Kaufbeuren, Germany, April 19, 1999 - PEP Modular Computers is now offering its SMART range with an Ethernet module included. These small controllers now have Ethernet communication as well as real-time capability for I/O processing combined in one device.
The SMART concept brings together two worlds. Firstly, the controllers possess the range of functions typically associated with micro-PLCs and secondly, they offer the advantages of the VME bus world with the mandatory properties of industrial computers. These properties include multitasking, processing in 32-bit formats and the application of a high-level language interface.
The Ethernet interface now completes the networking concept for small controllers. Apart from the CAN interface (Layers 2 and 7) and Profibus-DP, Ethernet now provides the third variant. SMART2 uses a non-intelligent Ethernet controller which enables a standard Ethernet coupling of 10 Mbit/s. Both the Ethernet standard IEEE 802.3 and the 802.3x Flow Control are supported. An LED on the front panel indicates the link status.
The widespread application in the field of office LANs and international standardization is now ensuring that Ethernet is becoming established in the field-bus area. In particular, the combination of Web-server and Ethernet communications that can be realized with SMART2 is opening up new possibilities in the field of industrial automation engineering, especially when the WAN/LAN target market is considered with regard to remote data transmission by Internet/Intranet.
The SMART2 small controller operates with the OS-9 real-time operating system which is popular in the VME bus world. However, it can be programmed like a PLC with the ISaGRAF programming tool. The programming languages offered, AS, FBS, LAD, STL and ST, conform to the international standard IEC 1131-3.
The controller can be operated in the stand-alone mode as well as in a field-bus orientated network from different manufacturers. But when used alongside the two VME bus controllers, VME9300 and IUC9300, SMART2 also provides a universal PEP automation solution. In this case the VME9300 assumes the role of a cell controller, similar to a PLC in the upper performance range. The IUC9300 is intended for the "mid-field", i.e. the preliminary processing of data, for example, from machine controllers. The SMART2 covers the range of tasks for decentralized small controllers operating directly at the I/O level.
The Ethernet version of SMART2 will be available from May 1999.