EC: FT1A SmartAXIS
Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers: The FT1A SmartAXIS series includes IDEC Corp.’s exclusive FT1A Touch, a 3.8-in. HMI with 12 I/O PLC (HMI + PLC), as well as 12, 24, 40, and 48 I/O PLCs. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
The newest family of controllers from IDEC delivers affordability without compromise. Equipped with powerful features, the FT1A SmartAXIS series is a high-performance, cost-effective solution for limited I/O applications. Five models in this series include the exclusive FT1A Touch, a 3.8-in. HMI with 12 I/O PLC (HMI + PLC), as well as 12, 24, 40, and 48 I/O PLCs.
The 3.8-inch FT1A SmartAXIS Touch is available in 65 K TFT color or Monochrome with a super bright screen of up to 700 cd/m2. It also has an embedded RJ45 Ethernet port for remote connectivity and Modbus TCP (Client/Server) communications; a USB port for data logging, program storage/transfer and recipe data; a USB mini Type-B port for maintenance communication; an RS232C/RS422/RS485 interface terminal for serial or Modbus RTU communications; and is offered with 12 I/O (8 inputs, 4 outputs), 10 A relay outputs and built-in 2-pt Analog inputs.
FT1A SmartAXIS Controllers are available with 12 (8 inputs, 4 outputs), 24 (16 inputs, 8 outputs), 40 (24 inputs, 16 outputs), and 48 I/O (30 inputs, 18 outputs) with and without embedded LCD/keypad. Each CPU is equipped with an RJ45 Ethernet port (except 12 I/O), 2 to 8 point 0 to 10 Vdc analog inputs, a real time clock, 10 A relay, 4 to 6 100 kHz high-speed counters , and a USB mini-B programming port. An optional RS232 or RS485 adapter is also available. Modbus TCP (Client/Server) is supported on the Ethernet port, while the 40 and 48 I/O support an SD memory card for data logging.
FT1A supports Ladder, Function Block Diagram (FBD), and Script programming. Text messages with bar graph and dynamic values can also be configured for scrolling and flashing on the embedded LCD. Remote I/O is available in all Ethernet-capable modules, enabling expansion of inputs and outputs up to 192 I/O points.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.