Drives and Controls Magazine
Machine-mounting controller supports IoT programming
Published:  21 January, 2016

Rexroth has announced an IP65-protected control module that combines PLC and I/O functions and can be mounted directly onto a machine, avoiding the need for a protective cabinet. The IndraControl FM handles up to 36 digital and analogue I/O from devices such as sensors and actuators, as well as Modbus RTU for direct activation of frequency converters.

In addition to PLC programming based on Codesys v3, IoT (Internet of Things) applications can be implemented using a Linux-based options board with a built-in Web server. For example, users can program Web-based services using higher-level languages such as Java or C++ and integrate them via a Java Virtual Machine. They can write application functions in a choice of development environments and access control functions from external devices, independently of the PLC program.

Rexroth suggests that the technology will allow OEMs to cut delivery times by assembling and commissioning different machine modules simultaneously and independently of each other. Because the controller does not contain wear-prone components such as batteries and fans, it is said to be maintenance-free.

Rexroth’s control modules are designed to be mounted directly onto machines

Minimum PLC cycle times are 250µs. Installation is simplified by the use of pre-fabricated hybrid cables to carry power supplies and communications, and by the ability to connect sensors and actuators directly to the controller. The device has a built-in multi-Ethernet interface and access to the options board is possible via Ethernet as well as removable SD memory cards, a USB port or an optional WLAN connection.