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Micro PLCs expand machine-building flexibility

04 February 2013

Rockwell Automation has introduced the Allen-Bradley Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 PLCs, featuring embedded motion capabilities for up to three axes of motion, plus a useful SMS module for remote machine interrogation and status reporting.

The Micro850 micro PLC is equipped with the same form factor, plug-in support, instruction/data size and motion capabilities as the 24-pt and 48-pt Micro830 controllers, but with the added capabilities of Ethernet and expansion I/O. The Micro850 controller is specifically targeted at OEMs seeking controllers for stand-alone machine applications. 

The Micro850 controllers have an embedded Ethernet port for connection to human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The EtherNet/IP protocol with CIP Symbolic support is used in order to simplify connection to Allen-Bradley PanelView Component HMIs. Tags created while configuring the HMI screens can easily reference the variable names in the Allen-Bradley Micro800 program.

In terms of I/O flexibility, there is support for up to five plug-ins. Machine builders can customise the functionality of the controller with additional I/O, special functions, and serial ports without increasing the physical size of the controller. If more I/O or higher-performance analogue I/O is required, the Micro850 controller supports up to four side-expansion I/O modules, including high-density digital I/O and high-accuracy analogue I/O, for a total of 132 digital I/O points.

The enhanced Micro830 (achieved via a firmware and software upgrade) and Micro850 controllers support up to three motion axes using pulse output to stepper or servo drives. Machine builders can use intuitive motion function blocks, including Home, Move Velocity, Move Absolute, and Move Relative. For applications where precise positioning is required at high speeds, the Touch Probe function block has special hardware to achieve exact-position registration.

A single, free-of-charge, programming software Connected Components Workbench simplifies installation, configuration, connectivity, and maintenance of these devices, including the Micro800 controllers series, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex ac drives, and PanelView Component graphic terminals.

For more information on the Micro800 family of PLCs and Connected Components Workbench software, click here.


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