Integrated HMI and PLC with extensive analog capability

Combination unit from IDEC can save panel space by combining multiple functions into one compact package.

By IDEC November 10, 2014

IDEC has announced a new model in its FT1A Touch micro programmable controller series of combo HMI and PLC units, the FT1A Touch 14 I/O. The company says new features make this unit suitable for advanced analog monitoring and control, allowing users to perform both operator interface and control for a much wider range of applications.

Many small-scale applications can save panel space by using by using a programmable graphical interface combined with a discrete and analog controller and I/O in a single package. Such a package can fit where there isn’t panel space or the budget for separate components. The FT1A Touch 14 I/O addresses this need by combining operator interface and control in a single compact package using IDEC’s PC-based software.

The FT1A Touch 14 I/O provides up to 158 discrete and analog inputs and outputs (using FT1A controllers as remote I/O slaves), PID control, Ethernet communication, and a built-in 3.8-inch touchscreen HMI in an economical compact package. The company aims this unit at applications requiring a graphical user interface along with discrete and analog control at an affordable price.

Compared to the earlier FT1A touch , the new FT1A Touch 14 I/O adds these features:

• The two-point built-in analog inputs now accept 4-20 mA in addition to 0-10 Vdc
• Two built-in analog outputs were added, each configurable as 0-10 Vdc or 4-20 mA
• Expandable up to two additional analog two-point I/O modules
• RTD or thermocouple analog input module available
• PID control, and
• Can be configured as remote I/O master, allowing additional FT1As to be used as remote I/O slaves for additional discrete I/O.

The device has 14 I/O consisting of eight discrete inputs of which two can be configured as analog, four discrete outputs, and two analog outputs. The discrete inputs can handle switching frequencies up to 10 kHz. The analog inputs and outputs can be configured as either 0-10 Vdc or 4-20 mA. Two analog expansion adapters can be added, each with either two inputs or two outputs. Remote I/O capability allows up to three FT1A controllers to be configured as remote I/O slaves with 24, 40, or 48 I/O, for a maximum of 158 I/O on a single control system.

PID control functions include auto-tuning, anti-reset windup, and bumpless transfer. Programming of the control functions is accomplished via IDEC’s WindLDR, and the HMI is programmed using IDEC’s WindO/I-NV3 software. The WindLDR software allows users to simulate ladder and function block programs to test software without requiring connection of hardware. Communication capabilities include RS232C and RS485 ports for serial networking; an RJ45 Ethernet port for remote Ethernet and Modbus TCP communications; and a USB port for entering recipe data, performing program updates, and data logging.

Critical data can be logged or retrieved via a USB memory stick, or via Ethernet. The built-in Ethernet ports allow the FT1A Touch 14 I/O to be configured as a client (master) or server (slave) on the Modbus network. Modbus RTU (master or slave) is also supported. With these capabilities, the FT1A can communicate with other PLCs or devices using the Modbus protocol. It also contains native drivers for communication with PLCs from a wide range of manufacturers using various protocols.

With 47.4KB of logic control programming memory, complex PLC programs can be constructed without undue restriction. And with 5MB of configuration memory for the display, a full-featured display interface can be easily configured.