is now also available with the new Pentium III processor

Support arm or control cabinet

There are two different installation possibilities for the IPC. The first is to install it and the control panel in a common housing on the support arm. This version requires a protection class of at least IP54. A relatively large housing is required to accommodate a passive cooling system. Power losses of up to 60 W can be dissipated in this way.

For multiple IPC plug-in boards or small housings, a second possibility is to mount the IPC separately in a control cabinet. A fast digital gigabit interface connects the control panel, mouse, touchscreen and keyboard decentrally. By relocating the IPC, there is low power loss in the housing on the supporting arm. This allows an especially compact and simple construction as well as Windows 2000 compatible.

Windows 2000

The high-performance, fast Intel Pentium III processor and memory up to 512 MB mean that the IPC family can run Windows 2000. This series is produced in Germany in accordance with Bosch's high quality standards. A performance guarantee and many extra components make the IPCs suitable for PC-based automation technology in manufacturing and machinery construction.

With the new BF315T 15" touchscreen control panel, the IPC family can perform to its full potential for operation and monitoring, as well as for visualisation tasks. Thanks to a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, the operator can view complex contexts at a glance directly at the machine. The control panel interface has been designed for two-wire transmission. A particular advantage is that the control panel can also be operated remotely from a distance of up to 75 m.

Communication ability

The IPC offers a wide range of possibilities for communicating with external peripheral devices or master control systems. Three RS232 serial interfaces, one RS485 interface, a USB port and a 10/100 Mb Ethernet connection are provided with the standard configuration. Additional fieldbus master assemblies are used for connecting the remote inputs and outputs to standard fieldbus systems such as Profibus-DP, Interbus-S or CANopen.

A complete selection of remote I/O modules is available, all conforming to IP20 and IP67 protection classes. The small modular CL150 control is available for pre-processing functions.

The combination of control software with realtime hardware ensures that the PLC software (PCL) is reliable and offers a response time of only a few microseconds. In addition, the rh04 function package controls high speed robot axes. The MMI-MADAP software is used for visualisation and diagnostic purposes. The open PC system can also accommodate customer-specific components. The standardised OPC software interface or Microsoft COM/DCOM interfaces allow access to the process data.

System-level responsibility

If desired, experienced specialists can configure the IPC software and hardware to meet customer-specific needs. This guarantees the user maximum security, as Bosch is responsible for the entire system and offers competent support for all hardware and software components.

The PLC software in the IPC can be programmed either in the classical PLC programming languages instruction list (IL), ladder diagram (LD), function block diagram (FBD), sequential function chart (SFC) or directly in the high-level C language. Structured text (ST) per IEC 1131 is also supported. The command sets and programming environments are identical to the hardware PLC controllers whose programs can therefore readily be transmitted to the IPC with PLC software. The programming environment is WinPLC.

Unlike PC office applications, industrial PCs demand worldwide service and the availability of spare parts for many years. In addition to today's visualisation and control tasks, IPC can also be used in the future for axis control with industrial robots or numerical controllers. The fact that all components work optimally together is a key factor for the high performance and reliability of the entire system. Other important advantages of this system are investment security and the open architecture. Once application software is developed for the IPC, it can be used with the latest, more powerful systems without having to make extensive alterations, giving the IPC considerable potential in the field of automation technology.

Opel as Vanguard

While many industrial users are sceptical of PC-based solutions, Opel is backing the IPC for future production lines. The IPC series will be used in the car body area of the European Opel plants for operating, visualising and diagnosis. With the powerful Pentium III processors, complex system diagrams with actual data from running production processes can be displayed and updated in fractions of a second. The time to switch between the different system diagrams is considerably faster than with present solutions. In case a malfunction occurs, the maintenance staff gains valuable time for isolating the error and avoiding system downtimes.


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