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GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has announced the release of its latest Versamax Micro Plus controller firmware.

The new release – revision 4.0 – expands the controller’s applicability to a wider range of applications by integrating some new features.

‘With this release, GE Fanuc has enabled the Versamax Micro Plus to improve productivity, substantially expand communications connectivity, add high-precision temperature sensing and increase the amount of devices that con be controlled with a low-end controller,’ said Bill Black, controllers product manager.

The new Online Programming feature enables the user to edit and download logic to the PLC without stopping it.

Not requiring a PLC to come offline for changes saves downtime and potential expense for lost productivity and scrap, according to the company.

The Online Programming streamlines debugging during machine commissioning and is suitable for applications that are in continuous process.

The Versamax Micro Plus has been enhanced to support Ethernet Modbus TCP Client and Server protocol.

This communication addition is claimed to enable the Micro to handle a range of applications that historically required a more sophisticated control platform.

A simple function block enables the Modbus TCP communications commands to be integrated into the user’s logic.

Up to eight Modbus TCP channels are supported, with one channel configured for Modbus TCP Client while the remaining are used for Modbus TCP servers.

Black added: ‘The Modbus TCP connectivity enables the Micro Plus controllers to address many complex applications that require the integration of variable frequency drives, motor control centres, SCADA and other Ethernet devices.

‘In addition, security settings have also been added to minimise hacking into the controller,’ he said.

The Versamax Micro 4.0 firmware release also supports high-accuracy thermocouple/millivolt and RTD input modules.

The thermocouple and RTD expansion units can now support the high-accuracy mode with 16-bit resolution.

This provides higher precision in temperature monitoring and strain gauge applications.

There are four new 64-point expansion modules that are compatible with the new Micro Plus controller, so the Micro Plus can support up to 320 input/output points.

GE Intelligent Platforms

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