Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enriching the PLC Control Network

What would be advantage of expanding your CompactLogix and ControlLogix PLC system with intelligent remote I/O? The distributed intelligence would not only reduce the additional load on the PLC but also accommodate new special applications and functional requirements, allowing the system to grow while still under the same PLC’s overall control. You could enrich you’re a-B system by expanding its functional and size capabilities, and still be standardized on Logix PLC systems.

For instance, be standardized on Microsoft software and Dell computers but chooses other peripheral from other vendors for specific purposes, you can continue to use Allen-Bradley PLCs, software, and training and maintenance contracts while choosing another vendor for specific I/O needs. Your PLC system supplements with intelligent remote I/O gives you options that may work well in your application. Using intelligent remote I/O may cost less.

Opto 22, a company for manufacturing reliable, industrially hardened I/O, offers an intelligent remote I/O system called SNAP I/O that supports fully Ethernet/IP, the protocol used by Logix PLCs.

Because SNAP I/O supports Ethernet/IP natively, currently engineers using Allen-Bradley PLCs can supplement their expand capabilities and control networks without concerns about compatibility and communication, without extra programming and with little effect on PLC performance.

PLCs usually scan remote I/O directly through a bus-coupler which simply provides communication, not local intelligence. Adding more I/O normally requires resources of PLC both for scanning and myriad functions such as latching, counting, thermocouple linearization, PID loop control, ramping and so on. The additional one or more PID loops can impact significantly system performance.

With Opto 22’s SNAP I/O, all these functions and many more are distributed to the local I/O processor which runs them independently. This I/O intelligent processor is called a brain. The brain is much more than a bus-coupler sitting on the I/O rack, offering not just communication but extensive local functions as well, including functions such as PIC loop control that are more handled easily on the brain than on the PLC, because of different design.

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