Siemens SIMATIC Microbox 420-T Technology controllers: A combination of PLC and motion control functionalities.

Siemens SIMATIC Microbox 420-T Technology controllers: A combination of PLC and motion control functionalities.
Mechanical and plant engineers are increasingly challenged to offer more flexible and more productive machines despite high price pressures. To facilitate mechatronic solutions, technology functions focusing on motion control are being implemented to a great extent in automation systems, drive systems as well as in PCs.

The technology controllers in combination with the PLCopen-compatible motion control blocks are particularly well suited for coupled motion sequences of multiple axes. Along with position-controlled single axis positioning, primarily complex, synchronized motion sequences are possible, e.g. gearbox synchronization, cam disk synchronization and print-mark correction. As a result, the technology controllers can be used for a host of new applications, such as Processing lines, Throughput machines, Cross-arms, Simple gantries, Filling, Wrapping, Roll feeds, Flying shears, Carton erectors, etc.

The new SIMATIC Microbox 420-T is one such platform that is suitable for open-loop control, motion control and PC applications. It is compact, flexible, ready-to-run DIN-rail mounted PC (IP50 degree of protection) and it combines
  • a Microbox PC 420 with a Pentium III (933MHz)
  • a WinAC RTX software PLC with technological functions
  • PLCopen-compatible motion control functions
  • the SOFTNET PG communications software

    The Microbox 420-T features
  • a compact build with highspeed distributed I/Os (8 high-speed cam outputs)
  • isochronous DP(DRIVE) interface which permits control of the axes over a digital bus system, and another DP interface that can be used for user-friendly parameterization and commissioning of the drives from a PC/programming device.
  • standard PC interfaces, such as Industrial Ethernet and USB for open networking and connecting external devices.
  • a CompactFlash card, no hard disk or fan, and so is maintenance-free and rugged.
  • a completely configured Windows XP embedded operating system including preinstalled software and enabled licenses.
  • an open system permitting access from Windows applications via OPC to process data, as well as integration of C++ programs into the PLC cycle via ODK.
  • integral motion control functions identical to those of the technology CPUs and the user program compatible with all other S7 controllers.