IDEC SmartAxis Touch combines PLC and HMI functions

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IDEC SmartAxis Touch combines PLC and HMI functionsA new IDEC SmartAxis Touch all-in-one PLC and HMI (human-machine interface) enables machine builders and system integrators to both reduce system costs and improve machine aesthetics, according to IDEC. Standard features of this product are said to provide all the control needs for small machines, feed and dosing systems, and many other types of equipment.

As the SmartAxis combination PLC/HMI has both the control I/O and display in the panel-mount HMI body there is no need for space inside the control panel to mount a traditional PLC (which is a very useful first cost saving). Next, the four relay outputs on the controller are rated at 10A per point, enabling solenoids and small motors to be connected directly, which eliminates the need for additional interposing relays (a second valuable cost saving in itself), and the further space saving also enables a smaller (and lower-cost) control cabinet to be used. With no need for these additional relays there can be a further saving on wire and wiring time (yet another cost saving).

Aside from the manufacturing/assembly cost savings, the SmartAxis offers many technical advantages through its high specification and features. The screen size is 3.8inch (100 x 300 pixels) and uses resistive touch technology, allowing freedom with screen design and button locations. A choice of either colour or monochrome is offered; the colour version has 65k colours and a super-bright, high-resolution LCD TFT screen, while the monochrome version provides a 740cd/m2 LCD STN display and is backlit by either a white, red or pink LED light to draw the attention of the operator when alarms are present or actions needed.

If an application needs high-speed inputs from an encoder or similar pulse train apparatus, or the need to 'catch' the input from a sensor detecting a fast-moving target, these needs can be accommodated by the built-in high-speed inputs (single pulse 10kHz, four points or two-phase 5kHz, one point). There are also two built-in analogue inputs (0-10V) for the connection of flow meters, distance sensors or other analogue devices.

Communications options

Built-in RS232, RS485 and Ethernet ports all work independently, enabling the easy connection of a bar code reader (RS232), a process instrument such as a temperature controller (RS485) and up-stream data or information devices (Ethernet). The Modbus protocol is used in either Modbus RTU or Modbus TCP/IP formats. The Ethernet port can also support 'remote maintenance' where the user can upload to or download from the SmartAxis from a remote location (which is another very important cost saving).

Functions such as data logging and program transfer can be achieved through the integrated USB port, while programming is via a mini-USB maintenance port. The screen can display the status of I/O, easily check or adjust data variables and even view the ladder program – all of which can be password protected with the security function. In addition there is a built-in real-time clock with daylight saving function, which is suitable for many building and environmental control applications.

Applications include air drying and water purifying systems, pressing and stamping machines, pump and generator sets, greenhouse environmental controls, and theme park attractions.

Product specification:

  • Power – 24V DC (20.4-28.8V)
  • Inputs – eight (two of which can be 0-10V DC analogue)
  • Outputs – four (Relay – 10A per point)
  • Communication – one RS232, one RS485 and Ethernet
  • Clock function – real-time clock with daylight saving
  • High-speed input – Single pulse 10kHz, four points or two phase 5kHz, one point
  • Screen size – 3.8inch TFT colour or 3.7inch STN mono
  • External Data Storage – USB
  • Operating temperature range – 0 to +50degC
  • Ingress protection – IP66F
  • Start-up time – 3 seconds

Follow the link to find out more about the IDEC SmartAxis Touch combined PLC and touchscreen.

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