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IDEC's HMI+PLC features extensive analogue capability

08 January 2015

Following on from IDEC’s first HMI+PLC combination hardware (SmartAxis Touch) is a new platform providing greater analogue capability and increased digital I/O.

New features make the FT1A Touch (SmartAxis) 14 I/O suitable for advanced analogue monitoring and control, allowing users to economically perform both operator interface and control for a much wider range of applications.

Many small scale applications such as simple machines could benefit by using a programmable graphical interface along with a discrete and analogue controller and I/O, but don’t have the panel space or the budget for separate components. The FT1A Touch 14 I/O addresses this need by combining operator interface and control in a single compact package, all programmable with IDEC’s PC-based software.

The FT1A Touch 14 I/O provides up to 158 discrete and analogue inputs and outputs (using FT1A controllers as Remote I/O slaves), PID control, Ethernet, RS232 & RS485 communications and a built-in 3.8-inch touchscreen HMI in a compact package costing less than £400. These features make it a good fit for applications requiring a graphical user interface along with discrete and analogue control at an affordable price.

Responding to market & application demand, the following features were added to the updated FT1A Touch 14 I/O from the existing FT1A Touch:
- The two-point built-in analogue inputs now accept 4-20mA in addition to 0-10Vdc
- Two built-in analog outputs were added, each configurable as 0-10Vdc or 4-20mA
- Can now expand up to two additional analogue two-point I/O cartridges
- RTD/Thermocouple analog input cartridge available
- PID control
- Can be configured as the Remote I/O Master, allowing additional FT1As to be used as Remote I/O Slaves for additional discrete I/O (maximum 158 I/O)

The device has 14 I/O built –in consisting of eight discrete inputs of which two can be configured as analogue, four discrete outputs (transistor) and two analogue outputs. The discrete inputs can handle switching frequencies up to 10KHz and the analogue inputs and outputs can be configured as either 0-10Vdc or 4-20mA.

Two analogue expansion adapters can be added, each with either two inputs or two outputs – providing a total of 8 analogue I/O. The Remote I/O capability allows up to three FT1A controllers to be configured as remote I/O slaves with 24, 40 or 48 I/O, for a maximum of 158 I/O on a single control system.

PID control functions include auto-tuning, anti-reset windup and bump-less-transfer. Programming of the control functions is accomplished via IDEC’s WindLDR, and the HMI is programmed using IDEC’s WindO/I-NV3 software. The WindLDR software allows users to simulate ladder and function block programs to test software without requiring connection of hardware.

Communications includes RS232C and RS485 ports for serial networking; an RJ45 Ethernet port for remote Ethernet and Modbus TCP communications; and a USB port for entering recipe data, performing program updates and data logging.

Critical data can be logged to a USB memory stick and then retrieved by removing the USB stick, or by accessing the data stored on the USB stick via Ethernet. Project files can be transferred between a USB memory stick and the FT1A Touch14 I/O. The USB port is a quick and convenient way for an OEM to program multiple units, and for users to quickly update ladder and HMI programs.

The built-in Ethernet ports allow the FT1A Touch 14 I/O to be configured as a Client (Master) or Server (Slave) on the Modbus network. Modbus RTU (Master or Slave) is also supported. With these capabilities, the FT1A can communicate with other PLCs or devices using the Modbus protocol. It also contains native drivers for communication with PLCs from a wide range of manufacturers using various protocols.

With 47.4kB of logic control programming memory, complex PLC programs can be constructed without undue restriction. And with 5MB of configuration memory for the display, a full-featured display interface can be easily configured.

The new FT1A Touch 14 I/O is CE, cULus, Class I Division 2 for hazardous locations, and has a -20 to 55°C operating temperature.

You can find out more here.


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