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Browser-based system turns block I/Os into PLCs

27 May, 2016

Turck has announced a technology that allows users to add logic functions to I/O devices without needing a PLC, thus driving down the cost per I/O point and increasing control flexibility. The Argee “field logic controller” (FLC) system is programmed via a Web browser, eliminating the need for third-party software or licensing that is common with PLCs.

The Argee environment uses flow chart programming – similar to ladder logic – to set condition and action statements to be carried out by the I/O devices. Drop-down fields allow inputs and outputs to be linked with Boolean operators and actions, without needing to know a programming language.

An optional “professional” programming mode can be used to implement sequential function charts, also without any programming knowledge.

The FLCs are aimed, in particular, at small to mid-size OEMs and manufacturers who want to add logic without investing in PLCs. They can be used in one of three ways:

•  in a standalone mode, where the FLC performs all of the logic functions without needing a PLC;

•  as a back-up for a PLC, with the FLC taking over and shutting down or maintaining a process if it loses communication with the PLC; or

Turck's Argee software can turn Ethernet block I/O into compact PLCs

•  working with a PLC, with the FLC monitoring an application and send defined variables and updates back to the PLC.

“With FLCs powered by Argee, engineers can add control capabilities and I/O points to applications without having to invest in, or upgrade, a PLC,” explains Randy Durick, Turck’s vice-president of fieldbus technology. “Because the I/O devices carry advanced ingress ratings, logic can move outside the panel and onto machines for local control and real-time performance monitoring.”

The Argee technology is now standard in all of Turck’s IP20 and IP67 multiprotocol Ethernet I/O devices, which can be used with any Profinet, Modbus TCP or EtherNet/IP platform. These include the TBEN-L/S on-machine block I/O, BL compact on-machine flexible block I/O, and FEN20 in-cabinet block I/O.

The Argee environment supports toggling bits, timers and counters, arithmetic functions, and the monitoring of program status via built-in HMI capabilities. It uses HTML5-based programing and can be accessed on any device running a compatible Web browser.

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