Canadian Packaging

Rockwell Automation reveals new PLCs

The new Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 micro PLC features – including embedded motion control – provide just-enough control flexibility for lower-end applications.

October 30, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

MILWAUKEE—Designed to meet machine builders’ needs for flexible micro programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that optimize stand-alone machine performance and cost, Rockwell Automation has unveiled its new Allen-Bradley Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 PLCs featuring embedded motion capabilities for up to three axes of motion, allowing them to support a wide range of applications.

“To be profitable, machine builders around the globe demand world-class micro PLCs,” says Rockwell Automation Asia Pacific Business Center vice-president and general manager Co Gia Nguyen. “But these controllers must meet machine builders’ requirements for economical, just-enough control, while providing additional options and features that enable machine builders to differentiate their machines from the competition. The new Micro850 and enhanced Micro830 controllers balance those needs and help machine builders compete more profitably.”

The Micro850 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 (original equipment manufacturers) and excels at stand-alone machine applications.

The Micro850 controller has an embedded Ethernet port for higher performance connectivity to 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 a key to minimizing machine cost. With support for up to five plug-ins, OEMs can customize the functionality of the controller with additional I/O, special functions, and serial ports without increasing the size of the controller. If more I/O or higher-performance analog I/O is required, the Micro850 controller supports up to four 2085 expansion I/O modules, including high-density digital I/O and high-accuracy analog I/O, for a total of 132 digital I/O points.

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. OEMs 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 programming software called Connected Components Workbench simplifies the installation, configuration, connectivity, and maintenance of machine devices, including the series of Micro800 controllers, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex AC drives, and PanelView Component graphic terminals. The single Connected Components Workbench software saves OEMs time and associated costs compared with using a different programming tool for each device.

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