Friday, November 15, 2013

"Why settle for a logic block when you can have a powerful Micro PLC instead?"

The new FX3S PLC from Mitsubishi Electric completes the FX3 compact PLC range with the most powerful micro PLC yet. By taking the power and flexibility of the existing FX3G & FX3U premium compact PLCs and distilling it into a micro format Mitsubishi have created a new PLC category, the Premium Micro PLC.

Over the last 30 years they have continually developed the compact PLC and have now completed the third phase of this development programme, achieving sales of over 12 Million units worldwide during that period. Their philosophy is "why compromise?" even at the micro level. This is why the new FX3S incorporates many of the features and functions of its larger FX3 siblings.

For example, one of the most popular functions of the FX3 range is the built-in "Freqrol" driver that enables users to set up a simple, low cost network of PLC and up to 8 Mitsubishi inverters allowing the FX3S to tackle tasks as diverse as materials handling to heating and cooling applications.

Mitsubishi Electric take the legacy of their PLCs seriously, so the FX3S comes in 10, 14, 20 and 30 I/O variants just like its predecessor the FX1S and it also has the same footprint, making it extremely easy for users to upgrade to the newer PLC without a major redesign and associated engineering costs.

There is also a new version of the 30 I/O FX3S CPU which includes built-in analogues and is ideal for simple temperature or flow control systems.

Besides increased memory capacity and processor speed, the new FX3S can be expanded by using the existing, slim FX3 ADP modules, offering a choice of analogue and communication options including Ethernet and RS422/485 serial. Adding Ethernet connectivity at this level means that FX3S is not just a PLC but should also be considered an intelligent data logger or even distributed I/O. When used in conjunction with Mitsubishi's respected MAPS SCADA and MX4 Energy management software solutions, plant-wide data collection can be achieved with minimal cost and effort by deploying FX3S PLCs close to where they are needed.

FX3S is programmed by the GXWorks2 software which offers total flexibility and choice, allowing the designer to choose a simple ladder style programming method, or the more advanced structured style. FX3S is also included in the comprehensive iQ Works navigator allowing users to easily configure systems using Mitsubishi's GOT series HMIs and the FX3 PLCs in one software package.

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