PLC gains add-on 'C-controller' PC module

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Mitsubishi Electric is announcing a significant new extension to its market-leading Melsec System Q automation platform: the QO6CCPU is a 'C-controller', a CPU that is simply integrated into System Q like any other extension, to provide powerful additional PC functionality.

This means, for many applications, considerable timesaving at the design/programming stage by using the higher language - and also a saving in the number of interfaces required.

Complex tasks, communications and protocols are all simplified and customers' investments are protected against obsolescence with the use of industry-standard C++ code. Access is easier too, with direct connection to the office/factory computer network and remote access to the controller via Ethernet and FTP support.

Many designers will welcome this new addition, which contains the well-known real time VxWorks operating system. The QO6CCPU builds on this, allowing the user to program the application in C or C++ by using the easy-to-use development environment for the real-time operating system - Tornado. This brings the System Q automation platform into the realm of C-based controllers and is said to be the first in the market to do this.

It is often said that there is no more flexible programming method than C/C++. The newer C++ object-oriented general-purpose programming language, in particular, is very widely used and has become an industry-standard for programming. It is regarded as easy to learn, extremely powerful, with good memory management and can be used to create small programs or large applications.

This new controller meets a developing market need for C-Controllers, especially for applications with a huge amount of data and 'number crunching'. Furthermore, this C-Controller can fulfil every function or protocol that is available as a C-Function - for example, on the serial RS232 port.

With the launch of this C-Controller, the PC is truly embedded - no longer is there a PC-versus-PLC debate. Users can apply each in one integrated environment; PLC for many standard functions or PC programmed with the powerful C++ higher language.

04 September 2006

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