Rockwell Automation is launching the Allen-Bradley Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 PLCs. Both feature embedded motion capabilities for up to three axes of motion to help meet machine builders' needs for versatile and cost-effective machine control, while the Micro850 supports up to four expansion modules.
Steve Pethick, Director of the Components and Safety Business for EMEA at Rockwell Automation, comments: "To be profitable, machine builders around the globe demand world-class micro PLCs. But these controllers must meet machine builders' requirements for cost-effective control, whilst providing additional options and features that enable machine builders to differentiate their machines from those of the competition. The new Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 controllers balance those needs and help machine builders compete more profitably."
Features and benefits
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 specifically targets the needs of OEMs and is said to excel at standalone machine applications.
Micro850 controllers have an embedded Ethernet port for improved connectivity with human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The EtherNet/IP protocol with CIP Symbolic support is used for simplified Allen-Bradley PanelView Component HMI connectivity. Tags created while configuring the HMI screens can easily reference the variable names in the Allen-Bradley Micro800 program.
I/O flexibility in the Micro850 PLC is one of the keys to successfully minimising the cost of a machine. With 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, all without increasing the physical size of the controller. The Micro850 controller supports up to four expansion modules, including high-accuracy analogue I/O and high-density digital I/O, giving a maximum of 132 digital I/O points.
Multi-axis motion control
The enhanced Micro830 (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, to make single-axis moves easy. 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 package Connected Components Workbench simplifies the installation, configuration, connectivity and maintenance of machine devices, including the Micro800 PLCs, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex AC drives, and PanelView Component graphic terminals. The Connected Components Workbench software saves machine builders time and associated costs compared with using different programming tools for each device.