New Compact PLC Designed for IIoT Applications

March 26, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

B&R Industrial Automation has released a new PLC to its Compact-S series, the Compact-S X20CP0484-1.

PLCs are a critical component in almost all industrial processes as it allows designers to create custom routines for any process. PLCs of the past rely on large external programmers to transfer a design from a portable computer to the PLC while modern types can be remotely programmed with ease.

While industrial processes are sometimes resistant to upgrading due to the cost and time involved it can often be a beneficial move once the technology has progressed enough (i.e. PLCs can expect continual operation for 10+ years while most users will change their phone once every 2+ years). 


B&R Latest Compact PLC with POWERLINK

B&R Industrial Automation has released a new PLC to its Compact-S series, the Compact-S X20CP0484-1.

This PLC is based around the ARM Cortex-A9 processes and is clocked at 667MHz, contains 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM, and 2GB of onboard FLASH.

It is also integrated with POWERLINK enabling multiple connection methods including Ethernet, USB, and RS232 but the CPU can also be fitted with a CAN bus port. The CPU unit is fan-less which significantly increases reliability, requires no battery, and is externally compact measuring just 37.5mm wide. 

The PLC has a 64 kB FRAM block for remnant variables that can last for more than 10 years and also integrated an RTC which has a data retention period of at least 300 hours (1000 hours at 25°C with 1s resolution).


b&R new compact PLC

The X20CP0484-1compact PLC. Image used courtesy of B&R Industrial Automation


The X20CP0484-1 has a short task time of 0.4ms, with a typical instruction execution time of 0.0106us. The PLC has an operating temperature range of -25°C to +60°C making it suitable for a wide range of industrial environments.


Strong Ethernet Connection for IIoT Use

The X20CP0484-1 Ethernet connection also makes it a strong candidate for industrial systems that plan to move towards integrating remote data logging for use in IIoT. 

The X20CP0484-1 demonstrates how PLCs are changing with the times, almost becoming computers in their own right.

What used to be simple microcontrollers with various external I/O are now quickly becoming full-featured systems that have high-speed processors, large RAM, and various connectivity options to maximize their capabilities.

The use of a battery-less PLC as well as a fan-less design helps to improve reliability which is essential in an environment where uptime is the single most important factor. 


Do you use compact PLCs?