Mitsubishi is launching the FX5U compact PLC, describing it as the next generation of the world's best-selling compact PLC, and the first in the new Melsec iQ-F family of PLCs. Key features of the new FX5U PLC are:
- Greater processing power
- Improved connectivity
- New built-in functionality such as positioning and motion control
- Improved debugging and troubleshooting
- Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Ready for Industry 4.0 and connection to the Internet of Things (IoT)
With the new FX5U compact PLC, users can develop automation control systems that are more sophisticated and complex, without having to resort to larger, costly PLC hardware. Nevertheless, because the FX5U is programmed with the same GX Works software as used for Mitsubishi's larger PLCs, machine builders and system integrators benefit from relatively easy scalability should the application require it.
Mitsubishi says that its new FX5U continues the FX tradition of total flexibility by offering a huge range of new and existing add-on options that further enhance these functions that are built-in as standard:
- Analogue I/O
- Data logging
- Position control
- Communications and networking
With these functions provided already, and the add-ons offered, the FX5U enables users to specify more powerful systems but with fewer overall components, therefore saving time and cost.
According to the company, the Mitsubishi FX5U offers functions that to date have only been available on larger PLCs, such as motion control, data logging and sophisticated security features. For example, the four-axis simple motion module brings sophisticated motion control in an easy-to-use format for applications such as food and beverage packaging, with features such as torque control and circular interpolation.
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things
To meet the future needs of Industry 4.0, the FX5U offers comprehensive data logging functionality as standard. Furthermore, as well as the built-in Ethernet connection, a standard SD card can be inserted in the CPU for capturing data such as energy consumption and product throughput.
With security being a key issue today, the FX5U offers sophisticated security features to protect both the developer's intellectual property and the final installation. Each PLC can have a security 'key' so users can easily manage access to both software and hardware.
All of this functionality is combined with a processing speed of 34ns per instruction (said to be twice as fast as competitor PLCs) and a bus speed 150 times faster than previous generation FX PLCs. The result is a platform that enables the FX5U to be used in a host of applications that would previously have required much larger and more costly PLCs.
The FX5U is programmed using the new GX Works3 software, which provides an intuitive, graphical, structured programming environment. GX Works3 offers a wide range of programming options including dynamic labels, parameterisation instead of programming, and the automatic creation of hardware function blocks and visual function blocks, including HMI templates. This drag-and-drop hardware and software configuration reduces configuration time by over 60 per cent overall, while the intuitive approach to programming reduces development costs and development errors.
Mitsubishi has made it straightforward for customers to upgrade from the FX3U series PLCs. Not only are the FX5U modules dimensionally identical, but they also cost the same. In addition, programs written on the GX Works2 platform can be imported into GX Works3.
Follow the link for more information about the Mitsubishi FX5U compact PLC.