Smaller, faster controllers integrate motion

Product Exclusive: New CompactLogix 5370 controllers from Rockwell Automation integrate motion on EtherNet/IP, offer faster system performance in a footprint up to 40% smaller, appealing to machine builders.


CompactLogix 5370 controller family from Rockwell AutomationNew Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5370 programmable automation controllers (PACs) from Rockwell Automation bring machine builders a high-performance, “right-sized” integrated motion control solution for machine applications. The 5370 series, which includes the 5370 L1, L2, and L3, controllers, features enhanced performance and motion capabilities while leveraging the common design and networking environment of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system. This gives users access to the extensive capabilities of the Logix Control Platform in a small, integrated, and cost-effective package.

When used with the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 350 servo drive, the CompactLogix 5370 series provides performance and cost competitiveness for machine builders requiring up to 16 axes of complex motion, on one standard industrial network, EtherNet/IP. The EtherNet/IP connectivity offers up to 250% more communication bandwidth than previous CompactLogix controllers, helping enable more network devices and higher performance control.

“Machine builders are always challenged to build better machines more quickly and cost-effectively to meet their customers’ needs and stay competitive,” said Dexter Leong, product manager for Control and Visualization, Rockwell Automation. “These new controllers help fill out our portfolio so machine builders can select from a full range of solutions—from stand-alone components to highly integrated systems through the MicroLogix, CompactLogix, and ControlLogix platforms.” Users can pick the controller and system components that fit each application—in capability and price point—yet standardize on one control platform. “This scalability and consistency helps easily implement systems that speed time to market and lower total cost to design, develop, and deliver machines,” Leong said.

The CompactLogix 5370 series features the same processing speed upgrades as the ControlLogix 5570 series launched in 2011. The new controllers offer users more than twice the processing speeds to boost system performance and enhance access to real-time information for improved productivity. With user memory in the CompactLogix 5370 series of PACs from 384 KB to 3 MB, these controllers are ideal for a variety of applications, including sorting, labeling and packaging, blending, batching, and filling.

Battery-less energy storage on the new series of PACs eliminates maintenance, transportation, and environmental issues associated with lithium batteries. Removing the batteries, along with other design enhancements and technology ​developments, has reduced the size of these CompactLogixcontrollers.

Key features of the three new controllers include:

  • The CompactLogix 5370 L1 is the smallest packaged-style controller in the Logix Control Platform. It uses Point I/O modules as its local I/O, manages integration motion for up to two axes, and provides cost-effective price positioning for simple machine control.

  • The CompactLogix 5370 L2 controller is 40% smaller than the previous generation, and supports up to four axes of integrated motion. From small stand-alone equipment to higher performance applications, these controllers are ideal for assembly machines, hoisting systems, process skids, indexing tables, and packaging.

  • The CompactLogix 5370 L3 controller supports up to 16 axes of integrated motion on EtherNet/IP. The No Stored Energy version of the CompactLogix 5370 L3 offers additional features for hazardous environments found in industries such as mining and oil and gas.

The new CompactLogix 5370 controllers are fully compatible with application code generated for earlier generation CompactLogix products, requiring only a simple catalog number change in the programming software to convert.  Also, linked to the release of the new CompactLogix 5370 controllers, Rockwell Automation has released an update to its Integrated Architecture Builder (IAB) graphical software tool to help users more easily migrate SLC 500 controller users to the newCompactLogix PACs. The free IAB tool provides easy-to-follow migrating guidance and software conversion assistance.

Rockwell Automation

This was a February 2012 Product Exclusive, introduced to Control Engineering subscribers in the February North American print and digital editions.

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