Multi-Platform Control Software for Automation
SoftwareNetworkingHuman Machine Interface (HMI)Motion ControlEthernet IPModbus TCPSystems
PC control and Programmable Automation Controllers have now converged with the introduction of a PC software suite that executes the same user programs as a popular line of controllers. The Incentive suite by Control Technology Corporation consists of three modular components:
- IncentivePLC, a multitasking control system incorporating high-level motion commands, subroutines and asynchronous events,
- IncentiveECAT, a software-based EtherCAT master controller that uses a PC’s Ethernet port to communicate with I/O and servo drives, and
- IncentiveAPI, a component providing an automation API for interaction with user C#, C++ or VB.Net code.
These components make use of a PC’s multi-core architecture to provide the performance needed for deterministic control, dedicating cores to critical EtherCAT network management and PLC functions via a supplied realtime operating system. Remaining cores of the CPU can run Windows, allowing the coexistence of other system software such as vision processing or HMI.
The IncentivePLC component executes the same user programs that can run on the company’s 5300 Series of hardware-based PACs, which allows flexibility in the choice of platforms depending on the needs of a given project. In either case, programming is accomplished using the QuickBuilder programming environment.
Additionally, users may write code in C#, C++ or VB.Net, linking to the IncentiveAPI component to interact with the control program being executed or, alternatively, completely eliminate the PLC functionality and directly control their process through the EtherCAT network.
The flexibility of the system recognizes the increasing complexity inherent in automation control today, where integration with third-party software and plant information systems
has become the norm. The ability to choose a platform and select a programming approach that’s appropriate to a project helps ensure timely project completion and a robust solution.
For more information, contact Control Technology Corporation, 25 South Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748 USA, controltechnologycorp.com, telephone +1-508-435-9595 or +1-888-818-2600.