Schneider Electric has introduced the Ethernet-based M580 programmable automation controller (PAC). In 2014, an optional CANopen interface will be provided in order to communicate with a broad range of peripherals offered by the French company.
|The Modicon M580 consists of a CPU and X80 extension modules (Photo: Schneider Electric)|
SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC OFFERS DIFFERENT MOTION CONTROLLER, drives, and other automation equipment with CANopen (NMT master) interfaces. In order to use them in conjunction with the recently introduced M580 Modicon controller, a CANopen interface will be launched soon. The PAC is based on a 600-MHz ARM processor and is intended for mid-range to high-end automation applications. Typical applications include food and beverage, hydropower, oil and gas.
Programmable automation controllers (PAC) are something in between Industrial PCs and PLCs (programmable logic controllers).
The M580 features generic Ethernet connectivity and allows diagnostic and configuration by means of smartphone apps or tablet computers. According to the company’s promotion videos, the user is mostly unburdened from Ethernet system administration. The PAC comprises up to 2048 digital I/O ports and up to 512 analog I/O ports by means of local extensions. In order to connect existing CANopen products, also from third parties, the CANopen option will be introduced in spring 2014.
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