Rockwell Improves Allen-Bradley Micro Controllers for Machine Builders

December 08, 2022 by Damond Goodwin

Rockwell aims to help machine builders, integrators, and manufacturers with improved efficiency to their Micro800 controllers and design software.

The world leading industrial electronics and controls manufacturer, Rockwell Automation, has recently developed improved control options for manufacturers and machine builders. The new micro controllers feature enhanced Allen-Bradley Micro850 and Micro870 2080-Lx0E controllers. The controllers are meant to be used in conjunction with Rockwell's Connected Components Workbench software, designed to improve efficiency in machine building during the building and programming processes. 


Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradly Micro850 and Micro870 2080-Lx0E controllers

Rockwell's new micro controllers are designed to improve efficiency in machine building during the building and programming processes. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


Rockwell hopes that the newer, more intuitive programming methods offered with the new software will help to expedite the programming process for newly built cells. This will bring down costs for machine builders and integrators, since programming is often time consuming and usually requires a significant amount of expensive, highly-skilled labor. The addition of the Rockwell's Micro Control System to standalone cells promises to save both manufacturers and machine builders in the programming and troubleshooting stages of machine integration. 

Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley micro controllers

Micro850 (left) and Micro870 (right) 2080-Lx0E controllers. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


Micro850 and Micro870 2080-Lx0E Controllers

The Micro850 and the Micro870 2080Lx0E controllers allow manufacturers access to greater connectivity in their automated systems. They are available with the latest Class 1 implicit messaging capability.  In addition, each controller is capable of handling up to eight EtherNet/IP devices and designed to be easier to program with more streamlined programming that offers customers simpler workflows involving an intuitive design environment.

The 2080-Lx0E controllers are useful when integrating controllers to drives. They can be used in combination with PowerFlex 520 series and Kinetix 5100 drives. In order to control the drives, the controllers use EtherNet/IP with pre-defined tags in conjunction with pre-made function blocks with (UDFB) instructions. In order to operate the system, users will have to make sure that they are using Connected Components Workbench software version 21 or greater, as it is the minimum software required to run the controllers. 

The controllers can be looked at for long term operational productivity increases, with a reduction in associated costs. In addition, machine builders can expect to decrease the typical times from start to finish of automated projects with the simplified programming and intuitive design built into the controllers.  


Rockwell Automation Connected Components Workbench (CCW) Software

Rockwell's Connected Components Workbench (CCW) software is designed to be easy to program, simulate, configure, and visualize. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


Connected Components Workbench

Rockwell has developed the Connected Components Workbench (CCW) software with ease of use in mind. They have designed the CCW software to be easy to program, simulate, configure, and visualize.

The CCW software seeks to decrease frustration and time blocks created in the programming of their PLCs. They have integrated simple code blocks into the programming process, making it easier for less skilled programmers to begin programming the controller.

In addition, program simulation can be tested without the use of hardware using the Micro800 Simulator. Programmers will also be able to reference Micro800 controller variables directly when creating HMI tags. The software will also help to increase automation performance through the use of improved Ethernet diagnostic tools and systems.  


Bringing Machines to Life

When customers look to bring machines to life through development and integration, Rockwell’s smart capabilities promise faster integration times, which offer manufacturers greater capabilities for marketing and for driving business growth. Programming is often a time consuming and expensive process for machine builders and manufacturers alike—any reduction in programming costs is beneficial to both.