Phoenix Contact: Left-Alignable Extension Modules for PLCnext Control Devices

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January 3, 2021

Experience shows that demands change over the duration of a project or during the lifecycle of an application.

Therefore, in addition to downloading functions from the PLCnext Store, the PLCnext Technology open ecosystem from Phoenix Contact now also offers a plug-in solution: A left-alignable system extends PLCnext Control devices with functions that are not included in the standard performance spectrum. Specifically, the AXC F 2152 controller can be expanded by one extension module, and the AXC F 3152 controller by two. If the supported number of extension modules is not sufficient, the AXC F XT EXP extension module enables up to three extension modules to be operated on each controller.

The AXC F XT ETH 1TX extension module provides the functionality of an Ethernet interface. Having its own MAC address means that networks can be implemented so that they are physically completely separate from each other. As an INTERBUS master, one of several advantages of the AXC F XT IB module is that it allows for the continued use of existing systems in INTERBUS-based applications. The AXC F XT PB module is a PROFIBUS master, which exchanges data with up to 125 PROFIBUS devices, both cyclically (DP V0) and acyclically (DP V1). The AXC F XT SPLC 1000 module functions as a safety-related controller up to SIL 3, to which a maximum of 32 PROFIsafe devices can be coupled. The AXC F XL ML 1000 extension module enables an AXC F 3152 type PLCnext Control device to be extended with a Coral Edge TPU for processing AI applications.

As the left-alignable modules communicate with the controller via PCIe, the standardized interface can also be used by third-party devices. The configuration of the extension modules is consistent despite the different functions. When a module is plugged in, the engineering verifies whether the proper firmware version was used and issues an informative error message if necessary. The extension modules therefore make the PLCnext Control device a suitable solution for practically any application.

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