Uxbridge, MA, March 2020 - More flexible, more intelligent machines mean more complexity - and therefore higher demands on the performance of the control system. Lenze reacts to this with its new generation of Cabinet Controllers, and pushes the limits of what is technically feasible.
With the new controller generation, Lenze is establishing a new performance class for control systems. In addition to the current c300 and 3200 C models, the c500 series now enables Lenze’s proven motion control technology to be used in extremely complex projects. This enables solutions for which previously only industrial PCs could be used.
The demand that the machine automation specialist associates with this is high: "We want OEMs to no longer have to worry about whether the controller can deliver sufficient computing power for complex tasks. The c500 series definitely has enough computing power," says Martin Kluge, head of product management automation systems at Lenze SE.
Superclass processor as basis
The heart of the c500 series is currently the most powerful CPU available for highly compact designs. These Intel processors redefine the upper performance limit for controllers. On this basis, Lenze has developed the controller series that can easily cope with the rapidly increasing requirements of industry 4.0 for general control tasks and motion applications.
This offers OEMs a number of advantages. For example, more complex projects for which there were previously no sufficiently powerful controllers do not have to be equipped with an industrial PCs anymore, therefore reducing programming and connectivity effort. The machine manufacturer can now fall back on the standard software modules of Lenze's FAST Toolbox, and continue working with the modules created for this purpose and modules developed in-house. Existing programs, or program modules, according to IEC 61131-3 can also be reused.
The development of printing presses can serve as an example here: They place the highest demands on timing when it comes to synchronizing numerous axes, and also demand the highest precision. This is no problem for the new controller generation - it always delivers sufficient performance, even for applications that are already running, and continue to grow within the framework of Industry 4.0 and require additional computing power.
PC and SPS combined
The c750 model blurs the distinction between PLC and Industrial PC. This controller covers tasks in which Windows applications are absolutely necessary. The Open System architecture made possible by Lenze divides the computing power between two independent operating systems. Real-time Linux is responsible for control tasks, while the open Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is available for customer-specific software applications.
Each of these systems runs on a physical processor core that splits into two virtual cores and can thus process two tasks in parallel. This is made possible by the CPU's integrated virtualization at processor level, which allows direct allocation of the available resources, including the main memory and interfaces in addition to the processor cores.
The most common Windows applications include database applications such as recipe management and data analysis, partly with the aid of AI and machine learning. Mostly, image recognition for barcode readers and 2D/3D scanners or vision applications are also dependent on Windows, as are teaching applications for simple robot learning. Data exchange with the cloud is also becoming increasingly relevant. The Cabinet Controller c750 can preprocess the collected data and compress it for the cloud.
IT meets OT
To integrate the machines of a smart factory, not only into superimposed systems such as SCADA, MES and ERP, but also into the cloud, Lenze has developed the X4 Remote solution. This integrated and ready-to-use complete solution consists of cloud gateways and a cloud-based range of web services that can be easily set up and configured.
With the X4 Remote solution, Lenze supports the OEM's business models, such as the optimization of maintenance or the exchange of information with suppliers and customers.
In practice, the desire of users to have modular machines and systems with higher flexibility usually means higher software requirements. As a result, projects are increasingly reaching the limits of what controllers can achieve. With the c500 controller series, Lenze offers a powerful solution for such projects. For automation applications that require a Windows environment, the c750 creates an alternative to an additional PC by combining its function with that of the controller in a compact form factor. The new controllers push the performance limit for PLCs significantly higher - and thus the threshold for switching to PC technology. Lenze now enables its partners to continue using the PLC-based modules even in more complex projects, and to limit the amount of work and space required in the control cabinet.
Lenze is a global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology. As a global specialist in Motion Centric Automation, we offer our customers products, drive solutions, complete automation systems, engineering services and tools from a single source. We are a leading provider of automation solutions to industries including: consumer packaged goods, converting and printing, automotive, material handling and logistics, robotics, and commercial pumps/fans. With a global network of engineers, sales representatives, and manufacturing facilities, Lenze is well-positioned to meet the motion control needs of customers worldwide. Lenze Americas, the American subsidiary of Lenze SE of Germany, is headquartered in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Corporate global headquarters are in Hamelin, Germany.
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