Simple, intuitively designed engineering, top-level performance, true scalability, and a new interface design with extensive built-in connectivity are the most eye-catching features of a new generation of controllers from Schneider Electric. These controllers are part of 'The NEXT generation' innovation package for MachineStruxure, designed to help further reduce time to market and automation costs for a wide range of machines.
MachineStruxure by Schneider Electric includes automation products and systems, engineering strategies, and a comprehensive range of services for the development of machine building solutions. The core of MachineStruxure is a multi-controller platform that uses scalable, fully IEC61131-3-compliant, programmable control technology for a wide range of tasks. With this multi-controller platform, users can access the tool-based SoMachine engineering suite, which is universally compatible with all MachineStruxure hardware platforms. This engineering suite contains software tools for a machine's entire lifecycle, from programming and commissioning to diagnostics and service.
SoMachine, the universally applicable tool design for MachineStruxure controllers, will be available soon with new functions. It will also feature an even more intuitive programming interface, designed especially to shorten training times for newcomers to MachineStruxure or Modicon controllers. Another important step for shortening time to market is SoMachine's ability to handle different levels of complexity. Thanks to the intuitive operator guidance provided with SoMachine Basic, training is no longer necessary. Schneider Electric will begin introducing 'The NEXT generation' products early next year.
Fully compatible controllers with varying function levels and features
A completely new family of controllers is modernizing the Modicon line in MachineStruxure. These compact new controllers are setting standards in terms of functionality and performance with their straightforward engineering, communication capabilities, and true scalability. A rapid, modular I/O system, side-by-side mountable communication modules, and a safety design embedded in the I/O system also allow customized controller solutions to be efficient configured in the new controllers with minimal installation time.
Modicon M221 controllers for hardwired applications, M241 controllers for applications with higher performance requirements, and Modicon M251 controllers for modular and decentralized architectures are designed for economically and functionally appropriate automation in a wide range of machines. The new Modicon LMC078 motion controller further expands the functional range of Modicon controllers, which primarily use PLC logic, to include greater motion functionality. The Modicon LMC078 can synchronize up to eight servo axes with a cycle time of one millisecond.
By offering standard interfaces that include Ethernet, USB for programming, serial interface, and web servers, these units offer extensive built-in connectivity even in standard configuration without optional add-ons. Both Modicon M221 and Modicon M241 are equipped with I/O terminals, and a pulse/direction interface is also standard. This means that Lexium series servo drives and third-party products can be connected easily, without the need for a fieldbus network.