Solutions shine at A-B Automation Fair '98

St. Louis, Mo.Entering its eighth year, Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley Automation Fair 1998 was highlighted by hundreds of innovations, exhibits, technical sessions, and hands-on labs from A-B and its Encompass partners. All designed to help users improve applications, increase quality, and lower costs, some of the featured products included:


St. Louis, Mo. Entering its eighth year, Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley Automation Fair 1998 was highlighted by hundreds of innovations, exhibits, technical sessions, and hands-on labs from A-B and its Encompass partners. All designed to help users improve applications, increase quality, and lower costs, some of the featured products included:

  • A new controller platform, Allen-Bradley MicroLogix 1500 micro-PLC, that offers a micro-PLC with I/O device expansion. This provides the flexibility to match an application's I/O count and type, and also accommodates future control system expansion. Available in March 1999, MicroLogix 1500 micro-PLC has memory modules, a real-time clock, 32-bit signed integer math, enhanced inputs and outputs, trim potentiometers, and greater than 7K configurable memory. These allow it to be used in applications that formerly required much larger and more costly controllers.

  • Allen-Bradley ArmorBlock MaXum I/O, a hardened block I/O product line with flexible cabling options and diagnostics to improve installation, efficiency, and maintainability. This distributed I/O product combines an adaptor, power supply, rack, and I/O into one industrially sealed package. The MaXum series also uses flat media for the DeviceNet device-level network, and can use traditional round cable with 12- or 18-mm connectors or the new flat media KwikLink.

  • Packaged with regenerative power supplies, drive amplifiers, and ac induction motors, Allen Bradley's new 8720MC Drive System, which provides integrated control for ac machine-tool spindles, material handling equipment, transfer mechanisms, test stands and web handling. 8720MC uses Allen-Bradley software, as well as processor and feedback technology combined with Sercos digital communications to improve digital motion performance. The drive system's common bus offerings include 12 drive amplifiers able to control motors from 5.5 to 93 kW (7.5 to 125 hp).

  • Compact I/O, a new PLC-style I/O platform, that allows users to take advantage of low-cost micro-PLCs and modularity of larger control platforms. For example, users can "slide on" the correct number of Compact I/O modules to meet application needs. Compact I/O will be available in March 1999, and is expected to help in situations where the machine or process is expanded and requires just a few more I/O devices than before.
    For more information, visit .

  • Sola/Hevi-Duty 's (Farmington, Conn.) SDN 2.5 and SDN 4 series DIN rail-mounted power supplies, which recently received a Class 2 rating to power DeviceNet applications. These allow users to comply with DeviceNet cabling requirements to prevent NEC Code violations and alleviate the need for extra fusing and additional devices.
    For more information, visit .

  • ControlNet driver for the X-Link Communication Gateway from SST (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), a part of Woodhead Connectivity. Used mostly to connect two otherwise incompatible networks, X-Link makes it easier for users to adapt ControlNet by simplifying and bridging existing network data to ControlNet.
    For more information, visit .

  • Festo 's (Hauppauge, N.Y.) latest Midi/Maxi series Smart Pneumatic Valve Manifolds, which include Allen-Bradley SLC 500 PLC technology. The new manifolds feature added plug-in modules, allowing precision flow control and/or pressure regulation to individual valves on the manifold, as well as "CP" adaptor modules that allow connection of up to four added branches of valves and sensor I/O devices.
    For more information, visit .

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