new platform combines more of the features and capabilities of a PC-based
control system with that of a typical programmable logic controller (PLC). It
is a modular, rack-based system providing up to 116,000 I/O points with local,
expansion and remote I/O bases and a full lineup of discrete, analog and
specialty I/O modules. A high-performance P3-550 CPU offers 50 Mbyte memory, sub-millisecond
scan times (3 Kbytes of Boolean logic and 1Kbyte of I/O in less than 650 Âµsec) and
seven built-in communication ports for just $599.
Productivity3000 was not specifically designed with a programmable automation controller
in mind, but we found that our finished product was tailored for application
space currently occupied by PACs," says Jeff Payne, a product manager for
says what drove the development project was feedback from customers about shortcomings
in the existing product, the availability of new technology and the desire to
maintain its place as a low cost controller solution. Compared to the DirectLOGIC
line, the Productivity3000 product offers major upgrades.
communications capabilities have to be the first unique feature of the
Productivity3000 that catches your attention," says Payne. With a total of seven
communications ports on the CPU, the product offers USB and Ethernet
programming options, Ethernet networking using the ModbusTCP protocol, serial
Modbus RTU support plus ASCII and custom protocol capabilities using the unit's
RS-232 and RS-485 ports. Also included is built-in support for expanding local I/O,
the ability to master remote I/O and a USB data port that allows engineers to
log process data and transfer projects to and from the CPU.
USB local expansion port supports up to four additional I/O bases, while a
dedicated Ethernet remote I/O expansion port can connect up to 32 remote base
groups; each remote group supports up to four additional local bases, for over
116,000 maximum I/O.
key development is that the free downloadable ProductivitySuite programming
software now features tag name based programming to simplify program
documentation and eliminate many boundaries set by fixed memory addressing
commonly found in traditional PLCs. Advanced "fill-in-the-blank" function block
style instructions are also used to compliment the basic ladder logic
major difference from the DirectLOGIC product is the easy integration of the
company's GS drives on the Ethernet remote I/O network. Using networked drives,
engineers can connect to the CPU and the drives are automatically discovered in
the hardware configuration. The drives can be configured and saved into the
user's program, and they become part of the project file. Instructions within
the controller make it easy to read and write data, or control drive operation
with the instructions inside the program rather than mapping Modbus registers.
P3K data logging software provides an easy and inexpensive way to collect data
by connecting it to enterprise database systems using SQL, MS-Access or any
ODBC compatible database. Report-by-exception operation eases network traffic
by sending information only when needed. It also allows the device complete
control to store data to a computer database or to store it locally if the network
also has immediate plans for expanding the Productivity3000 product line with
high speed input and output modules and also a new Ethernet and serial
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
When you think of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, you may imagine complex humanoid contraptions made of metal and wires that move like a Terminator Series T-90. But what actually happened at the much-vaunted event was something just a bit different.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.