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Enhanced PLC range helps secure cloud-enabled applications

17 May 2019

To meet the increasing data demands of digital applications, ABB launches new central processing units (CPUs) for its AC500 PLC range which offer enhanced connectivity, performance and speed suitable for industrial, buildings or substation uses.

Users of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) looking to extend connection capabilities to secure their cloud-enabled applications, can benefit from increased security of ABB’s new AC500 V3.

The PLC gives end-users, machine builders and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the freedom to add features to their products or extend applications with cloud connectivity. This allows them to capitalise on the opportunities to communicate with other devices through the Internet of Things (IoT). It achieves this by offering four different Ethernet protocols that provide data connectivity, cloud connectivity, substation communication or intelligent building automation, offering users an easy to integrate and open platform.

Data connectivity

IoT and Industry 4.0 applications in automotive, food and beverage, utilities and infrastructure often use OPC UA (Unified Architecture) for information exchange for industrial communication. It is a standard, vendor-independent Ethernet protocol, scalable for lean data access between a client and server. Security is integrated within the protocol via x.509 certificates. The OPC UA protocol gives easy access to selected variables and objects in the AC500 PLC which can be viewed in SCADA or used in cloud applications.

Cloud connectivity 

The TCP/IP fieldbus protocol, MQTT, is integrated as standard and as such is easy to use for secure messaging direct to the cloud. Special function blocks are used to retrieve data from sensors and push data to brokers that can be installed either on premise or in the cloud. This enables the easy and low-bandwidth connection of many devices. Security is integrated within the protocol via x.509 certificates.

Substation communication

Furthermore, AC500 V3 uses the TÜV certified, IEC 61850 Server edition 1 as its TCP/IP protocol for electrical substations. With this the AC500 PLC can perform as an IED, providing an IEC 61850 MMS server for standardised data exchange or using GOOSE publisher/subscriber communication for higher priority data. ABB’s Automation Builder engineering software integrates the IED configuration and data mapping for seamless and easy combination with the application program.

Intelligent building automation

The KNX protocol is used for intelligent control and supervision systems within a building. By adding the AC500 V3, ABB now offers a powerful and freely programmable KNX Building Automation Controller with flexible expandable I/O modules. With KNX and BACnet, the full AC500 product portfolio is now available for seamless building automation.

Extension to existing family

The AC500 V3 is compatible with ABB’s well-established AC500 PLC range, retaining the latter’s flexibility, scalability and footprint. It features updated processors offering higher performance and extended memory, expandable I/O, more built-in interfaces, enhanced onboard control interface and improved engineering and debugging, enabling it to do even more and faster than before.

Web visualisation

All AC500 V3 CPUs come with an integrated web server based on the HTML5 technology. Web visualisation enables convenient remote access, monitoring, service and diagnosis of a system over the internet. Web visualisation means users can quickly and easily create attractive and high-quality visualisation interfaces for widely varying applications in the automation industry. State of the art visualisation can be created using standard tools suite from Automation Builder. 

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