Phoenix Contact IIoT-oriented PLC made available by RS Components

RS Components (RS) is now stocking the first programmable logic controller (PLC) to be based upon Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext Technology open control platform. Aimed at distributed modular control applications in industrial automation, the PLCnext Control brings the flexibility of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to the PLC architecture.

The first PLCnext Control device to be made available by RS is the AXC F 2152. It is based on a dual-core 800MHz ARM Cortex processor, supported by 512MB of memory. Housed in a rugged and compact enclosure measuring 127 x 45 x 75mm, the unit includes an OPC UA server, fieldbus manager, diagnostic loggers, trace controllers and automatic access to Phoenix Contact’s direct cloud connection, Proficloud.

PLCnext Control is based on an embedded Linux architecture, expanded to include real-time capability in its core. RS said key advantages of using Linux lie in its stability and support for secure communications. Also, because it runs on many different hardware platforms, it allows scaling and use of future processor architectures.

To support younger engineers who tend to be more familiar with high-level development environments than traditional PLC programming methods, the PLCnext platform supports a choice of high-level languages as well as IEC 61131-compliant programming techniques.

Open-source software and applications can be hosted by the system, while maintaining the real-time performance and data consistency associated with proprietary, device-specific PLC coding.

The PLCnext Engineer engineering software platform uses automation modules and object-oriented programming to provide a single optimised user interface for all engineering tasks, saving time and cost on both training and project work, says the company. Consistent operation worldwide is assured by IEC 61131-3 compliance, while functional safety programming is certified in accordance with IEC 61508.

The development environment is structured so that multiple developers can work in parallel using their preferred development tools, with their contributions being captured seamlessly into a single project.

This should lead to faster project completion.