DEC Corporation announced the release of its MicroSmart FC6A Plus, a PLC with up to 2,060 local I/O. With its expanded I/O capacity, the FC6A Plus can control and monitor machines or small-scale manufacturing facilities.
To ensure performance with this I/O count, basic instructions can be executed in the speed of 21 nanoseconds, and program memory is 800 kB (100K steps. These features allow the FC6A Plus to handle large programs with complex control requirements such as PID, flow totalization and recipes.
Two models are available, each with 24 Vdc input power. The 16 I/O model has 8 inputs, and 8 relay or transistor outputs. The 32 I/O model has 16 inputs, and 16 transistor outputs. Each model also includes an integral 0-10 Vdc analog input with 12-bit resolution. Each model can accommodate up to three plug-in discrete, analog, serial communication or Bluetooth cartridges. Each discrete cartridge has 4 discrete I/O points, either 4 inputs or 4 outputs. Each analog cartridge has 2 analog I/O points, either 2 inputs or 2 outputs.
Up to 63 I/O expansion modules can be added. This gives the FC6A Plus the capability to handle up to 2,060 I/O with a maximum of 511 analog I/O.
The FC6A Plus also includes an optional Bluetooth wireless communication adapter, giving users the power to monitor the PLC and download/upload programs from any PC or laptop with Bluetooth capability. This eliminates the need to stock, locate and connect a cable to the PLC for these tasks, and provides access to the PLC from a distance up to 10 meters. In addition, any device with Bluetooth capability, such as a bar code reader, can also be configured to communicate with the PLC.
FTP communication allows users to configure the FC6A Plus as a FTP Client or Server for transfer of programs and logged data between a server and the PLC, providing a way to remotely communicate with the PLC. Up to 16 users can be managed simultaneously, and access folders can also be managed. Files can be stored at the PLC or logged to the PLC’s SD memory card for transfer to an FTP server.
All models have two built-in RJ45 Ethernet ports. Optional Plug-in communication cartridges can be added to create two additional RS232C/RS485 ports. With the addition of serial communication modules, up to 33 RS232C/RS485 serial ports are supported
The PLC’s Ethernet port supports the Modbus TCP protocol, and the serial port supports the Modbus RTU protocol. Support for the BACnet communication protocol will be available in mid-2018 to provide communications with building automation components and systems. An SD memory port and a mini-B USB port can each be used for data logging, program storage/transfer, firmware updating or recipe storage.
An optional HMI module can be added to the CPU to provide operator interface via its display and control buttons. The HMI module can also accommodate an optional plug-in analog cartridge, and it has an integral Ethernet port. Using the operator interface functionality, any PLC parameter can be updated.
The FC6A Plus has app access from any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. These WindEDIT Lite apps can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Browser-based access is also included.
With the WindEDIT Lite app, users can upload and download user programs; monitor and control any parameters in the PLC; monitor and clear PLC error status; start and stop the PLC; send and retrieve program and logged files to a cloud database; and manage the SD memory card. Access control can be configured with different layers of user privilege and password. Connection from a PLC to the WindEDIT Lite app can established using Wi-Fi (internet) or Bluetooth.